Last week I had the opportunity to spend 3 class days with our 8th graders. I wanted to combine career planning, goal setting, mindsets, and values with starting to think about high school. In a few short months, I will be calling each 8th grader and his/her parents to talk about future planning and high school course selection.  

DAY 1–Values

I started day 1 talking about values. I introduced the concept of values by holding up a $50 bill and a $100 (don’t worry, I used play money!). 

Then, I asked them if they could pick the $50 or $100 bill which they would choose.

All of the students, except one, said “I’ll take the $100.”  When I asked why the reasons were all the same. It’s worth more. The student who said $50, had a great answer. Since everyone else took the $100, she would be sure to get the $50, and that was more than she started with.

I asked them why the $100 was worth more. It was printed on the same paper, the same ink was used. So, it had one more zero?!  

We decided that value is what something is worth to us.. something that we determined to be important. After defining value, we talked about how our choices and actions, and our really big plans, usually were decided upon because of our values. I told them that we would be looking at these values because they will have some importance as we move forward with high school planning.  

Then, we held a values auction. I gave them a list of values that we would be putting up for auction. They needed to determine if it was something they would bid on and determine their maximum bid. When they were set in determining what they were bidding on we started the auction.

It was interesting to see what each class valued. There were a lot of trends, and even a few surprises.

Here are a few pictures of what the kids had to bid on.

If you are interested in a copy of this lesson, you can find it on my TpT store here.  It really was a great lesson, and can be used for discussing transition, careers, or character education.  

What we talked about was how our values impacted our choices and decisions. So if we valued education and going to college, then it might be important to keep taking a foreign language in high school because it was an admission requirement to many colleges. We also talked about how our values could affect our career choices. One of the highest selling values for every class was “a career I love” so trying to figure out what we wanted to do for a career is important.

How do you talk about values? When do you get students excited to think about what matters most to them? Leave a comment below and let me know!

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