By Rev. Doug Forbes
Most of us enjoy reaching goals and trying new things. We actually like completing tasks. I’m always happy when I can cross that last item off my to-do list. A famous writer, when asked if he enjoyed writing, replied, “I enjoy having written.”
Young people have the same desire to achieve. They feel good when they have completed a goal. But, to complete a goal, we have to define what our goal will be and develop a plan to achieve it. We need a target or goal to aim for, just like we would in archery. If we aim at nothing, we’ll hit it every time. We can help our young people to develop reachable, measureable, practical and helpful goals for their lives. One way to do this is through achievement puzzles.
To make achievement puzzles you need: Bibles, white poster board, markers, crayons, or poster paint, pencils, white glue, or glue sticks, scissors and thumbtacks.
Give each student two equal sized pieces of white poster board and ask them to draw a picture related to the goal on one sheet. Once they have completed their picture; they are to cut it into the number of pieces equal to the number of steps necessary to accomplish their goal. Tell them to be creative with the size and shape of their puzzle pieces.
Lay the pieces over a second sheet of poster board and draw the outlines of each piece in its proper place with a pencil. Number the back of each piece and put the same number in its corresponding space on the second sheet.
Display each picture in the classroom with the child’s name. When the young people complete a step in their project, they are to paste a piece of their picture onto the second sheet. Once they have completed their entire picture, you could reward them with a small prize.
Some goals for your class could be to read one chapter of the Gospel of John each week until completed, collect or make a toy each week to share with needy children, remember to pray for hungry people around the world each week or do a weekly good deed without being asked.
The achievement puzzle is a great way to instill positive values in our young people and have fun at the same time. I hope it helps you help your students achieve their goals.