Educator Toolbox

TXGU Activity: Strengthening Scholarly Identity


Created By:
 Texas GEAR UP

Grade Level: 7th/8th

Introduction for Educators: Students frequently make decisions early in life on how they spend their free time that send them on trajectories that will shape their future. If they think about how their secondary activities can prepare them for successful and happy lives, they may avoid risky or dangerous activities that harm their educational development.

Introduction for Students: In his free time during school, Apple founder Steve Jobs could always be found tinkering with electronics in his garage, taking devices apart to understand how they worked. Early on, Jobs filled his free time with activities that would develop his skills in ways that were immensely important later in life. What activities should you fill your free time with to help you develop the skills that will serve you later in life for what you want to do?

The Activity: Think through yesterday and write down how you spent the day in 30-minute chunks. Then write out answers to two reflection questions:

  1. How do I generally spend my free time at school or at home? Do these activities help me or harm me in being an effective student?
  1. What fun activities can I add in my free time at school or at home that would benefit my growth as a scholar and a person?

Afterwards, share with a friend one thing you do inside or outside of school that you aren't proud of and want to change.

Bonus Features: Encourage the student in their personal activities that demonstrate productivity or personal growth, whether they are school-sponsored or not.