SMART Goals Podcast Listening Skills, Mystery Picture, Writing Activities #12


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Do you want an awesome New Year 2023 activity that combines growth mindset activities and SMART Goal setting? This middle school activity is fun, interactive, and requires zero prep. Listen, Learn, Write: SMART Goals is an awesome, simple-to-use podcast activity that will teach your students step-by-step, how to set SMART Goals. It’s such a valuable SEL skill for middle school students to learn!

The mystery picture and writing activities are perfect for middle school students who need a little extra practice learning to listen for critical information. Students will LOVE the podcast, and they’ll be excited to see the hidden picture slowly being revealed as they answer the self-checking multiple-choice questions correctly.

The writing prompts are EDITABLE, and they provide an excellent way for students to use inference skills combined with creativity. They require kids to integrate information from the podcast into their own writing. Whether used in the classroom or at home, this is an excellent tool for helping students improve their listening and writing skills!


This podcast listening and writing activity is quick to prep and implement because all you have to do is give students the links to the podcast audio and the activity. That’s it! You can choose to do the hidden picture AND the writing tasks, or you can do just one or the other. Then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

You can assign this at any time of the school year. However, this growth mindset lesson is particularly great to use as a new year activity or a back-to-school activity.


Listen, Learn, Write: SMART Goals teaches students how to set SMART Goals, step-by-step. They will learn how to set a specific goal using the following acronym to ask these questions:

S- Specific: What is your goal?

M- Measurable: How will you measure it?

A- Actionable: What are the actions required to achieve the goal?

R- Relevant: How is the goal relevant to your life?

T- Timely: When will you achieve the goal?

Finally, they will imagine how they will feel when they reach the goal!


  1. It’s an awesome New Year 2023 activity!
  2. You can leave it with a sub. (It’s PERFECT substitute work because it’s NOT just busy work!)
  3. Use it to introduce a speaking and listening unit or a content-related lesson.
  4. Assign it between lessons or units, when you aren’t ready to start something new.
  5. Share the materials with early finishers.
  6. Assign it for homework or as an enrichment activity.
  7. Fun Fridays

What’s my favorite way to use this fun podcast listening and writing activity? Right before a vacation when the kids are a bit… squirrely!


  • Suggested classroom Do-Now activity for generating interest in creativity and inventions.
  • Several links to access the podcast. Students can use their own devices or you can play it for the whole class.
  • Listening tips for students
  • Google Sheets activity with 9 multiple choice questions and a hidden mystery picture
  • 1 Google Slides with short response writing prompts
  • 1 Google slide that provides students with extension questions to practice positive thinking
  • An editable version of the file
  • A pdf version of the file
  • Answer key

NOTE: The podcast’s audio is not included; however, I supply you with several links to access it.


Students will practice:

  • listening comprehension skills
  • inferencing skills
  • using digital media
  • writing using textual evidence
  • writing for a specific task, purpose, and audience


Part 1: Podcast and Self-Checking Mystery Picture: about 15 minutes

Part 2: Writing: This will take another 20 minutes or can be a bit longer if you review the answers and have students share the creative writing part.

Bonus Writing Extension: This part enables students to actually plan a goal and can take 10-20 minutes.



♡ It’s Easy to Use!

All you have to do is assign the tasks you want students to do. Everything is self-directed! Students will learn while working independently. It’s a great activity to leave with a sub!

♡ It Provides Valuable Skill Practice

Students must learn to listen actively, recall information, make inferences, and provide evidence. This resource provides that valuable practice in a unique and imaginative way.

♡ It’s Fun and Engaging!

The podcast is engaging and perfectly appropriate for middle school. Students will love personalizing what they have learned and they’ll love trying to uncover the self-checking mystery picture! They’ll also have a blast with the fun creative writing task!

Thanks for checking out Listen, Learn, Write: Achieve Your Dreams! Be sure to look at the preview to see everything that’s included!

Wishing you the best!

Darlene Anne

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