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Module 2 Your Goals and Your Values

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When you think about the things that are most important in your life – and the goals you have for what you want to achieve – do they reflect your “values”? Can you tell? Have you thought much about your values? What are values anyway?

Values are those things that make up your character. They represent what you think is important in life. They show up in your decisions, actions, and judgments. How we look on the outside usually tells very little. It’s more what’s on the inside that will make most of the difference in who we are. And values are a big part of what’s inside.

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Teacher's Guide

This lesson can be used as a companion to Module 2 of Money and Youth – Your Goals and Your Values.

Relevant Subjects and Topics:

Man in Society, Communications, Goal Setting, Family Studies, Values Education, Business Studies

Background Information:

As adolescents become more active using money, it is important for them to become skilled in handling those funds. In order to do this, they need to become aware of factors which influence a person and the degree to which those factors can affect their use of money. By becoming more aware, the students will be better able to make wise decisions and avoid unnecessary spending and perhaps harmful and wasteful decisions. This lesson will explore the motivators and controllers that affect the way in which people use money. It examines an individual’s value system and goals and explores the degree to which things such as peer pressure, envy and advertising impact a person. The unit has the students work in groups and small group discussions and requires them to complete a creative assignment.


At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Indicate the effect that advertising can have on an individual
  • Identify some of their essential values
  • List various things that influence them
  • Explain how peer pressure can affect a person
  • Identify factors which influence purchasing

Time for Implementation:

Five class periods of 60 minutes each. However, some of the activities could be done separately which would reduce the required time.

Teaching and Learning Strategies:

Period One - Values and Goals

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to take a few minutes to write down what they would do if they won a million dollars. Tell them to be as specific as they can with what they would do with the entire amount.
  • Once they have done this, pair up the students and have them share their answer with their partner.
  • Ask the partners to compare how similar or different their answers were.
  • Ask the pairs now to discuss to what degree they believe the way a person answered the question is a reflection of his or her values.
  • Have the pairs share their answer to this question with the class.
  • Have the pairs discuss and decide on a definition of what is meant by the term “a person’s values.”
  • Have them write down five values.
  • Conduct a class discussion to get the groups’ responses and establish a working definition of the term “Values.”
  • Have them now read “Exploring Your Values” on pages 11-14 of Money and Youth and have them complete the task on page 12 by having them individually write down their top five items of importance, in priority order, from the list on page 12.
  • At this point, have the students take a few moments to write down why these things are important to them and who they think were the three most important people to them in establishing these values.
  • Hold a plenary session and compile a list from their suggestions.
  • Once this has been done, compare the class generated list with the list on page 14.
  • Conclude this period by having the students write an answer to the following question: How can the important people/groups in your life affect the way you view and handle money?

Period Two – Peer Pressure

  • Begin this lesson by asking the students to identify people or groups that have the most influence on them.
  • Compile a list from their answers and ask them to decide on a “top three” ranking.
  • Peers should appear as one of the top three but, if it does not, indicate to them that for most people their peer group has a major influence on them and that this “influence” will be the focus of the lesson.
  • Divide the class into groups of five to six students. Ask them to read “Peer Pressure” from Money and Youth and ask them to compile a list of ways in which a person’s peer group can have a major impact on the individual and ask them to explain why that is the case for each way they have listed.
  • Once this has been done, have the groups report back and compare the similarities of their reports.
  • Having done this, have the groups complete the exercise on page 15 of Money and Youth entitled “Take action. Take control.”
  • Have the groups, once again, report back to the class and, once all groups have reported, conduct a plenary session to allow the students to add additional comments or insights.
  • Have the students individually list how their peer groups have affected their money issues and how they handle an issue in which the peer group is influencing them to spend their money in a way that makes them uncomfortable or concerned.
  • Conclude the period by drawing the students’ attention to the tip at the top of page 16.

Period Three – Envy and Advertising

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to explain why people buy things.
  • Ask them now why it is that people buy things when they already have that article, and it serves their needs just fine.
  • Ask them what they think the saying, “Keeping up with the Joneses” means, and ask them to indicate the degree to which they believe this affects people’s lives and spending habits.
  • Have them read “Keeping Up with the Joneses” on page 16 of Money and Youth, and indicate the degree to which they feel envy affects the way a person spends his or her money. Have them give examples that they know of that indicates spending based on envy.
  • Hold a discussion during which the students can give their answers and responses.
  • Completing this, have the students identify other factors, aside from envy, that motivate people to buy things.
  • Compile a list of their suggested motivators.
  • Indicate to them that advertisers are very aware of these motivators and seek to influence people into buying products by appealing to one or more of these motivators.
  • Divide the class into groups of five to six students.
  • Have them read sections “Advertising” and “Advertising and You” of Module 2 of Money and Youth on advertising on pages 17 to 20.
  • Once they have done this, indicate to them that they are to develop a print advertisement, live commercial or radio commercial for a new product that they have developed and that, once finished, they will present to the class.
  • Indicate that they will have the next class period to complete this task so they should arrange to have all necessary materials for the next class.

Period 4 - Developing an Ad

  • This is a working period for the groups to complete their assignment.
  • Indicate to the students that their ads etc. must be ready to be presented during the next class period.

Period 5 – Presentations and Wrap-Up

  • Begin the period by allowing the groups to do any final preparation and then have each group make their presentation to the class.
  • Following each presentation, have the group explain what “motivator/s” they were attempting to appeal to in the development of their advertising.
  • Once the groups have finished, hold a discussion during which the students may ask any questions of any of the groups or explain how they attempted to structure their ad.
  • Have the students discuss the perceived effectiveness of each of the presentations.
  • Conclude the lesson by asking the students to write a brief explanation of the degree to which they believe they are affected by advertising and how they attempt to offset the urge to buy “unnecessarily” by “Taking Control. Taking Action.”



  • The homework as assigned could be collected.
  • Any group work activity could be collected for evaluation.
  • The presentations could be evaluated.

Modifications or Suggestions for Different Learners:

  • The group work and individual assignments can allow for the individual student to utilize his or her strengths and particular abilities – or to explore learning via a pathway conducive to their learning style.

Additional Related Links:

Additional Possible Activities:

  • The students could examine various ads to see how they attempt to influence buying habits.
  • The students could make a wall collage with one section being what they think are good and effective ads and one section being what they think are poor and ineffective ads.
  • The students could research how groups attempt to develop an identity and then encourage individuals to join that identity.
  • The students could examine how young children are taught values and discuss whose responsibility it is to teach values – the home?  the school?  the church? the community?
  • The students could do any or all of the following:
    1. Examine their wardrobe to see what items were purchased as “fads” or to keep up with their peer group.
    2. Total the cost of these items and determine what better use could have been made of the money.
    3. Identify items that they have that are just as good and serviceable as the “fad or hot items.”
    4. Look that their expenses for the last month and determine if that money could have been used differently to address any long-term goals such as saving for post secondary education etc., as well as immediate enjoyment.
    5. Keep track of their expenditures for the next month and then review them to make certain that their money is being used wisely.
    6. Take a few moments to write down what is important in their life and what they are doing to support, develop or protect these things.
    7. Write down a “wish list” – things they would like to see happen in the next short period of time and then write down some actions that they will take to help have these things happen.
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Parent Resources

Why is this important?

The ways we live our lives and utilize our personal resources are directly affected by our goals and values. If our children are to live happy and prosperous lives, they must recognize and understand those drivers. Throughout their lives, they will be faced with situations and pressures from many sources and, if they are to remain true to their goals and values, they must have a strong commitment to them. This module looks at goals and values and examines forces that come into play which could alter or impede them.

Ways to engage your child and fun things to do.

There has long been a belief in business that it is necessary to have a clear personal five-year plan because this will direct a person's efforts toward achieving their goals. While adolescents are not business people they still need to understand how short and long-term goals can help keep outside pressures at bay. Here are some activities that can help you engage your child in discussions concerning their values and goals.
  1. Ask your daughter or son to identify three of the most important things in life. Once they have done this, discuss with them their reasons for their choice and follow it up with a discussion about factors in life that can challenge or threaten things we hold dear and how we could guard against that threat. Ask them to identify the role that money would play in protecting those important things and how we need to manage our money as a result.
  2. Ask your child to explain what values are and why they are important. Have them explain how those values affect our attitude towards money and how we use it. With this as background, ask them to identify three things that help develop and support those values and three things that could either warp their thinking or negatively affect their behaviour and, therefore, how they spend money. Once again, discuss with them steps that could be taken to guard against that negative possibility.
  3. Select some advertising and discuss with your child how that ad is attempting to affect their thinking and create a need to purchase that product. Ask them to identify other sources of pressure to behave or think a certain way.
  4. Use the proverbial half-glass of water question – is it half full or half empty? – and discuss with them their outlook on life and how that affects what they do with their money.
  5. Review the following on-line video with your son or daughter and discuss it with them afterwards -
  6. Ask your child to remember a time when they felt most satisfied or rewarded and have them explain why. Discuss with them what that says about them as a person. Once this has been clarified ask them to explain how this might affect how they handle money.

Additional Background and Related Websites and Resources

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Up Next

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