Students answer, in writing, a set of 7 questions designed to help foster a sense of purpose.


  1. Cognitive: Students will answer questions about their personal interests, strengths, and other characteristics that relate to a sense of purpose
  2. Affective: Students may feel a sense of purpose and self-awareness as they ponder each question.


looseleaf paper or journal, writing utensils

Teacher Prep

Have quote and questions ready to display in front of the class one at a time.


Time Activity Notes
2 min Introduce the activity by having one or more students read this quote:

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties, and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” ~Patanjali

  • Explain to students that they will spend the next 7 minutes writing about their answers to 7 questions you will display in front of them for 1 minute each.
7 min Display each of the questions in front of students, giving them one minute to write before moving onto the next question:

  • What kinds of places make you happy?
  • What types of activities make you feel good about yourself?
  • What skills or abilities seem to come naturally to you?
  • What kinds of people make you smile?
  • What qualities in people (friends, family, celebrities, historical figures, etc.) do you admire the most?
  • What are some things, that if taken out of your life, you may regret not having?
  • What places, activities, people do you value the most in your life?
As these questions are displayed in front of students, you may say a few related thoughts to guide them. For instance, as question 1 is displayed, you may add something like, “Where are some places throughout your life that you’ve been and loved?” or “If you could go back to any place you’ve been before, where would it be?” As question 3 is displayed, you could add, “What types of things do you think you would be good at teaching others?” or “What types of activities seem to be a good fit for your personality?”
1 min Wrap up the activity by asking students to reflect on the answers to their questions and if these answers seem to have anything in common.

Teacher Reflection

How did you feel after the activity?  Did students participate and seem engaged? Remember to ask the students to share their feedback on the activity: What went well? What suggestions do they have for making the activity better? Think about what you might do differently next time.

Emotional Intelligence Tips

  • Not all students will be able to answer these questions readily. If you notice some students struggling to write something, you may talk through the questions with the scripts provided in the notes section above
  • Encourage students to be patient, curious, respectful, open, and reserve judgment about their preferences.