Topic Goal-setting
Subject Any
Grades 6th – 8th
Overview: Students participate in the “Balancing Tubes” activity from The Systems Thinking Playbook (Booth Sweeney and Meadows).  The goal of the activity is to balance a rolled newspaper tube on one’s flattened palm. The resulting dynamics help students explore aspects of how focusing on a goal while taking action to reach that goal can help close the gap between current reality and a desired result. Students also discuss what happens when no action or a counter-productive action is taken.


ST Concepts & Habits Concepts:

  • Balancing feedback

Habits of a systems thinker:

  • checks results and changes actions if needed: “successive approximation”
ST Tools Kinesthetic systems activity, causal loop
Standards Students apply collaborative skills to pursue individual and/or group goals.
Students direct themselves as they strive for personal excellence.

Implemented by: Anne LaVigne and Donna Charbarneau

Submitted by: Anne LaVigne

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