Achieving the Global Goals

Invite students to join a community of “goalkeepers” working towards achieving the SDGs!
Ages 8-14 / 30
min Activity
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  • Discuss global challenges that are important to them, and how these challenges relate to the Sustainable Development Goals 
  • Leverage their unique strengths to take action towards achieving a Global Goal
  • Share their actions with each other and consider how they can work together as a team
  • Optionally, meet with a partner class over a live virtual exchange to share about how they plan to help achieve the Global Goals

Supporting Research

When people identify shared problems and goals, research shows that this experience empowers them to put aside their differences and focus on what they share in common. Educators should encourage students to practice self-awareness to identify important global issues, and collaboration to imagine themselves as being on the same team that is working together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Activity Partners


  1. Introduce students to the Sustainable Development Goals (or the Global Goals). 

    You might say: “The Global Goals offer a new plan for the world in which we all work together in a global partnership to fight inequality and injustice, end poverty and hunger, tackle climate change, and much more. To create them, 193 countries came together to agree on a list of challenges that we need to solve in order to make our world a better place for everyone.”
  2. To learn more about the Global Goals, watch the following videos with your students:
    Malala introducing the The Worlds Largest Lesson
    The World's To Do List | The Global Goals
  3. Explain to students that in order to achieve the Global Goals, everyone needs to become a “goalkeeper”. Goalkeepers are people who are taking action to help achieve the Global Goals, and want to make their communities (and the world) a better place for everyone to live in. 

    You might ask: 
    • Who can be a goalkeeper? What qualities might they have?
    • Why is it important that people with different identities, strengths, and perspectives work together as goalkeepers? 
    • How might empathy play an important role in being a goalkeeper? 
    • Do you think you might have the potential to be a goalkeeper? Why or why not?
  4. Distribute a copy of the “Achieving the Global Goals” handout to students, and ask them to respond to the questions. First, they will describe a problem that they care about (e.g., related to the environment, poverty, health, or education), and explain how this problem relates to the Global Goals. 

    Then, they will reflect on their own strengths, such as their unique background, interests, values, skills, and resources. Finally, drawing upon their strengths, they will come up with one way they can take action on the Global Goal that they identified. 

    For example, if a student cares a lot about the environment, and keeping it safe and healthy for future generations, they might: 
    • Connect it to Global Goal #13 and #15 (Climate Change and Life on Land)
    • Use their interest in cooking to create meal plans for their family that are focused on more sustainable food choices (e.g., using less meat and packaged items, and more fruits and vegetables from local sources) 
  5. After students finish, ask for a few volunteers to share about the problems that they identified, and explain why they care about these problems. Students can also share their ideas for actions with the rest of the class. 

    Then, facilitate a reflection by asking the following questions: 
    • How does your proposed action contribute to achieving the Global Goals?
    • Did you notice any similarities between the problems that we identified? How does it feel to share these concerns in common? 
    • Did any of your classmates’ ideas inspire you or make you think differently about actions that you can take too? 
    • What are some ways that you can help support or encourage another classmate with their action? Or, what is one way that someone else could help you with your action?
    • Do you feel more empowered to be a “goalkeeper”? 

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.