Helping you become all that you are capable of becoming!



I    Interest &

A    Activate

I    Interest  &  A    Activate
Chapter 1
I AM A GOOD STUDENT Study Skills Program
By: Constance M. Messina, Ph.D.


This is the section where we try to spark the individuals INTEREST. We discuss the reason for studying and help them establish personal short term goals (to pass the test) and long term goals (to become an engineer). We try to instill in the individuals our value of education. We try to relate to immediate and specific goals rather than abstract goals. Here is the place where the story about walking 10 miles to school applies. It is at this point that discussion about famous individuals and their subsequent successes resulting from good studying and learning practices is employed.

At this point we also ACTIVATE or "charge up" the youngsters. Whatever it takes to get our students to learn (be it by incentives, rewards, subliminal measures, hugs, affirmations). Educational research has always supported the concept that no matter what the program is, its success is guaranteed if the individuals involved are enthusiastic.


Message to Parents and Teachers:

This section is an important one because we are trying to motivate students to learn. All too often our students have visions of grandeur or fame which are unrealistic. To help you prepare your children to learn consider this "Bit of Wisdom", which I found on the "internet-story sharing-line."

"Powerful people are often blinded by the spotlight to see reality. They suffer from a delusion that power means something (it doesn’t). They suffer from the misconception that titles make a difference (they don't). They are under the impression that earthly authority will make a heavenly difference (it won't).


Can I prove my point? Take this quiz:

1. Name the ten wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last ten Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last ten winners of the Miss America contest.

4. Name eight people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

5. How about the last ten Academy Award winners for best picture or the last decade's worth of World Series winners?

How did you do? I didn't do well either. With the exception of you trivia hounds, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday too well. Surprising how quickly we forget, isn't it? And what I've mentioned above are no second-rate achievements. These are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.


Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. Think of three people you enjoy spending time with.

2. Name ten people who have taught you something worthwhile.

3. Name five friends who have helped you in a difficult time.

4. List a few teachers who have aided your journey through school.

5. Name half-a-dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.  

Easier? It was for me, too. The lesson?

The people who make a difference are not the ones with the credentials, but the “ones with the concern." If you are to make a difference in your children's lives you must show real concern for them. It does children no good to be coerced into learning study skills. What will make a difference is how involved the adults in their lives are to work alongside them to learn, practice, and implement the study skills they will need the rest of their lives to be "real learners."

Life Long Learning - A Message for All Students (Young and Old)
Why Learn?
With learning you can achieve whatever you want in life. Learning can enrich your life. Learning opens vistas and helps you to experience what life has to offer. Learning exposes you to life, the world, the community.

You can expand your imagination, your creativity and your sense of being alive. Learning provides you with the opportunity to develop your full potential. Life is not stagnant and learning helps you to become part of the flow. You can contribute to the flow, have a place and a definitive role in life.

What you learn in school directly relates to: 
  • Your real world
  • Your future job
  • What you do with your leisure time
  • What your recreational activities are
  • How you deal with technology, science and government
All of the above are directly influenced by the learning you receive or choose to receive.

The goal is to become lifelong learners. Learning does not stop when you no longer attend school or take courses. Your life is a series of activities with appropriately learned solutions. Learning is a growing process, not merely an accumulation of knowledge and facts. 

You, as the student, need to activate or "charge up" your desire to find or make specific circumstances you want in your situation. Every student who wants to make higher grades and who is willing to try these "study techniques" does make better grades. Learning does not just happen, it is a result of what your mind does. You study for only one reason - to learn. You are in control of your desire to learn.

It is important for you to see that learning is not only a school-based activity. Everything you are involved with in your life is colored by some aspect of learning. Learning is a lifelong pursuit. We learn when we play board games such as Candy Land and Trivial Pursuit. We learn when we play team sports or pursue individual athletic events. The challenge of learning is in all we do and the reward of accomplishment is inherent in that pursuit.

We all have varying interests, needs, desires, fantasies, dreams and imaginations. We can't limit ourselves with "I can't" statements. We must pursue "Why not?". We need to deal with "possibility thinking" rather than "impossibility thinking."

With the activation of that energy defined as motivation, comes the need to set goals. We also need to know why we want these specific goals and then we need to tap our inner energy to accomplish these goals.


1. Arrange for prominent individuals from the community, local celebrities or significant parents to present a talk to the students about how learning has helped them. Provide the opportunity for the students to interview them. Have a prepared list of questions.

2. Have students do research on significant people in history who have used the concept of learning to develop their potential and contributed to the flow of life. Library assistants or parent volunteers can be involved to assist in this research pursuit.

3. Provide pictures of successful people and allow discussion at specific levels with age appropriate language.

4. Allow students to interview peers that have successfully incorporated positive study skills into their programs and prepare videos of these interviews.

5. Read stories and/or biographies of individuals that have used learning and education to accomplish their aspired for goals.

6. Provide some of the following situations to your students and discuss what subject might benefit them if they found themselves in the specific situation.

  • You need to write a thank-you letter to your Grandmother for your gift
  • You need to figure out how much of your allowance you have left to spend.
  • You need to write a letter of inquiry about a country you are studying
  • You want to improve your baseball game.     

7. Have students interview their mother and fathers and then list how they used some of the things that they learned in school.

8. Discuss how specific people in various occupations apply what they have previously learned to their present situations.

9. Discuss subjects that the students are currently studying and list the ways that these subjects may be helpful in the future.

10. Have the students set goals (short term goals, intermediate goals, long term goals) for themselves. Goals should be defined, achievable, clearly stated, understood and prioritized. For example:

  • K-1 I want to learn how to paint.
  • 2-3 I want to get a good grade on a Math test.
  • 4-5 I want to read a good book

11. Ask your youngsters to discuss their feelings and/or attitudes toward school and schoolwork. Every feeling (negative or positive) should be discussed freely with no fear of punishment for harboring negative feelings.

Possible discussion questions:

  • Do I believe I can do the work the teacher assigns?
  • Do I honestly believe that I can succeed in school?
  • When I have a problem do I go to the teacher for help?
  • Are good grades more important to me than how much I learn?
  • Do I always do the best I can or do I just get by?
  • Do I find something to interest me in each subject I study?
  • Do I expect learning to be done for me or do I put forth the effort to learn?


12. Have the children list various careers on the board and then list the related school subject that would help them in the pursuit of that particular career.


13. Designate a "LEARNER OF THE WEEK." This person will have demonstrated either the use of appropriate study skills or provided a living example of the value of learning.


14. How does learning relate to everyday life? Go through the day and list each activity (getting to the bus on time) and how it relates to something learned in school (telling time).


15. At the end of each school day review all of the activities accomplished to further reinforce the concept that learning has occurred and is valuable.


16. Have the students discuss what they like or dislike about school in appropriate grouped situations. Present their thoughts either in a video, notes on the board, or pictures on a bulletin board.
Worksheet #1: INTERVIEW OUTLINE for Kindergarten through 1st Grade Level

Name                                                     Date

1. What is your name?

2. What is your job?

3. When do you work?

4. Where do you work?

5. Why did you choose the line of work you are in? 

6. What did you have to learn in school to help you do your job well? 

Worksheet #2: INTERVIEW OUTLINE 2nd - 5th Grade Level

Name                                                                      Date 
Name of Person Being Interviewed:

1. What is your name?

2. What is your job?

3. When do you work?

4. Where do you work?

5. Why did you choose the line of work you are in? 

6. What did you have to learn in school to help you do your job well? 

7. What have you accomplished?

8. How has your learning affected these accomplishments?

9. For at least 10 subjects you studied in school tell me how you use the things you studied and applied them on your job or in your career:

Subject Taken

Application on Job

1. Math


2. English


3. Handwriting


4. Science


5. Social Studies


6. Reading










Worksheet #3: Research Paper Outline for 4th & 5th grades

Name                                                      Date 
Name of Individual Interviewed for this paper:

1. Write a minimum of two paragraphs on What has this individual accomplished?

2. Write a minimum of two paragraphs on how has learning and/or structured studying played a positive role in this person's life?

Worksheet #4: Setting Goals K-5th Grades

Name                                                        Date
Short Term Goals (daily, weekly)
Intermediate Goals (monthly, semester, yearly)
Long Term Goals Life Long

Worksheet #7: School Career 2nd - 5th Grades


Name                                                    Date

List at least 10 careers in the left column and in the right column list the school subjects which are necessary to become successful for each career you listed.
























Worksheet #5: Value of School K-5th Grade

Name                                                Date

List 10 things that you most like to do at school:











Worksheet #6: Life Long Learning for 4th & 5th Grade 

Name                                                                 Date
1. Where will I be ten years from now?

2. What will I be doing ten years from now?

3. What role will learning play in my accomplishments?