Grades 3-5
Grades 6-8
Social Studies

Working Together as Goalkeepers for the Sustainable Development Goals

Explore what it means to be a “goalkeeper” for the Sustainable Development Goals, and how everyone has an important role to play!

Activity Partner
Total time estimate:
30-60 minutes
Activity Objectives
  • Students will learn about “goalkeepers” who are taking action to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in their community
  • Then, students will explore the five skills of an effective goalkeeper, and discuss how to practice and reinforce these skills in their own life

This activity supports the development of the following
social-emotional skills: relationship skills, responsible decision-making, self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness.


Introduce students to the concept of being a “goalkeeper” for the Sustainable Development Goals. 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. Play the video below to explore how children around the world are acting as goalkeepers in their community.

You might ask:

  • Who can be a goalkeeper? What qualities might they have?
  • Do you think you might have the potential to be a goalkeeper? Why or why not?

Engage students in a discussion about the five skills of an effective goalkeeper by dividing them into five groups, and assigning each group to one of the following skills: Curiosity, Empathy, Creativity, Problem Solving, and Effective Communication. Ask each group to consider the following questions:

  • How would you define this skill in your own words?
  • Why is this skill important for helping achieve the Global Goals?
  • What is one way we can practice this skill in our daily life?

For example, empathy means that we share and respect others’ feelings and experiences and take action to help them. Empathy helps us achieve the Global Goals because it is important to understand how different people are affected by challenges, and come up with solutions that are actually helpful for them. We can practice this skill by putting ourselves in another person’s shoes, and seeing the world from their perspective, like during a disagreement.

Ask each group to share their thoughts with the rest of the class and, together with their classmates, create a definition for each skill.

Then, facilitate a live virtual exchange, or use Flipgrid, to help students share their definitions with your Empatico partner class, and tell a story about a time during which they practiced or developed one of these skills. Encourage students to come up with a joint commitment with your Empatico partner class to use these five skills and become goalkeepers together!


Guide students through a post-activity reflection by asking the following questions:

  • Which of the five skills of an effective goalkeeper is your strongest skill? Why?
  • Can you share a personal story about a time that you practiced or developed this skill?
  • What other strengths do you have —such as your values, talents, and resources—that you can use to be an effective goalkeeper?
  • Does everyone have the same strengths? Why is it important that people with different strengths work together as goalkeepers?

Additional resources:

This activity was created in partnership with the World’s Largest Lesson.

Did you finish this activity? We'd love your input.