Expectations and Reality


Saddle up

Watch: Anna - episode 4: Here Comes the Groom

Anna is a girl who has read and thought and dreamt about horses for a very long time. But when she finally gets to spend time with a horse, she learns that a lot of what she thought was right is actually wrong. Notice all the times in these videos when what happens is different from what Anna thought would happen.

Barn talk

What was different in real life from how Anna thought it was going to be? Has this ever happened to you?

Take a ride

Just like Anna, everyone has expectations about what will happen in the future – it’s part of being human! And real life is sometimes different from our expectations… but we still have to make friends with it.

You’ll need

  1. Colored markers.
  2. Scissors, glue and magazines.
  3. Paper.


  1. Talk with children about how real life can sometimes be better or worse than we expected. Give an example or two from your own life, so children will grasp the concept.
  2. Have children either do drawings and/or use magazine cut-outs to represent some times when they expected something, but got something else. They should use one column for what they expected and one column for what actually happened. Remind them that sometimes reality can exceed our expectations! (And that’s what eventually happens with Anna – riding a horse will be more exciting for her than she ever could have imagined.)
  3. Have a little discussion where the children talk about what they’ve made. Assure them that it’s OK when reality is different from expectation because, just like Anna, that means they have the chance to learn something new!

Ride some more

For some added fun, encourage students to play Oops Finder. In this game, students are the experts who need to uncover all of the mistakes one can make around horses.

Horses and standards

Download PDF printable version of lesson plan (131KB)