Perseverance - 1


Lesson Plan

Goal: Given a difficult task or activity, the student will demonstrate perseverance (not giving up, continuing to work on the task until completion, etc.) by completing the task/activity in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities, as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

1. State that the task or activity is hard or challenging.
2. Make more than 1 attempt to complete the task.

Definitions of Key Terms: Perseverance is defined as the ability to get through difficult tasks without giving up. It means to keep working on your plan to achieve a goal, even though it may be taking longer than you had wanted it to Continue to work on the task, even though you may make mistakes.

Discussion Points:

  • What are some things that are hard for you to do?
  • When a task or activity is hard, do you give up and do something else?
  • What do heroes or other role models do when they face a task or activity that is hard for them?
  • What are some things you can do to show perseverance?
  • Why is perseverance an important trait to have?
  • Do you think you can be successful in life without perseverance? Why or why not?

Discuss these points or your own with students. Review the discussion points with the students. The teacher may want to share their own examples of when he/she set a goal they wanted to achieve.

Possible activities to review the discussion points:

  • The group should form a circle. Ask a question and allow students to toss a bean bag to those who would like to answer the question.
  • Play tic-tac-toe by dividing the group into teams. Write discussion questions on a post-it note and place them on the tic-tac-toe grid. Allow a representative from the team to select a post-it note and as a team develop an answer to the question. If they get it right they may put their team's marker (x or o) on the grid.

Directions for In-Person or Virtual Learning: You have three options for students to complete this lesson.

  • Option 1: Print the Student Activity Sheet for each student. Complete the lesson as a group and assign the activity sheet to the students.
  • Option 2: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and post to your Learning Management System (if your school has one) or send the link to the student. The student may complete the activity sheet electronically within the classroom on a shared computer or device.
  • Option 3: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and send the link to the student. The student may access the link from a home computer, chromebook, iPad or other device.

Activity 1: Spoon Race

In your classroom, hallway, or outside, create an obstacle course for each student to walk around with the spoon/ball. You may also use cones or other objects to specify the course each student must walk through.

Materials Needed:
  • Small ping-pong sized balls - 2
  • Spoons - 2
  • Chart Paper or Interactive Board

Divide students into two teams. Explain that they will be having a race to see which group can finish first by having each member of their team carry the ball on the spoon from the starting point to ending point. At the ending point, the student must give the spoon and ball to the next team member. If the ball is dropped the student must start the course over.

After the race discuss how the students felt during the race. Was it easy or hard? How many were ready to quit? What made them keep going? Record answers on the interactive board or chart paper. Explain that not quitting was using perseverance.

Activity 2: Perseverance Wheel

Before the lesson, for each student, take one plate and cut off the bottom (about an inch wide band). On the second plate for each student, cut it into 6 pieces. This has to be completed for each student.

Materials Needed:
  • Paper plates - 2 per student
  • Chart Paper or Interactive Board

Review the ideas discussed in Activity 1 with the students. As a group, discuss possible strategies to try when ready to quit when the task gets hard for you. Examples:

Try my best Take deep breaths Tell myself I can do it
Ask an adult for help Try again Ask for a break
Ask a classmate Try a different way Squeeze a stress ball

Instruct students to write the following on the plate with one piece cut out “Instead of giving up I WILL” . On each of their six pieces, write a strategy from the board/chart paper that they might try when a task gets hard and they feel like quitting. Once finished, for each student (using the brad/paper fastener) attach the plates together so that the strategy strips can be rotated to complete the sentence on the main plate.

Activity 3: Persevering Behavior

List the statements on the board or chart paper. Discuss with students each of the statements. Ask a group, discuss and determine if each statement demonstrates persevering behavior. You may also have students generate more ideas and list them on the board or chart paper.

Materials Needed:
  • Statements listed in activity
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Quitting the first time something is hard
  • Trying to ride a bike, no matter how many times you fall off
  • Not setting goals
  • Learning a new sport
  • Learning to play an instrument
  • Making excuses

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: Think of one thing that is hard for you. Write it in the box below. Share how you will use perseverance to help you complete a task.

I will use perseverance to complete this goal by...

Lesson Extension: Listening Comprehension

Explain that a script is a form of dialogue writing between characters in a movie, play, or broadcast. Utilizing the immersive reader students should listen carefully as the teacher plays the example scripts below. Replay the script if needed. Allow students time to answer the questions on student activity sheet D.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet B - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student

After students have finished, allow those that want to share their comic do so or role play one of the example scripts.

Example script demonstrating perseverance:
Tori: Hi Anya, how are you today?
Anya: I’m getting really frustrated with this math assignment. It’s really hard.
Tori: You are great at math. I know you can do it.
Anya: Thanks! I think if I stick with it I can get it finished.

Read Aloud Recommendations: Completing a read aloud with students is a great way for them to see and learn social skills as well as incorporating reading skills. Below are some books that could be used to reinforce the concept. Read and discuss as appropriate for level and as time allows throughout the lesson.

  • Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
  • A Chair for My Mother, Williams, Vera B.
  • Amazing Grace, Hoffman, Mary
  • Flight School, Judge, Lia
  • How to Catch a Star, Jeffers, Oliver
  • Luigi and the Barefoot Races, Paley, Dan
  • Papa’s Mechanical Fish, Fleming, Candance
  • Salt in His Shoes, Jordan, Deloris
  • She Persisted, Clinton, Chelsea
  • Thank You, Mr. Falker, Polacco, Patricia
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Kamkwamba, William
  • The Most Magnificent Thing, Spires, Ashley
  • The Noisy Paint Box, Rosenstock, Barb
  • Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman, Krull, Kathleen

Student Activity Sheet B

Directions: Draw a comic to match the script you listened to.

Application Activity

Review the main points from Activities 1-3 with students. In small groups, have the students create scripts demonstrating perseverance and when perseverance is not demonstrated. Use the script sheet to assist the groups in creating scripts.

Materials Needed:
  • Script sheet for each group
  • Pencil for each student

Have students record their scripts using the SiLAS software. Remind students to name and save their recordings. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

Ideas for modifying this activity based on your students’ needs:

  • create a script as a class
  • pair or group students so that skill levels are varied and assign each a role or task that uses their skill
  • create the script by recording the dialog with a phone or other recording device.

Example script demonstrating perseverance:
Tori: Hi Anya, how are you today?
Anya: I’m getting really frustrated with this math assignment. It’s really hard.
Tori: You are great at math. I know you can do it.
Anya: Thanks! I think if I stick with it I can get it finished.

Example script not demonstrating perseverance:
Tori: Hi Anya, how are you today?
Anya: I’m getting really frustrated with this math assignment. It’s really hard.
Tori: You are great at math. I know you can do it.
Anya: No I can’t! I quit!

Topic Checkout

Review the discussion from previous lessons/activities with the class. Allow students time to complete the Student Topic Checkout. Discuss the students’ answers when finished.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Topic Checkout - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student

Student Topic Checkout

Directions: Select the best answer.

1. I show perseverance when I keep trying, even though I think about quitting.

2. I can persevere when I try a different way.

3. I show perseverance when I quit.

4. I can take deep breaths to help me persevere.

5. I can ask an adult for help when I’m ready to quit.