One of the favorite lessons I teach each year to the elementary school students is on persistence. Persisting is one of the Habits of Mind, which were organized and developed by Art Costa and Bena Kallick. Each year, I introduce or re-introduce the idea of persisting to the primary students and read them a book such as the classic – “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper, written in 1930, I have also read “Pearl’s New Skates” by Holly Keller. This year we sang the song the Itsy Bitsy Spider and read a book called ” The Eensy Weensy Spider FREAKS OUT, Big Time” by Troy Cummings. The kids enjoyed it and I had fun hearing them react to the book and connect it back to persisting as well as success and happiness. After reading it to 27 different classes over the last month (every K-3rd grade class), I think I have it memorized! I understand that Mia Hamm has a new children’s book “Winners Never Quit” which may be a good choice for next year’s read aloud.
All the 4-6 grade classes had a lesson on persistence by watching a video of Michael’s Jordan’s Nike commercial titled “Failure” (Yes, it’s on YouTube) followed by a lesson on what STEM stands for and how people in STEM careers persist. For now though, I am ready to move on to another topic.