Start this activity by asking students to think about a time in their life when they worked especially hard to accomplish a goal. Then, give students five minutes to write point-form responses to the prompts on the “Just Keep Swimming” worksheet.
Just Keep Swimming worksheet available in download section on this page.
After students have completed the worksheet, lead a large group discussion based on the student's responses to the worksheet prompts. After several students have shared, let students know that they are sharing examples of perseverance and ask if anyone can define perseverance. Depending on their answers, confirm or clarify that perseverance is the ability to persist and achieve something despite facing challenges. Explain that perseverance involves not giving up and that it marks the difference between people who fall, and get back up, versus those who throw in the towel when things get hard.
Then, ask students if they think that perseverance is a character trait (i.e. something they either do or don’t have) or a learned skill. Let students share their opinions, asking them to explain their point of view, and use examples to support their answers, when possible.
Wrap-up the discussion by informing students that perseverance can be learned and that students can form a habit of perseverance. All of the skills that students are learning through Beecuz’ curriculum (ex. growth mindset, real-time resilience, goal setting, character strengths, etc.) enhance students’ ability to persevere through challenges, overcome obstacles, and thrive in the face of adversity. Highlight some of the previously learned skills as great ways for students to build their capacity for perseverance.