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Grit Curriculum Lesson: The Perseverance Walk

In teacher Amy Lyon’s Perseverance Walk lesson, fifth grade students have an opportunity to interview someone who has worked hard towards a long-term goal, then create and share a presentation to illustrate a life lived with grit. Download this lesson plan.


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Grit Curriculum Lesson: The Perseverance Walk

Student: During your life so far, what has been one of the biggest goals you've set and you were able to achieve?

Man: Well, when I was high school age, I thought that it would be--

Amy: You're going to need to pick somebody, could be a relative, could be somebody in school. It could be a neighbor who has shown grit and your job is to interview that person. And then you're gonna come back and we're going to create the perseverance walk. You're gonna take us on the journey of that person who showed grit. So here's my perseverance walk for Jay. It has the goal setting part and it has the things that got in the way, and then it has the part about, "I reached my goal, and what is my life like now because I was able to attain that goal?" So Jay Lyon joined the New London Fire Department at 18. He loved being a volunteer and helping out his community. When he went to college, his dad told him, "Now is the time to think about doing what you really want to do." So what's his dad asking him to do? Set that goal, good. So what I drew on here was this desk. Notice that he's got a paper here that says D plus on it, not so hot. But he's also thinking, "I really, really, really wanna be a firefighter." So I'm gonna move him over. That winter he applied and was accepted in technical school for fire science. He loved what he was studying and he earned a three point four GPA. Better-- way better, okay, but still had some struggles. So I'm gonna march him along and now where is he? He's at the firehouse, right. Earning his degree took perseverance. Becoming a full time firefighter took grit. It took four years before he was asked to be the New London's first full time firefighter. So he reached his goal of becoming a full time firefighter, so that's a far off goal. But now think about what his life is like now. He loves what he does. Does that tie back in to what I was talking about this morning, about goals, and you setting your goals?

Student: Yeah.

Amy: He got to set his goal. It's so important, you guys, that you set your goals. Hopefully, you'll take these lessons and this will become a part of you and then you can use it later on, right?

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