Perseverance means sticking with a task no matter how difficult. Preschool is the perfect opportunity for young children to begin to understand the importance of hard work and appreciate the feeling they have when they have accomplished a difficult task. Remember, friends can always help you when you need an extra push.
One class period (45 minutes)
Children will understand the importance of hard work.
Children will practice good sportsmanship.
Children will practice teamwork.
A relay item that may be difficult for a student to carry alone but can be done with some degree of effort (e.g., a heavy box of books, a dozen crayons without a bag or box, a heavy bag of building blocks, an assortment of balls, several blown-up balloons, a large chair, etc.)
- Ask the students if they have ever had trouble doing something because it was too hard.
- Share an example of a moment when you had trouble doing something because it was so hard (learning to zip your coat, finishing a race, cleaning your messy room). Ask students if they’ve ever given up too soon.
- Tell the students that they are going to watch a video clip from Thomas & Friends. Ask the students to watch for when Henry and Hiro pull a very heavy load. Show the video clip from Someone To Look Up To "Henry’s Hero."
- During the clip, Hiro tells Henry “…you have to keep on puffing.” Ask: What does this phrase mean? Why do we need to try to finish tasks that are hard? How do your friends help you do something hard?
- Remind the students that sometimes things are difficult, but through teamwork they can complete many hard tasks. Tell the students that they are going to pretend to be “useful engines” in a relay race.
- Post the train station signs across the room (or across the field) from each other. Gather the relay item and place it near the starting line.
- Ask the students to line up at the starting line. Note: The students will first complete the relay race individually and then as pairs.
- The first student will carry the item from Elsbridge Station to Knapford Station and stay there; the next student will then race from train Knapford Station and carry the item back to train Elsbridge Station. The students will continue in the pattern until all of the students have gone and the item has been carried between stations multiple times.
- Encourage all the children who are not doing the relay race to cheer on their friends who are!
- When the relay is over, ask the students what made the race hard? (Carrying an awkward or heavy item by themselves) Praise your students for their hard work and perseverance.
- Next, try the race again, but this time the students will carry the relay item in pairs.
- When the second race is over, ask the students what helped to make the relay easier?
- Discuss with your students how teamwork can make hard tasks easier.
Prompt your students to be heroes. Next time a student comes to a friend’s aid when he/she is
having trouble, give them a Hiro Hero award!
- Go, Train, Go! (Thomas & Friends), by Rev. W. Awdry
- Clorinda by Robert Kinerk
- Keep Trying, Tiny Turtle!, by Haydon Tucker
- Keep Climbing, by Beah E. Richards
- The Little Engine that Could, by Watty Piper
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