Recently I was browsing through the Elementary School Counselor Exchange and Caught in the Middle Facebook groups (I hope you are ALL members of these online communities. They have great ideas!), and I came across the most fabulous picture of a kid holding a pile of lemons. I was immediately intrigued; after all, I LOVE props! After reading the comments, I realized that school counselor Tonya Egas was using lemons in "Introduction to the School Counselor" lessons to explain her role. I immediately began to brainstorm how I could use a bag of lemons in my upcoming Perseverance lessons and created a lesson for my second graders (Smartboard lesson, lesson plan, and worksheets found on TPT here). I also was inspired by this Perseverance Walk lesson by Amy Lyons. Thank you YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter for facilitating collaboration......we are all more creative and exciting educators because of you!
I started the lesson like always with my pre/post test gauging students' knowledge of the Perseverance definition. Then, I related Perseverance to reaching goals this school year and potential obstacles that could slow students down or challenge them. Students were able to do a cooperative learning activity to share their goals with a partner.
Next, the fun started happening! I chose a volunteer and took one of the example goals of getting 100 points in Accelerated Reader (AR). As we brainstormed challenges that could slow students down like losing your book, not understanding words, doing poorly on a test, getting sick, and forgetting to read, we gave our volunteer a lemon to hold for each obstacle. By the end, it was pretty hilarious to see our friend trying to balance all the lemons as he walked towards his goal.
Next, I wanted to incorporate the idea that obstacles affect everyone, no matter what age, color, gender, or goal you are trying to achieve. Besides being a fan of props, I am also a huge fan of football. So, I was thrilled to FINALLY be able to use this Derrick Coleman commercial that came out around the Superbowl. It brings a tear to my eye pretty much every time I watch it. What an inspirational story! We discussed the video as a class and also highlighted some other famous people, athletes and non-athletes, who reached their goals despite obstacles.
Keep turning those lemons into lemonade and Happy Counseling! ~ Angela