Games and activities that teach perseverance encourage students to keep working on a task despite its difficulty. They learn to have patience and a positive attitude towards completing a project. Developing skills to persevere through difficult tasks may push kids to try new activities, apply more effort to academic work, budget and save money and follow through with an assignment to the end.
Provide each child with a small container filled half way with whipping cream. Have them put the lid on and shake the container until it turns to butter. Reinforce that this is a task that takes some time to complete, but the outcome provides butter that they will be able to spread on bread to eat. You can also have preschoolers create the tallest tower they can by stacking blocks. Encourage patience and basic planning while building. Praise each child for their efforts.
Give each student an ice cube with a penny frozen inside. Explain that they are to get the penny out of the ice cube without smashing it or putting it in their mouth. This encourages kids to use creativity and discuss options with their peers to complete the task. Relay races require children to work as a team and push on through difficult parts of the race. Urge the kids to strategize how to complete each part of the relay beforehand with their team and do not forget to cheer each other on.
Use games that require strategy to encourage perseverance with middle school students. Game such as chess and checkers involve kids in planning a variety of moves to conquer the opponent. Planning successful strategies pushes kids to keep at the game and try new tactics to win. Have the students create a “human knot.” Stand in a circle, put all hands into the center and grab another hand making sure you do not grab the person next to you. The kids will have to work together to “untie” their arms and push themselves to think creatively.
Instruct students that they will be creating a sculpture in teams. The sculpture is to have a theme that is decided on by the group and can be built using a variety of materials. Some possible materials can include wood, paperclips, paper and tape. The students must work together to figure out ways to attach items so the sculpture will be free standing. Taking part in an oral debate can also teach perseverance to high school kids. Students should research and plan their argument before the debate. Encourage students to keep working to “win” the debate. If their argument is not favored, support them in discovering what could be improved upon.
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