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Perseverance

Persist and Persevere Lesson   © Jenny Jenkins 2015    www.valueslessonsnz.com
Have the slogan 'Persist and Persevere' displayed in a prominent place.
Other lesson ideas about perseverance are listed at the side and bottom of this page.

Introduction
What does it mean to be stubborn? What does it mean to persevere? What's the difference? 
The Salmon is a fish that shows persistent perseverance. At the end of its life it resolutely swims upstream, usually against a strong current, to lay its eggs in the upper reaches of the river where it was born. It will even leap up 30 meter high waterfalls to get there. It braces itself and springs with all its might. And if it doesn’t succeed, it tries again—and again—until it makes it right to the top. Then it continues on to the next challenge, not giving up until it reaches it's goal; the pool where it was born.
Ref: http://www.animalsinthebible.org/the-salmon--steadfast-endurance Image: http://www.revealingwisdom.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Salmon-Waterfall1.jpg;https://st.depositphotos.com/1695366/1391/v/950/depositphotos_13917287-stock-illustration-cartoon-man-threading-needle.jpg
Movie clip: Leaping salmon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vv12LfETxe0 (1 minute) 
Lesson                                    Image: https://simplyknowledge23.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/trying.jpg
1.  Has anyone tried really hard to do something difficult, like a new stunt on a bike or skateboard, learning to tie a bow or even just threading a needle, and then finally managed to do it? How did you feel? (proud, exhilarated, satisfied etc.)
2.  What does it feel like to try really hard to do something, and then finally give up? (disappointing, frustrating)
3.  Why do people give up? (too hard, get discouraged, can't find a way to do it, deciding it's not worth it, thinking you'll never be able to do it etc.)
4.  What kind of values would you show if you kept trying? (Persistence, perseverance, endurance, determination, dedication, stubbornness, stamina, faith, drive, courage etc.) 
How do you develop these values? (By not quitting.)
5.  What questions do you need to ask yourself before you give up on something? (How important is this goal? Is it possible or not? Is there another way to do it? Can I get help from others?)
6.  When may it be wise to give up before you reach your goal? (If someone might be hurt by you continuing, if you realise it is impossible, if you aren't ready yet or the timing isn't right, if something more important is at risk etc.) 
7.  When is it wise to persist and persevere? (When it is important to you, when you know that you can make it happen if you just try long enough.)
8. There is a common saying about perseverance. If at first... (you don't succeed, try, try again!)
9. What could help you not to give up? Some-one else believing in you can make the difference between persevering, meeting your goal and finishing your task, or quitting. Lets make a list of things we can say to encourage others who are trying hard to do something difficult. (Don't give up. Keep at it. Go for it! No pain, no gain. Hang in there. Stick at it. You're a winner. Keep on keeping on etc.)
10. What is a strategy for persevering? (Keeping your eye on your goal. Seeing a job through to the end. Not being distracted. Taking a break to think about other ways it could be done. Realising that success doesn't come easily. Being prepared to pay the price. Giving yourself more time than you expected to need.)
11. What's the hardest time to stick at a task? (Near the end) Why is it the most important time to not give up? (You could be close to a breakthrough, all the time spent so far would be wasted)

Role Model: Thomas A. Edison
Thomas Edison was a remarkable man, not just because he invented more new things than anyone else, although he did. He invented a workable lightbulb; the phonograph (the first kind of record player); the microphone; the first movie camera and an electric power station (powerplant). But the real secret to his success was his persistent perseverence.
He was born in 1847 and was the youngest of seven children in his family. His mother was a teacher and she always encouraged him to read. Thomas had a passion for learning, and he was always asking questions. He quickly developed a great interest in science, especially chemistry.   When he was ten years old, he set up a small laboratory in the basement of the family home. When he was twelve, he worked as a train boy on the Grand Trunk Railway, and he was allowed to move his laboratory to an empty rail wagon.
As an adult, one of his most challenging projects was inventing the lightbulb. Other scientists around the world were also working on the same problem. The hardest part was finding the right material to use for the filament; the wire inside the glass bulb that lights up brightly when electricity flows through it. He tried wire made from every kind of metal. None worked well enough. He tried hundreds, then thousands of different substances, and each failed.
When he reached experiment 9,999 he was asked by a reporter, "Sir, are you going to fail 10,000 times?" Edison confidently replied, "I have not failed at each attempt; rather I've succeeded at discovering another way not to invent an electric lamp." He found that he could use different kinds of wood if he burned them to charcoal first. After trying all the common woods, he finally found one that burned brightly and lasted far longer than all the others; bamboo. And that invention changed the world.
 The first secret behind Thomas Edison's persistence is that he KNEW his inventions would work because he discovered a system that would eventually make them work. He holds the record on the number of U.S. patents because he learned how to fail systematically without labeling himself a failure. Edison set up a method of testing each possible solution and eliminating all of the ones that didn't work. As more ways didn't work he got more excited, because he knew that he was getting closer to finding the solution that would work. Thomas Edison was not lazy, but he was known to sit for hours thinking of ways to make his inventions work. He remained persistent, even after many failed attempts, because he never ran out of ideas.  Thomas Edison didn't stop at 3 alternatives, or 10 or 100. No he didn't even stop at 10,000. Edison had persistence. When you have a solution that doesn't work out, don't give up. Look at the situation in the way that Thomas Edison did and congratulate yourself for finding another way that didn't work. You'll have gained an attitude of persistent perserverance.

Resource: Randy Gilbert, a.k.a. ‘Dr. Proactive, the Master Life Builder’ http://empoweringmessages.com/articles/1141771876_Thomas_Edisons_3_Secrets_of_Persistence_by_Randy_Gilbert.shtml http://thecharacternetwork.org/the-thomas-edison-story/ 
Image: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fc/PSM_V13_D400_Thomas_A_Edison.jpg/400px-PSM_V13_D400_Thomas_A_Edison.jpg

Optional Movie clip: Puppet clip of Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb (Ages 5-9) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1lKwZTtzIY (1.5 minutes)
Quick summary of Edison inventing the light bulb (Ages 7-12) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wkjlSZt0ko (1.5 minutes)

This Week's Challenge
Encourage someone every day who is showing perseverance. Keep a log. Report back to the class at the end of the week.

Begin the Next Lesson with Revision
1. What are some other words for perseverance? (Persistence, endurance, tenacity, determination, dedication, stubbornness)
2. What are the words you used this week when you encouraged someone to persevere?
3. Who was encouraged to persist and persevere by someone else this week? How did it make you feel?

Poster