Classroom Ninja Training: Perseverance

Aug 24, 2015

This year we are first grade ninjas!  Our hope is that our students will embody the following qualities this year: bravery, perseverance, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, strategic behavior, and curiosity.  Our first day of training revolved around bravery.  Day two of our Ninja Training was all about perseverance.

I am pretty sure that I've been most excited about the activities for this day!  After my summer math PD, I realized just how important this skill is for our little first graders.  And how hard it can be for some (such as my own six year old).

Our lesson began with a definition:

After some whole brain "mirroring" and "teach...okay," they were ready for their first ninja challenge of the day.  With a partner, our firsties had to get a beach ball from one side of the playground to the other side without using hands and arms.

It was hard for them but we cheered them on and used the word perseverance over and over and over again!  After everyone crossed the finish line, it was time for challenge two!

Each of the balls above are comprised of two fruit snack bags and TONS of plastic wrap.  With a partner, students were asked to unwrap these balls.  This required an extreme amount of perseverance for them!!

The smiles just spread across their faces when they finally got the center and found two bags of fruit snacks.  One for them and one for their partner to take home.  It was obvious that there was a sense of accomplishment in the air.
To complete the lesson, all the first graders headed back inside to review the meaning of perseverance and connect it to the story "Fox Makes Friends."

Fox is bored and his mom tells him to go out to make some friends.  Fox misunderstands this statement.  He physically builds friends out of different materials.  But some other animals comes to help.  After persevering through the construction of several different "friends," Fox realizes that he did make two new friends: Rabbit and Squirrel.

Once the afternoon rolled around, our firsties seemed to have a pretty good understanding of what persevering meant. But we had one more ninja challenge.  Blowing bubbles with gum!

After reading "Whistle for Willie," we asked our firsties to try blowing a bubble.  Our goal with this challenge was for them to understand that sometimes we have to persevere over time.  It may take days, weeks, or months to learn how to do something.

We really wanted our firsties to remember all of their ninja challenges for the day.  Each student received a blank notecard and one glass bead.

They were asked to draw a self portrait and then they added a glass bead to their mouth to look like a bubble.  So cute!! And now they have a "souvenir" from our day of perseverance!

As we continue on our path to be first grade ninjas, I will share our lessons with you!  Check back this week!


  1. The picture with the "bubble" is such a great idea! I'm sure your kiddos love their souvenir. I can imagine their smiles as they made it to the fruit snacks. You picked some great traits for them to develop this year.

  2. I love how you are creating great experiences for your firsties. I really wish I was on your team, or at least your student!


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