What Does It Mean to Persevere?

Last year, I shared the books we read to learn about perseverance as well as our "What Does It Mean to Persevere" board.  Here's an updated look at the books from this school year!
Teaching perseverance: Create anchors with books that show kids how to persevere and what it looks like.

I love using picture books to create strong anchors that we can reference in our classroom.  These books, like our "How to Make a Friend Board" gave us some good remember whens to refer to.

**A note about teaching perseverance

Soooooo, kids already know how to persevere.  Unfortunately, we don't give them the same opportunities or language in school that is used outside of school.  Ask your kids what they need to do at school to learn.  The answers will horrify you-because they're all compliance behaviors.  We've given them the message over and over and over that they need to be quiet, listen to the teacher, and do their work, and POOF they'll have success.

But ask your kids if they play Mindcraft (or Fortnite or whatever).  For the kids that raise their hands, ask them what Mindcraft school they went to and who their teacher was.  They'll all laugh, but if they didn't go to school, how did they learn?

We can use these ideas and help students transfer them into the classroom by using experiences they're familiar with and great stories to anchor those ideas.

Set Goals

Magic Ramen is a newer book, and I just love it.  I didn't realize there was so much to know about instant ramen.  The inventer, Momofuku Ando, focused on one part of the process at a time.  This would be a great way to connect to setting small goals along the way.

Make a Plan

Tiny T. Rex is truly one of the most darling books ever.  Tiny wants to give his best friend a hug, but with his short arms and tiny size, this is not an easy task.  He asks advice (some is not good) and eventually makes a plan to practice.  Tiny's plans don't work at first, but he doesn't give up until he's able to give Pointy the hug he needs.
P.S. You won't want to miss the second Tiny book, Tiny T. Rex and the Very Very Dark.

Words Matter

Game Changers is a good one.  It's like the Dolly Parton challenge-get you a book that does it all.  Buried in this amazing story are wise words from Venus and Serena Williams' mother that has stuck with me.  "Whatever you become, you become in your head first."  I love using this to talk to kids about the words they use with themselves on the way to achieving a goal.

Study Hard and Focus

The Girl with a Mind for Math tells the story of Raye Montague. Determined to become an engineer, she perseveres despite being denied access to schools, jobs, and opportunities because of racism and sexism.
**I used the words study hard and focus because those were the words used in the letter from Raye Montague included in the book. We discussed how her version of study hard and focus is different from the way we typically think of it in our own classroom. You can read more about her in this article from the New York Times written after passed away in 2018.
This book is part of the Amazing Scientist series by Julia Finley Mosca.  You'll definitely want to check out The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes, The Astronaut with a Song for the Stars, and The Girl Who Thought in Pictures.

Progress Over Perfection

In Ish, after Ramon's older brother criticizes his drawing, he loses the joy in the act of drawing to the disappointment in the missing perfection.  Ramon's little sister, Marisol, helps him see the value in his work that isn't perfect and finding the joy again in drawing vs. getting something "just right".
Ish is part of Peter Reynold's Creatrilogy series.  The Dot and Sky Color finish this trilogy.

Don't Let Fear Hold You Back

After the Fall tells the story of Humpty Dumpty after his great failure.  Students see that his fear almost holds him back from who he was truly meant to be.  This book is wonderfully illustrated and is also a great example from the value of going back to reread a book with a different lens.
After reading A Computer Called Katherine recently, I'm think about swapping this one out for next year.  There is a quote from her in the back that says, "There is no such thing as a dumb question." I think that might be more relatable for students than Humpty Dumpty.

Be Brave

The Thing Lou Couldn't Do tells the story of Lou and all the brave things she and her adventure loving friends do-until the day her friends decide to climb a tree.  Lou comes up with a list of reasons she can't climb the tree (her arm is sore, she needs to walk the cat, she just doesn't want to) before finally facing her fear.

Think Outside the Box

In What Do You Do with an Idea?, the "idea" is represented as a thing (a darling little egg with legs and a crown thing) that the main character must take care of.  His idea may be a little strange or weird or odd, but that we can give our ideas time and space to grow.
What Do You Do with a Problem? is another wonderful book from Kobi Yamada, too!

The Details

You can download an editable Google Slides file here to print your own or edit them to change the text, font, or colors.  The bulletin board signs are just two rectangles with a text box, so you can also easily make your own in Google Slides or PowerPoint.

The pictures I made by taking a picture of the book cover using the app Cam Scanner. It fixes the distortion really nicely. You can read more about how to use the Cam Scan app here.
I know some people get book cover images from the GoodReads website for #classroombookaday displays, so that would work, too. I printed the covers on cardstock at about 6 inches wide.