Thursday, May 15, 2014

It's that time of year…can we persevere?

I don't know whose more anxious for school to be over, the kids or this worn out counselor.
Most of my students can't understand why they have to "learn" post TCAP (and some days I don't blame them).  To tackle the senior-itis blues we are discussing perseverance in 2nd and 3rd grade.

Not long ago I blogged about two great books and art activities on this topic. Our school didn't have either book, but they did have "Leonardo The Terrible Monster" by Mo Willems. I ADORE this book.

So here's what we did:

Before we read:
1) Asked/discussed what the students knew about perseverance. We created a working definition and I asked them to look for examples of perseverance in the book based on their definition.

2) Before we even read I asked the students what they could tell about the story just based on the title. Several thought it meant he was always getting in trouble, that he was really scary, and some accurately guessed that he was terrible at being the monster.

After we read:
1) Asked the students to brainstorm personal things they want to get better at or that requires them to show perseverance. I asked them not only for academic examples, but also for social, emotional, and extra curricular examples.
Explaining our presentation of monsters: "Leonardo the Terrible Monster" by Mo Willems is the story of a monster who is terrible at being monster. He tries and tries, and doesn't give up! In the end he learns while he might be a terrible monster, he is a very successful friend. We aren't always perfect at what we try, but these student's are ready to persevere. Each perseverance monster represents hw we can be successful if we try our personal best.  

2) Made name tags from this free printable on TPT by Erin from Creating and Teaching. Yay!

3) Each student shared their monster and we tried to guess what they represented.
This student was working on her archery skills. 

This student wanted to improve on his friendship skills.  So his monster is introducing himself to a new friend and asking if they can be friends =)

This student wanted to improve on her academic. 

This student wanted to work on his spelling.

This student is working on his football skills.

This student was improving at the ballet bar. 

This monster is yelling "I can't hear you" because this student is trying to improve his listening skills.

One class had extra time so we showed "I Need My Monster" from It's about a boy whose monster goes fishing for the night and we can't sleep because there is no monster under the bed. He goes a job hunt for the "perfect monster." It was a cute ending to our lesson.


  1. Oh, these drawings are fantastic! Another fun monster book is The Monstore by Tara Lazar