Perseverance - Novice High

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes: Students will learn about perseverance as a trait, learn from examplars of perseverance, and learn that focus, flexibility, and effort are key to perseverance. Perseverant people focus on what they can do. Language Learning Outcomes: Students will use synonyms to better understand words, ask questions about someone, and practice inference.

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. learn about perseverance as a trait.
  2. learn from examplars of perseverance.
  3. learn that focus, flexibility, and effort are key to perseverance. Perseverant people focus on what they can do.

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. use synonyms to better understand words.
  2. ask questions about someone.
  3. practice inference.

Materials Needed


Perseverance means persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

Retrieved and adapted from

Give students a few minutes to discuss the relationship between resilience and perseverance. Then discuss it as a class.

Activity 1: Speaking/Listening

Put the students in small groups. Ask them to discuss what they remember resilience means.

  • Ask groups to share what they remembered and talked about.

Perseverance: determination to keep trying to achieve something in spite of difficulties

Resilience: the ability to become strong, happy, or successful again after a difficult situation or event

  • How are perseverance and resilience connected? 

Definition retrieved from

Activity 2: Vocabulary

Go over the following words together. 

  • hope
  • determined
  • faith
  • persist
  • goal
  • decision
  • resilience
  • diligence
  • dedication
  • endurance
  • patience
  • failure 
  • try 
  • give up 
  • work hard 

Have students choose which words are related to perseverance. 

Activity 3: Reading/Speaking 

Read the following passage as a class. You may want to go over vocabulary words before, during, or after reading. 

Thomas Edison, born in 1847, had a lot of trouble in school. He got poor grades and didn’t listen to the teacher. Instead, he would daydream. Perhaps he daydreamed about interesting things he could make. His mother decided that she would teach Thomas at home. He started reading as many books as he could to learn a lot about many different subjects.

Edison was most interested in learning how things were put together and how they worked. He became a great student when he was able to study what interested him.

Thomas Edison went on to become a very famous inventor. He invented the motion picture camera and the phonograph. He also improved the light bulb, electric motor, and typewriter. He invented too many things to list! Edison created over 1,000 new things. His home and laboratory in New Jersey is now a museum.

Retrieved from:

  • How did Thomas Edison persevere? 
  • How was he resilient?  

Activity 4: Speaking/Listening

Watch the following video: Perseverance - a 2D Animated Short Film

Ask students to discuss the following questions: 

  1. What is the problem? 
  2. What does the mouse want? 
  3. What does he do to get what he wants? 
  4. How many times does he try? 
  5. Does he get what he wants the first time? 
  6. How does the mouse persevere? 

Activity 5: Writing/Speaking

Think of an example from your life about when you persevered. Write the story down using these questions: 

  1. What was the problem? 
  2. What did you want? 
  3. How did you get what you wanted? 
  4. How many times did you have to try? 
  5. How did you persevere? 

After answering the questions, have students share what you wrote with a partner. Each partner should interview the other by asking the questions. 

  • Example: 
    • Partner A: What was the problem? 
    • Partner B: I failed a math test. 


Ask someone outside of your class the same interview questions from Activity 5 and write down their answers. 


Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 

Have someone share what their friend said in the interview.

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