GRIT! What kids need to succeed.

This was one of the first things we read in my grade 8 classroom. It’s a great introduction to the learning skills.

There are two parts to this lesson for the first week of school. I like to start with the Globe & Mail Article:

Why Kids need to fail to succeed.

1. Ask kids what they think about the title. Start a discussion on that concept.  Have you ever failed at something? What did you do?

2. Have kids read and highlight the article: Crash, Burn, Achieve – why kids need to fail

The article is a challenging read, but we broke it down into it’s core messages

  1. Grit = Resistance, persistence, perseverance, stick-to-itiveness, and passion. IQ matters a lot in terms of what your freshman GPA is, but graduating from college has much more to do with character strengths like persistence, perseverance and grit. It’s that ability to deal with setbacks, because in college you’re always going to have setbacks – whether it’s not being able to pay a tuition bill, or not getting along with your roommate, or failing a class.

    • In chess, no matter how good you are, you lose about half your games. And even when you win, you’re making terrible mistakes all the time. So you have to figure out a strategy for dealing with failure.
      1. QUIT: So there are kids who, when they try to play chess and start to fail, they just decide, “Oh, I don’t really care about chess. I’m losing too much.”
      2. GET DOWN:  And there are those who beat themselves up about it. Neither group does all that well.
      3. GRIT: But a third group, which Ms. Spiegel tries to develop, is made up of kids who take their failures very seriously but divorce themselves from it a little bit; they say, “Okay, let me actually analyze the mistakes that I made: What can I do differently next time? ”
  1. If you want to develop kids’ self-esteem, the best way to do it is to praise everything they do and make excuses for their failures. But if you want to develop their character, you do almost the opposite: You let them fail and don’t hide their failures from them or from anybody else – not to make them feel lousy about themselves, but to give them the tools to succeed next time.

Next, follow up with Angela Lee Duquett’s Ted Talk on Grit.

The Key to Success? Grit

I would follow up on this video with a free write: a time when you’ve failed, when things have been too easy, etc…

Take the Quiz

Do you have Grit?

Set Goals

After this is done, I would lead into goal setting: for the week, month, year, 5 years, 10 years!  Tell them not to set goals that they THINK they will achieve, but goals in which they WANT to achieve, even if they think it’s too hard.  Perhaps that will be my next post, on goal setting.

Stay tuned!


One thought on “GRIT! What kids need to succeed.

  1. Just found this blog. Lots of great information! I’ve been googling at what level a grade 2 student should be reading by the end of the school year. My children go to a school in Peel Region. Thanks

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