“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:24 NIV
It’s the beginning of a new year in my character development series. If you have been following along you know that we focus on one word a week. If you hover over my character development tab you will find the 52 words of focus. Each word has 7-8 activities to help teach kids to develop these traits. Each word also has a scripture to memorize. You will have an activity you could do with your kids for every day of the year if you were to jump in with both feet. This year I am going to focus on literature that will enhance this series and support the ideas we are teaching. I will try and get ahold of these books at libraries, bookstores or online so I can give you my own reviews of some of the books. I will also do some more research to give you a more extensive list. At the beginning of the week, we worked on our verse and “I Will” Statements. I hope to do some of the outlined activities with my family too. This year I add the books. While reading each book, we would discuss how it related to our “I Will” statements and the meaning of the word of the week. Today I give you the first word in our character development series and books on perseverance. For more ideas on teaching perseverance, please visit my perseverance under my character development tab.
Books on Perseverance
* “Dream Big, Little Pig” by Kristi Yamaguchi – I found this book at the library. It is a great book about a little pig who is encouraged to dream big. This pig wants to be a star. Although it takes the pig awhile to find her “niche,” she finally nails it and becomes the star she always dreamed she would be. After reading the book, we also watched a YouTube video of Kristi in the Winter Olympics so they could better understand the author and how real perseverance has transformed her own life.
* “Carrot Seed” by Ruth Krauss – This is another book we found at the library and is about a little boy who plants a carrot seed. No one thinks it will sprout, but he is diligent in watering and caring for it. He sees the fruit of his labor. It is a short and sweet book.
* “Click, Clack, Moo – Cows that Type” by Dorren Cronin- This is a book we had on hand, and it is a favorite. It’s a book with a lot of humor. The cows are cold in the barn and become very insistent on receiving heating blankets from the farmer. Although he initially refuses, their perseverance eventually convinces him to cave.
* “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle – This book was really able to drive home the “I Will” statement that encourages us not to get distracted from our goals. I love the artwork of this book, and I love how focused the spider remains. This was found at the library.
* “Today I Will Fly” by Mo Willems – This is a great book for beginning readers. It is super cute and super easy to read. It has a pig who is convinced he will fly. The elephant is not so convinced that will happen. It’s the pig’s journey to make his dream a reality. We found this book at the library and after reading it watched a YouTube clip on the Wright brothers. I talked to them about how the Wright brothers also had a dream of flying that many thought was crazy, but in their perseverance they were able to see their dreams take flight…quite literally.
* “Go Out for the Team” is a Berenstain Bear book by Stan Berenstain – You find a character lesson in all the Berenstain Bear books. This one we had on hand, and I felt like it related to perseverance because it shows how the cubs had to persevere through a challenging tryout process to make the team.
* “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Suess. Everyone is familiar with persistence of “Sam I am,” and his convincing ways to get his friend to try green eggs and ham.
* “I Will Try” by Marilyn Jonovitz – This is a book we had on hand and is about a girl using role models as her influence to keep trying hard at gymnastics.
Thank you to one of my reader who added these reviews:
* Django: World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist – Django was a famous guitarist who got caught in a fire and was left with a paralyzed 3rd and 4th finger on the left hand. Doctors said he would never be able to play guitar again. But instead of giving up, he became world famous for creating an entirely new style of jazz using the few fingers remaining. Also a great way to expose kids to jazz music!
* Fanny by Holly Hobby – This story is about a girl who is told by her mom that she can’t have a certain doll because her mom doesn’t like how it looks. So instead of whining and frustrated, she finds a solution – to make her own doll! I think it’s a great book to teach kids that perseverance doesn’t necessarily mean doing something over and over when it’s obviously not going to work (such as trying to convince mom to change her mind!). Sometimes, the better course of action is to find another solution and work hard to resolve the problem.
* Betty Bunny Wants a Goal by Michael Caplan – Cute story that shows that although optimism is key, perseverance and practice is often needed in order to get results.
* Oops a Daisy by Claire Freedman – Great story about a little bunny who just can’t seem to learn to hop
And more ideas:
* Pizza for Everyone by Josh and Dottie McDowell
* The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
*Inch & Miles by John R. Wooden
*Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
*The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper
* Fanny by Holly Hobbie
*Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy
* Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
* Oh the Places You will Go by Dr. Seuss
* Koala Lou by Mem Fox
* The Art Lesson by Tomie DePaola
* “I Can’t Said the Ant” by Polly Cameron