This unit is a whole class enrichment appropriate for 3rd-6th grades. It includes an extension for advanced and gifted learners.
Resilience is a strong part of a growth mind set. The ability to “bounce back,” persevere, try it again, and re-group to meet perceived setbacks is one of the keys to a growth mind set.
I haven’t learned that yet.
I am assuming you’ve already started the conversation with your students about setting goals, trying hard, and seeing un-successful attempts as a pathway to success. This lesson addresses resilience specifically but cannot stand in isolation from the other components of a growth mindset. You may have already spoken about resilience as well. That’s fine. This lesson will work as either an introduction or a reinforcing lesson on resilience.
What is Greatness? Students watch short videos about greatness, think critically, and respond in pairs and in a large group.
Bouncing Back—Building Metaphors: Students connect a bouncy ball to the concept of resilience through a demonstration, critical thinking, and discussion.
Class Data Challenge: Students use their bouncy balls for a several purposes. First, they gather data in a fun “bouncing” activity; and second, they use their experience to learn more about resilience and to think critically. The activity concludes with a data interpretation and discussion about fractions and probability.
Empowering Words of Encouragement: Students brainstorm empowering messages, write the messages on bouncy balls, and then take the ball home with them as a reminder about the power of resilience.
Extension—Bouncing Balls: Students examine action/reaction by dropping their bouncy balls from different heights and recording the results on a data sheet. Students discuss percentages and their meanings, learn how decimals apply to the metric system, and convert decimals to percentages.
Time: At least 2 hours—easily broken into shorter sessions.
Level: 3-6 grades
Materials: Bouncy balls (for cheap in bulk on Amazon) 38mm diameter or 1.5 inches