During Swooper Citizens this week, Ms. Atkinson and I wanted to really challenge the kindergarten and first grade students with activities that would help them learn and feel perseverance (never giving up). What better way than a rock wall activity?!

But first we asked students to think about something Albert Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m so smart. It’s just that I stay with problems longer.” We questioned, “What does that mean? and “What is perseverance?” and “How does that show perseverance?”We talked about activities, games, concepts, or skills that are hard and need extra time and dedication to master….

Cue the rock wall….

The task was for students to cross the rock wall using only the red pieces…you should have heard the gasps! The students lined up and readied themselves for their turns. Some were talking strategy, while others want to just hop on and get started.




As you can see, some of the read holds are REALLY far apart!!

When students fell off, they jumped right back on. EVERY one of the kindergartners fell off several times and EVERY student got right back on over and over again! Go perseverance!!

We reconvened in the classroom to enjoy a special read aloud, Rosie Revere, Engineer.


“Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she’s a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. When her great-great-aunt Rose (Rosie the Riveter) comes for a visit and mentions her one unfinished goal–to fly–Rosie sets to work building a contraption to make her aunt’s dream come true. But when her contraption doesn’t fly but rather hovers for a moment and then crashes, Rosie deems the invention a failure. On the contrary, Aunt Rose insists that Rosie’s contraption was a raging success. You can only truly fail, she explains, if you quit.”

Time for an engineering challenge! Students were tasked to make a “ball in cup” game. First, they decorated a cup.


Then we tied a wooden ball to a piece of yarn. The yarn was then tied to the cup. We took a critical look at the length of the string, noticing that balls with a longer string were more difficult to land in the cup…and also more of a hazard! Students tried to catch the ball in the cup with only using one hand….it sounds easier than it actually is! We worked to get the length of the string right, as well as give each student a lot of game space so that there were no head or teeth knocks….

Parents, you will be handed these games in car line tomorrow and may do as you wish with them… hindsight, a lighter ball would be a better idea 🙂

We wrapped up the lesson with a journal entry.