These questions and activities provide opportunities for students to notice emotional cues and limiting beliefs and identify alternate responses to learn to persist. The discussion is a way to apply the affirmation to each of the five core competencies of social and emotional learning.

We provide the idea-starters with the intent that teachers can develop creative variations to adapt to age-appropriate use for their students.



  • Write or say the affirmation together: I have persistence in what I believe.
  • Persistence means keeping on going when you feel like quitting. Describe how you react when you feel like quitting.
    • What thoughts do you have?
    • What emotions do you experience?
    • How does your body react?
  • Now describe how you feel when you keep going even when you wanted to quit.


  • If you believe you are a capable person, you are less likely to quit. Write a paragraph or pair with a friend to discuss the following:
    • My short-term goal
    • Acknowledge my feelings (scared, nervous, excited, eager, etc.)
    • Why I believe I can do it.
    • A positive statement about what success will look like.
  • List some positive beliefs that we can work on to replace limiting beliefs:
    • Example: I believe I can improve.
    • Example: I believe I am competent.

Responsible decision-making

  • How do you know when you should persist with something and when you should change direction or try a new goal?
  • Discuss in a group or with partners some examples of short-term goals, and how each will take persistence.
  • Choose one of these statements to complete:
    • I believe mistakes help me learn to persist because….
    • I believe mistakes are not helpful for persistence because…

Social awareness

  • Act it out: work in small groups to create a skit that demonstrates persistence in what you believe.
  • Turn each of these statements around to a positive:
    • Example: I can’t do this… (yet, but I will learn).
    • It’s too hard…
    • I don’t know how…
    • I need help…
    • I don’t get it…
    • I made a mistake…
    • I want to quit.

Relationship skills

  • Discuss: what is the difference between a fixed and a growth mindset?
  • Play a short game in small groups. Then come back and discuss:
    • Where did you catch yourself having a fixed mindset during the game?
    • Did you want to quit? Why?
    • How did you overcome a challenge and persist?
    • Were there any arguments during the game? How did you resolve them?


Next week’s SEL focus: I BELIEVE IN MYSELF

To find the full-size posters to use in your classroom (or the magnet or postcard size) visit our store.

Suggestion for virtual learning:

  • Purchase a pack of 30 postcards for the teacher to hold the appropriate one up to the screen during discussion.
  • Purchase a pack of 30 small hand-off notes for each student to have at home with them. This allows for an interactive and hands-on experience.