Grade Levels: K-3

In this lesson plan, students explore BrainPOP Jr. resources to learn about determination, perseverance, and grit.  Then they will use Make-a-Map or an offline concept map to brainstorm what it takes to accomplish a goal (e.g., positive thinking, taking breaks, etc) . Finally, they’ll create (and send if they’d like!) a determination postcard.


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Understand the concept of determination.
  2. Identify strategies for getting a job done.
  3. Encourage a friend or classmate to persevere in the face of a challenge.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Index cards (unlined if possible)
  • Brainstorm web (if not using the online Make-a-Map)


determination, persevere, stamina, grit, optimistic


  • Preview the movie Determination to plan for any adaptations.
  • Distribute index cards and markers
  • Lesson Procedure:

    1. Draw a brainstorm web on a whiteboard or other large display. Ask students to think of a time when they faced something challenging. If necessary, you can give an example or two such as learning to read or tying shoes. As students share, write their ideas on the brainstorm web. Then, ask what they did to accomplish these challenges and also what they did when they got stuck. Add their ideas and strategies to the web.
    2. After the discussion, explain to the class that it takes determination to do the things they discussed. Ask students to share what they think determination means. You can jot their definitions on the board. Now tell them that they are going to watch a BrainPOP Jr. movie all about determination and what to do when something is really hard.
    3. Play the movie Determination on the whiteboard or other large display for the whole class. Pause at various points to reinforce student understanding of key concepts.
    4. Next, open Make-a-Map from within the Determination topic, and either use the spider map template or create your own spider map. Type “determination” in the center.  Then watch the movie from within Make-a-Map and pause each time Annie shares an idea of what to do to accomplish a goal.
    5. Distribute index cards to each student. Prompt them to think about someone they know who is working toward something challenging, such as preparing for a race, studying for a big test, learning to do something new or difficult. The person could be a child or an adult; a family member or friend.
    6. Have students create a postcard for the person ideas and words of inspiration from their concept maps as well as drawing to go with it.