Tuesday is for Teachers, Parents, and Grandparents

Continuing today in our theme of Grit and Growth Mindset . Click on the category list to see previous posts on this topic.

Is persistence different from perseverance? The definitions are very similar; to define persevere the word “persist” is used. Both indicate continuing despite obstacles, difficulties, or discouragement.

As I searched for more children’s books I found persistence popping up. Sometimes, however,  persistence can be used in a negative way, such as “If you continue to persist in whining, we will go straight home!”  Ever said those words?

But this definition seems to fit in that context for persistence: to last or endure tenaciously.



The Tale of the Teeny, Tiny Ant by Teresa Allen; appropriate for 3-7 year olds.

I found this cute picture book for teaching Persistence:









For older children (5 and up) biographies are excellent books that teach persistence in the lives of real people. Nelson Mandela’s life exemplified persistence. This 32 page book contains short chapters, a glossary, timeline, and index. The definition of persistence is introduced with the concept of setting a goal. So many opportunities for teaching in this book!

Long Walk

Another great book on Mandela is an abridged version of his autobiography, The Long Walk Home. It is written for children ages 7-11. 









I have a beautiful picture book for younger children on Mandela’s life in my personal library. Mandela: From the Life of the South African Statesman is written and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. I just love the soft pastel pictures of browns, tans, and oranges from the South African landscape.

Educators have been emphasizing reading non-fiction in the last few years. It is a critical skill that requires a different type of reading and sometimes encouragement to choose these books. We have learned that boys and men frequently choose non-fiction as their preference in reading over fiction.

When you read aloud to your children or grandchildren, introduce the various parts of a non-fiction book by the correct names: index, glossary, chapter titles, etc. Show them how to find information in a non-fiction book. And ask questions, challenge them to retell the story or their favorite part.

Then remind them of persistence when they really want to give up on a task. When they struggle with a task, they may need help with strategies (or a hint). Suggestions:

Let’s do one together, out loud.

Let me explain in another way with different words.

What part is difficult for you? Let’s look at them.

You can do it – it’s touch, but you can; let’s break it down into steps.

Your persistence will pay off.

I am thankful for beautiful books about heroes who can be examples of persistence and perseverance to children.



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