Recently, the 8th grade team asked me if I wanted to come talk to the entire class of 71 students. I jumped at the chance to get into the classroom with them. I was so grateful to have the students for 77 minutes.

77 minutes is essentially 2 class periods. I could get a lot done! While it was a bit stressful to pull together  77 minutes worth of material in less than a week, I asked some Facebook friends from Caught In The Middle School Counselors if they had any ideas. 

They came through, and I used one of the activities that was suggested.

I  really wanted to make this lesson impactful and meaningful. To accomplish that goal I asked myself a few important questions: What was my objective? What is my goal? How would it tie into my counseling program and program goals? 

Here’s what I came up with:

School Counseling Program Goal(s) addressed:

1. Decrease the number of students in grade 8 who are failing core courses. 

2. Students will develop a positive attitude toward work and learning. 

3. Students will develop self-confidence in their ability to succeed. 

ASCA Student Standards or ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors standards addressed:

Mindset standards: 2,5,6

Behavior Standards: Learning Standards 4,7

                                     Social Skills 6,7

Here is my presentation:

The activities are as follows:

Face the Cookie activity—hand each student an oreo.  Tell the students to place the oreo on his/her forehead.  Instruct the students to move the cookie from their head to their mouth using only their facial muscles.  Hands may only be used to catch the cookie from falling on the ground.  If his/her cookie falls, then the student must start over.  Once the cookie reaches his/her mouth, the student may eat the cookie.

Magic Carpet—Break students into groups of 12.  Hand each group a magic carpet (flooring paper).  Instruct students to stand on the magic carpet.  Both feet must be on the carpet and cannot be on the floor.  Tell them that in order for them to land the carpet, they must be able to flip the carpet over as they stand on it.  Again remind them that they must keep both feet on the carpet and may not step on the floor. 

Helium Stick—Using the same groups as the magic carpet activity, hand each group a hula hoop. Ask them to stand in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, with both pointer fingers in front of them at chest level.  Place the hula hoop on their fingers.  Although it is a natural instinct for the hula hoop to rise, have them work together to bring the hula hoop down to the floor. 

Here is a link to the Grit Survey:

This is the Exit Slip I used, it would be easy to make something very similar!

I’d like to know if you teach grit.  Feel free to share your favorite lesson or activity.  

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The Middle School Counselor Facebook Page

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Caught In The Middle School Counselors (Facebook Group)

High School Counselors’ Network (Facebook Group)

Elementary School Counselor Exchange (Facebook Group)

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