We are all resilient, as nature

ValueEthical & Social
OverviewThe idea is to let children understand how important it is to have passion and perseverance towards long term goals, which is how resilience has to be understood, using nature as an example.
Learning objectives● Get familiar with nature’s strategies to survive ● Stimulate relationships, wellness, healthy thinking, and meaning as ways to increase resilience ● Start developing an ability to physically, mentally and emotionally cope with a difficult situations
Skills developed● Explore about grit, perseverance and endurance through nature examples ● Identify and be able to develop perseverance and passionate attitudes at the mid-long term
MethodThe activity is very simple: the idea is to read a poem and try to make it meaningful for the students. The facilitator can lead the steps included below or adapt the activity using the tips included below. We understand resilience as “having passion and perseverance towards long term goals”. Perseverance and especially passion may sound unteachable …. but they aren’t. It just takes time and consistency.
MaterialsIf facilitators have a chance to take the children out, this activity can be done outside (in a forest or in a park near the school, showing them flowers that grow in their community). Otherwise, the facilitators can prepare some pictures or images of roses that they can find on the Internet and even explain that roses are hard to grow (roses are tough, but they do need sunshine and the more the better. In open, sunny gardens, roses will grow healthy, but in full shade, they will struggle to grow and never reach their full potential)
1. Read the poem from Tupac Shakur:
The Rose That Grew From Concrete
Did you hear about the rose that grew
from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature's law is wrong it
learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete
when no one else ever cared.
2. Then, ask what “concrete” means. Try to let children understand that life will have obstacles we will all have to overcome. Try to make them understand that we all are the rose, facing difficulties “to keep our dreams”.
3. Then, ask them about obstacles they have faced or are facing now: (you can introduce examples, adapted to their age and what they are learning at school: who is having trouble to learn to read or learn to sum? Who is having trouble keeping their “home responsibilities” done in time? And so on…). We ALL face obstacles every day.
4. Then, ask them when they had to give up because they felt it was impossible to go on. Try to find an example and tell them there is always a “hard part” to overcome when things get difficult.
5. Finally, raise the issue of “passions”: what are the passions in the group: ask them what they like doing most (you can introduce an example from your side: what is your passion? Show your excitement about an activity): sports, reading…
6. End this activity by watching a movie or reading a book:
Watch a movie:
Movie “Finding Nemo”.
Read a book:
There are many options, just as examples.
1. Read a book like: Jill Neimark’s  The Hugging Tree: A Story About Resilience.  https://www.apa.org/pubs/magination/441B157 suitable for 6-9 year old children.
2. “The little engine that could” to build perseverance:
You can even ask the children “to play characters” by reading each of them, in the parts of the book and then hold a debate around it:
- The Hugging Tree is sustained by the natural world and the kindness and compassion of one little boy. Eventually, the tree grows until it can hold and shelter others. This book calls to mind the potential in all of us: to thrive, despite times of struggle and difficulty.
- In the case of The Little Blue Engine: she had never been over the mountain but knew that she had the ability to accomplish this task. So, the moral is, believe in yourself. This is the first step to accomplishing great things in your community, your school, your work and beyond.
These steps we propose and those included under “tips” below will help the children develop their inner grittiness, putting them on the path towards happiness and success.
TipsAdditional materialsHow to apply online?What to do at home?
You can implement alternative activities (or sum up these activities to what we have proposed here) like watching movies or reading books in the class and all of them can be implemented face to face or during an online session.  
What to do at home?
Interesting readings to send to parents:
https://childhoodbynature.com/raising-resilient-kids-with-nature/ You can also connect this activity to the method proposed for the “RESPECT” topic, where children connect with trees in a way that they try to see them as friends (people). The goal is to understand and acknowledge the importance of trees in human lives and their existence in general as well as the value of the broader natural environment. The facilitator may also place emphasis on some “famous” trees that have been struggling to survive.   You can also show them how animals adapt to the weather: https://inventorsoftomorrowdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/how-animals-adapt-to-weather.pdf. Resilience is all around us. This pdf file shows with pictures how animals cope and face difficulties and how natural adaptations have helped them to survive.
AuthorTupak Shakur is the author of the poem “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”. This activity has been elaborated by M. Begoña Arenas (ITC).
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