A Long Walk

6, 7, 8

Students look for examples of personal best in a movie about perseverance and discuss the value of working toward personal best even when it is difficult.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • watch a video about a man with cerebral palsy who perseveres in a difficult situation.
  • Internet access to watch a video-- If Internet is not available, read about DJ Gregory in the link provided (video and text links available in Bibliographical References)

ESPN. "Walk On" video. http://search.espn.com/walk-on/ [search terms "walk on" and "ESPN sports video" and "DJ Gregory"]

ABC News. "Person of the Week: DJ Gregory" https://abcnews.go.com/WN/PersonOfWeek/story?id=6254778&page=1


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Share your feelings about one of your favorite activities, such as walking, playing golf, playing the piano, or reading novels. Tell the students how you would feel at first if an accident caused you to be unable to do that activity anymore. Then explain what steps you would take to make sure you could do it again. Through your description, show the students that you wouldn't be defeated by your circumstances; you would persevere and find a way to do your favorite activity. Lead them to understand you might not work so hard if it wasn't your favorite activity. Ask them to reflect on what their favorite activities are; the ones they would persevere to be able to do in tough circumstances.

  2. Tell the students that they are going to watch a twelve-minute video about perseverance [sticking with a goal] and doing your personal best. Ask them to listen for examples of perseverance in the video and to take notes so they can discuss them after the movie. Show the 12 minute movie "Walk On."[search online with terms "walk on" and "ESPN sports video" and "DJ Gregory"] Note: if Internet is unavailable for this video, see Bibliographical References for access to a written version of DJ's story.

  3. Discuss the specific examples of perseverance in the video from their notes, including the perseverance of DJ's parents when they were told their son would never walk and the perseverance of DJ in meeting his walking goal.

  4. Ask the following discussion questions:

    • How would you define "a challenge"? 
    • In what way did DJ's parents persevere when he was a baby and toddler? 
    • In what ways did DJ persevere through challenges?
    • What is a big or small challenge that could get you down? What steps can you take or did you take to move through the challenge?
    • What are the benefits of perseverance?

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify civil society organizations that protect and speak for minority viewpoints.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Explain and give examples of enlightened self-interest, egoism, and altruism as they relate to philanthropy.