Persistent Drop of Water

6, 7, 8

Students analyze the meaning of personal best and recognize the value of persistence in doing their best.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • discuss the gentle persistence of water in creating the Grand Canyon.
  • work in small groups to complete a chart of the Frayer Model that defines personal best.
  • read the charts of the other groups.
  • picture of the Grand Canyon (see Bibliographical References)
  • one sheet of chart paper for each group of four students
  • markers
  • one copy of Handout One: Frayer Model for each group

Photos of Grand Canyon:


  1. Anticipatory Set

    Show a picture of the Grand Canyon. Ask students to raise their hands if they have been to the Grand Canyon. Talk about their impressions of its beauty and attributes. Ask the students if they know what mighty force carved that deep rocky gorge that is over one mile deep, up to 18 miles across and nearly 300 miles long. Tell them that it was mostly the persistence [continuing without change for a long period] of water eroding away the rock for millions of years that slowly carved the Grand Canyon. Read the following quote by Lucretius: "The drops of rain make a hole in the stone not by violence but by oft falling." Ask the students, "What can we learn from water about how to get things done?"

  2. Ask students to reflect on what is the Grand Canyon (a big accomplishment) in their lives. Remind them when they meet obstacles and difficulties to think like the water by doing their personal best persistently (without giving up).

  3. Tell the students that you want them to analyze what it means to do their personal best. Put the students into groups of four and give each team a copy of Handout One: Frayer Model and a piece of chart paper and some markers. As a team, they will analyze and define personal best. They will create an attractive model of the Frayer model on the chart paper and fill in the parts with appropriate ideas: characteristics of personal best, examples, non-examples, and a definition of personal best.

  4. Give the students ten minutes to complete the chart.

  5. Post the charts and have the groups walk by all the charts and read one another's models. Discuss observations.


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.