Talking Heads

6, 7, 8

In this lesson, as a reflection exercise on perseverance, students illustrate a conversation about perseverance between Lyndon B Johnson and an imaginary person.

PrintOne 20-minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • define the traits of perseverance and its opposite.
  • illustrate an imaginary conversation about perseverance.
  • read the illustrated conversations of the other students.


  1. Anticipatory Set Write the word perseverance on the board. Draw a T-chart below it. Ask the students to fill in the T-chart with words that describe perseverance on one side and words that describe the opposite of perseverance on the other side.

  2. Sketch a cartoon face of a man on the board. Write the following quote in a speech bubble coming from his mouth: "It is the excitement of becoming--always becoming, trying, probing, falling, resting, and trying again--but always trying and always gaining."

  3. Tell the students that this a quote from Lyndon B. Johnson. Review the role of President Johnson in Texas and as President of the United States.

  4. Tell the students to sketch a "talking heads" conversation between two people, preferably people of differing points of view. The students sketch just the heads and speech bubbles of the two people. The conversation should include the Johnson quote and provide an imaginary conversation that illustrates the meaning and possible (not actual) context. The conversation should indicate an understanding of perseverance. The talking heads should have at least three speech bubbles each. (If the students are keeping Character Education Journals, this activity should be done in their Journals.)

  5. After the students complete their "talking heads" cartoons, have them set their papers on their desks, and move around the room reading each other's imagined conversations.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to

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. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Give an example of how philanthropy can transcend cultures.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify and give examples of stewardship in cultural traditions around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.4 Identify and describe the actions of how citizens act for the common good.
      3. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.