Students need opportunities to see success and triumph in the midst of struggle. This lesson provides a video that discusses resilience from a young man who faced a lot of trials in his life. The discussion will provide an opportunity for the classroom to share ideas about trust, growth, and overcoming obstacles while building resilience for all the changes that life throws at you. 

Character Education Objectives:
Students will:

  • watch a video about why adversity can build resilience.
  • discuss resilience and trust through the lens of overcoming obstacles.
  • hare ideas for building resilience. 


  • Markers 
  • Post-it pads (large stick posters or paper) 
  • Access to stream YouTube video 

Lesson Plan Day 1

Journal: (5 mins)

  • What is something that has been challenging in your life to overcome?
  • Who have you trusted in your life to help you overcome challenges?

Whole Group (35 mins)

  • Watch the video: (15 mins)
  • Discussion (20 mins)
    • What does this quote mean to you? “The worst of life could not take out the best of me.”
    • Why do people still succeed and flourish despite pain and trauma?
    • What is resilience?
    • Why does change cause adversity?
    • How do your belief systems impact whether you succumb or surmount challenges? 
    • How is your mind the most crucial resource to building resilience?
    • What does trauma teach us about resilience?
      • Tell your mind what to think- how do we do this?
      • Life is easier when you are prepared – how do you prepare for the unknown?
      • Perspective requires partnership
        • Why do we need others to help us overcome adversity?
  • Exit Ticket: (5 mins) 
    • Who can you trust to help you overcome adversity when you need it?

Lesson Plan Day 2

Journal (5 mins) 

  • What is important about learning to trust yourself in tough situations?

Whole Group Discussion (5 mins)

  • What did you learn about building trust and resilience yesterday?

Small Group Discussion (10 mins)

  • Everything happens for a reason- How can you use your trauma/struggle for a purpose?
  • Who can you trust to support you amid trauma or challenges?
  • What does it mean to trust resiliency to help you overcome adversity? 

 Productive Group Work (10 mins)

  • On poster paper: What are some ways you can build resilience?
    • Have students use a Post It Poster page to record ideas.

Gallery Walk: (10 mins) 

  • What are some ways you can build resilience?
    • Put a star next to an idea you want to remember.
    • Put a tally mark next to an idea you have used in the past to help you overcome an obstacle. 

Exit Ticket (5 mins)

  • What is the most important thing you learned about resilience today?

Hunt, C. (2020). What Trauma Taught Me About Resilience | Charles Hunt | TEDxCharlotte. Retrieved 1 April 2020, from https://youtu.be/3qELiw_1Ddg

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6-12 character education lesson: resilience