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. 

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 in this lesson?

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

Resilience(Grades 6-12)