K1 Activity 4 – Tackling The Tough Stuff


Often, new challenges are discouraging for students, and as preschool and school-age students, they have many new challenges. When things get tough, they sometimes feel like giving up. But when students find out that everyone has had a trouble with the “tough stuff,” they can feel supported to keep on trying!


Students watch a video skit, discuss challenges they have faced, things haven’t tried but would like to learn and then brainstorm steps to achievement as a class.

Principle Overview

Students are learning skills every day at an amazingly rapid pace, moving through the many emotional stages of learning. Sadly, in our society people can be shamed for simply going through the steps of learning something new. In the day-to-day realities of childhood, sometimes students’ relative strengths and weaknesses can be used against them. Reminding ourselves and students to live with the principle that WE ALL ARE LEARNING can free us from a rigid sense of “right” and “wrong” and give a flexible quality to our interactions with others.


Goals and Objectives:

  • Create a safe environment for class discussion by using good listening skills
  • Discuss personal challenges and the importance of perseverance
  • Recognize external supports such as classmates or peers when faced with a challenge
  • Preview Learn Like a Baby skit video.
  • Before you begin the conversation, talk about ways to create a safe environment for personal sharing. Explain to the students the importance of listening consciously without reactive commenting. Be sure students know that they will be listened to and respected.
  • Invite students to bring in a baby picture of themselves and share something they learned to do as a baby.
  • Students might demonstrate a skill they have learned to do such as write their name or tie their shoe. Celebrate their success!
  • Have The 5 Stages of Learning Like A Baby poster handy.
When students are in a safe and supportive learning environment, they are able to view mistakes and challenges as part of the learning process and are able to work through difficulties. They begin to understand that learning includes trial, error, practice, perseverance, and accomplishment, and can allow themselves to explore solving problems without fear of making mistakes. Brain Bloomers can help students find build perseverance while finding solutions to problems, even when challenging.

  • Allow students to share with a friend how it felt to learn a new skill. What Brain Bloomers did they use to tackle the “tough stuff”?
  • Brainstorm some Brain Bloomers Uncle Jim might use during the Learn Like a Baby skit video.
Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

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Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Watch the Learn Like A Baby skit video of Uncle Jim’s demonstration of how a baby learns to walk. Talk about what happens when he falls down!

  • Connector.

    Encourage students to talk about “tackling the tough stuff.” Reassure them that whatever they share in the group will be listened to with care and respect. Ask:

    Has there been anything challenging for you to learn in school this year?
    Can you share?
    Has it been challenging to make friends?
    Has it been challenging to feel like part of a group?

  • Connector.

    Expand the discussion by asking students if there is something they haven’t tried yet but would like to learn.

  • Connector.

    As a group, discuss the steps necessary to learn this new skill. Help students make connections to The 5 Stages of Learning Like a Baby, and SEL concepts problem solving and perseverance as they discuss.

  • Connector.

    Choose something to try as a group challenge. Be willing to be silly and laugh at your collective mistakes along the way!

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