Materials: Petals for your Classroom Hope Sunflower
Step by Step teaching guide
Pre Questions1) Who are some people you think are successful? Why do you think that?
2) Do you want to be successful? What does success mean to you?
3) Can success mean more than just having nice things or lots of money?
- Students may journal their responses.
1) In the last lesson we explored the different definitions of hope. This was the definition we all agreed on (Teacher Prompt: Read your classroom’s hope definition). Today we are going to discuss why it is important to be hopeful.
2) Did you know that people who have hope do better in their life? Hopeful people have better grades, they do better in their jobs, and they have closer relationships with friends and family.1
Hope makes us strong emotionally. No matter what you face in life, you can overcome these challenges and achieve your goals.
3) The good news is that hope is a characteristic that we can learn and develop. It’s not optimism or positivity, hope is a set of skills and a foundation that we can take with us anywhere. By working on our hope tools, we will become more hopeful and then more successful, too.
4) Hope is an equal opportunity resource2. The amount of money you have, how many friends you have, what your family is like, or where you live does not determine if you are hopeful. You can build hope yourself no matter what, and then once you have it, hope will help you thrive in your life.
Tia lived with her big family, in a small apartment, in a neighborhood in town where it was dangerous to wander the sidewalks or play outside after school. Tia’s parents worked hard, but there were always many children, aunts, uncles and grandparents to take care of, so Tia’s family often struggled financially.
Although some of these things were challenges for Tia, Tia had hope.
Tia first learned about hope from her grandmother. Tia’s grandmother would tell stories about the cultures and traditions from other parts of the world, about her friends from Puerto Rico who worked as professors, anthropologists, bakers, and artists. She also told stories that showed the importance of family, traditions and dedication.
After telling these stories, the grandmother would ask the children about what they wanted for their own future. Then, the grandmother would encourage each child to go after these dreams. No matter what, they should always remember how much hard work is necessary for dreams to become reality.
Through these stories and her encouragement, Tia’s grandmother taught Tia that she could overcome the challenges she faced. Knowing that she could change her situation and create a good life, Tia was given great hope. She learned that even though she didn’t have everything as a young girl, she could dream big for her life and invest in her future.
This hope allowed Tia to keep working hard against the challenges she faced.
When she got older, Tia traveled all around the world, graduated from medical school, and worked in a hospital taking care of infants and saving lives. Hope made Tia resilient to the arising challenges in her life and continued to work toward her future.
By finding hope like Tia, and like Tia’s grandmother, you can create a good life for yourself, too.
Post questions1) How did hope impact Tia’s life?
2) What do you think Tia’s life would have been like if she didn’t have hope?
“Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Joseph Addison
We are going to continue working on this Sunflower of Hope for our classroom. Everyone can write one thing they are hopeful for this school year on a sunflower petal. We will put all of these petals together to make a flower, and keep the Hope Sunflower on our wall throughout the year.(Teacher Prompt: pass out petals to each student for the classroom Hope Sunflower. After students write on the petals, attach petals to flower center and place on the wall. Keep the flower up all year to remind students about their hope.)
Classroom Flower Petal, Lesson #2
1See Lopez (2013), p. 53-61
2 See Lopez (2013), p. 13