I introduce this lesson to the students by reading a book called, Inch and Miles: The Journey to Success by John R. Wooden.
This book takes characters through a journey to find out how they can reach success. They meet various characters that each describe a characteristic one should have if they want to reach success.
I read the book out loud and after the first example, I read the description of the characteristic, which is in the form of a rhyme, and allow the students to guess what it might be.
I have a word card made for each word to post on the board or hold in the air as we discuss each characteristic. I will also use them to post on the wall after the read aloud.
As I read each characteristic, I ask students to share an example of what it might look like if someone is displaying that characteristic. For example, when students are displaying acts of "hard work" they might be concentrated on their work and not giving up when something seems confusing or hard to do.
I allow students to give a few example per characteristic and am prepared for the ones that seem hard for them to describe, such as "poise".
If there are any that students can demonstrate while sitting and listening to the read aloud, I ask them to show me that they all can do it. For example, after getting ideas about how students can be "alert", I ask the whole class to show me how they are "alert" to me reading the book. This is an example of how students show understanding of the meaning of the new vocabulary word, "alert".
After the read aloud, I tell students that sometimes its hard to be all of these things but as long as we're trying our very best, we can reach the top and climb the pyramid of success. I ask each student to pick on characteristic to focus on throughout the week. I read each one out loud and ask students to put a thumbs up on their chest if they are picking that one to focus on.
Another way you can do this is have students write on a slip or in a journal that this is a goal and describe what they are going to do to show they are working on this skill. You may have to model this. I would say that if I'm working on being determined than I might try to figure something out on my own and then asking a friend for help before I ask for the answer.
I also make this a class reflection activity by having students identify other students that were successful in these skills at the end of the week. I ask students to write a note to someone else about what they noticed them doing. For example: "I noticed Susie practice friendship when she asked me to join the soccer game at recess." I then share these at the end of the week or post them for others to see. Eventually, I give them to the student who was mentioned and they can take it home to share with their families.