Beacon Lesson Plan Library

All Aboard the Peace Train

Leslie Gortemoller
Bay District Schools


Through a literature-based lesson, students identify perserverance and problem-solving strategies. This could also be utilized as a behavior management technique.


The student knows how to make progress toward achieving a personal goal (eg., by creating an action plan for individual wellness plan).


-Piper, W. [The Little Engine That Could]
-Box Car and Locomotive Pattern
-Colored Paper
-Butcher Paper
-Border for the Bulletin Board
-Lettering for the title of the bulletin board


1. Become familiar with the literature.
2. Cut out box car and locomotive patterns.
3. Construct bulletin board.


1. Ask the students: "Do you know what perserverance means?" Say: "Today we will learn what perserverance means by reading a book called [The Little Engine That Could].

2. Say: "I want you to listen and think about what the Little Engine had to do to convince himself to keep trying. At the end of the lesson, you will need to be able to tell me what he had to do."

3. After reading the book, discuss the story and have the students share what they think the Little Engine had to do to keep going.

4. Tell the students that the Little Engine showed perserverance by trying so hard.

5. Say: "Today we will write a paragraph about a time when we have tried hard and showed perserverance." Give two or three appropriate examples for students (redo a worksheet, run hard at PE, etc.).

6. Close the lesson with students coming to the front of the classroom and sharing their paragraphs.

7. Introduce the bulletin board that will display each student's box car. The box cars will reflect each student's good behavior and actions of perserverance. Have this bulletin board ready before the lesson. The bulletin board will need to have the butcher paper, border, title, and locomotive already on it. (The box cars will be attached as each student earns a box car.)

8. Then say: "Each student can earn a box car." (Show a sample box car.) The box car can be earned through good behavior all week. Ask students to suggest ways to make sure their behavior is considered good. You might want to establish only three or four behaviors to look at for the first week, such as has all homework, desk is not messy, uses an inside voice, and takes turns at the pencil sharpener. List these on the board as a constant reminder. Change the new behaviors every couple of weeks so that all students can strive for a box car.

9. Close the lesson by saying, "Hop on the Peace Train this week with your good behavior."


The student-produced paragraph will indicate that the student has related an experience to the understanding of perseverance. Students who cannot make the connection will need extra help and feedback from the teacher.


The students could use math skills to add the number of boxcars earned per week. Estimation on how many they can earn with the first 9 weeks.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.