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Character Education Videos: Self-Motivation & Perseverance

Success doesn’t come easy. Life is filled with setbacks and challenges, and it can be tempting to throw in the towel and give up. But if you ask a successful person how they got where they are, they’ll tell you that they found the motivation to persevere even when the going got tough.

The following Flocabulary songs speak to the importance of sticking it out and overcoming obstacles. Below the songs, we have questions you can use to start a discussion about perseverance in the face of adversity. And Flocabulary has many songs and videos to teach Character Education.

Songs About Self-Motivation & Perseverance


4th Grade: “I Keep My Head Up”

This song teaches students how to overcome nerves in stressful situations. Ask: What does the main character realize about his competition? What was the advice his mother gave him? How can we use this advice in our own lives? Watch now.


Yes We Can6th Grade: “Yes We Can”

This is the true story of Dolores Huerta, a woman who decided to do something about inequality. It can be used to teach students about working hard for a cause. Ask: What did Dolores witness as a child? Who did she stand up for when she got older? What can we learn from Dolores’ story? Listen now.


Mandela is Free6th Grade: “Mandela is Free”

This song is about Nelson Mandela, who fought against segregation in South Africa, and can be used to teach students about determination despite setbacks. Ask: What is apartheid? What happened to Nelson when he tried to transform his country? How did his perseverance pay off? Watch now.


Ray's Way8th Grade: “Ray’s Way”

This song is about Ray Charles, one of the most influential musicians in the world. It demonstrates to students that no obstacle is too big to overcome. Ask: What happened to Ray when he was a boy? How did others try to trick Ray? How is his story inspirational? Watch now.


Questions for Discussion

  • How did the characters in the songs show self-motivation and perseverance despite adversity?
  • Describe a time that you felt discouraged or intimidated. Did you give up, or did you persevere?
  • How can we build confidence in ourselves during difficult times?

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