Teach resilience education with the Why Try tool

Explore a curriculum that is a great tool to help teach youth the importance of choices and trying.

Michigan State University Extension staff recently received training on a curriculum called Why Try. This hands-on, resilience education curriculum provides tools and activities for youth to learn different ways to think about the decisions they make and how they can reach their goals.

According to Why Try, the idea is straightforward: Teach social and emotional principles to youth in a way they can understand and remember. The curriculum utilizes a series of 10 visual analogies that teach important life skills concepts like decision-making, dealing with peer pressure and others.

The curriculum uses customized hip-hop music, videos, over 150 learning activities, journal activities that help students reflect on concepts, and other multimedia. This variety allows instructors to reach student’s different learning styles (visual, auditory and body-kinesthetic). Engagement is also a benefit and goal of the Why Try curriculum.

Learning activities are a great hands-on way to engage you audience. This curriculum provides many different activities broken down into age group, time required and connection to the analogy being discussed. The activities range from five minutes to 60 minutes. They provide questions that can be used to help debrief after each activity.

Research has shown the Why Try program works in elementary, middle and high school. Increased emotional and social behavior, improved academic progress, reduced expulsions and less disciplinary referrals are just a few examples of findings.

The Why Try program is currently at work in over 20,000 organizations in all 50 of the United States, as well as Canada, the UK and Australia. 

To learn more about Why Try and how MSU Extension can help reach your students, visit your local MSU Extension office


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