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Character Trait: Diligence

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Star Student Program

Our STAR student program is a program where each month ONE student from each class will be recognized as the student who has done an exemplary job of displaying the character trait of the month! Each character trait chosen is from the Character Education Program (Capturing Kids Hearts) that is a part of our curriculum.  

Character Trait of the Month: Diligence

"What we hope to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence."

- Samuel Johnson

Our January STAR Character Attribute is a fantastic one to start the year with! In January, the entire school will be focused on DILIGENCE!

As we start the year, our students will be focused on work ethic, being persistent and determined, not giving up, putting full effort into what is expected, and doing their best! As we move throughout January, your character lessons will be focused on teaching what it looks like to be diligent in our daily activities and all that we do.


  1. Investing all my energy to complete the task assigned to me.
  2.  The steady application of effort to accomplish a task.
  3. Exerting oneself to fulfill what is undertaken without unnecessary delay.
  4. Acting with great care and effort.

Diligence is about looking at a problem, seeing the challenge, and continuing to try even when the problem is difficult. Diligence is about never saying never and instead always saying that we will give it a shot. It is about knowing how often it takes several attempts before we are able to accomplish something new. Diligence means that we finish what we start, focus on the task at hand, do a task the right way, and follow instructions.

A good place to start with diligence in the classroom is with a discussion on work ethic and what that looks like. You may want to ask these questions:

  • What is work ethic and what does it look like to have a work ethic?

  • What does it mean to have a good work ethic even when something is challenging

  • How to can we encourage ourselves and others to be persistent with a challenging task?

  • Why is it important to keep going and not give up?

Diligence is something that can be improved upon with practice and when we understand that being more diligent in our work tasks will get is farther. Even as adults, we can always benefit from reminders to be diligent throughout the day so that we can enjoy our times of rest even more. We can show diligence by being prepared for the day, showing effective time-management, and doing tasks that we find difficult without making excuses or saying “I can’t”. 

Diligence Answers the Questions:

  •  How can I encourage myself to keep trying even when a task proves difficult

  • When have you been diligent with completing a task? Give an example.

  • How can you encourage your peers to be diligent when they are discouraged?

  • Why is it important to remove distractions when we are needing to be diligent with a given task or assignment?

The 5 ‘I Wills’ of Diligence:

1.   I will concentrate on my work.

2.   I will follow instructions.

3.   I will do a job right.

4.   I will finish my projects.

5.   I will not be lazy.

DILIGENCE further explored:

  1. Give it your best shot – A diligent job is a job well-done. Help your children visualize this concept by having them watch you fold clothes.  First, fold a towel the non-diligent way.  Do it haphazardly.  Next, fold a towel with great care and lay it beside the first one.  Ask your kids, “On which one did I use diligence?”  Explain that diligence is giving our best effort in everything we do. Diligence shows.  Finally, ask them if they’d rather fly in an airplane built by a diligent worker, or one who isn’t diligent.
  2. It’s the little things – Being diligent is doing the little steps well, to make the end product good.  Diligence is especially important when trying to reach a goal.  Diligence is doing a little each day to reach a goal, rather than waiting until the last minute to get something done.
  3. It can be tiring – Diligence is not for the weak or easily distracted.  Tell your children that being diligent is not always easy.  Be realistic with them.  Make sure they know that diligence requires effort, but the results are worth it.  Not just from what is achieved, but from the feeling that you know you did your best, no matter the outcome.

Students can be helped with diligence when:

  • They know that we believe in them.
  • The adults around them show them what it looks like to never give up.
  • We encourage kids not to give up when something is hard.
  • We have high standards and we know that all kids can rise to these expectations.

Further Discussion Questions:

  • What are some benefits of working hard?
  • Why should you do your best, even if no one else is watching?
  • How can you be diligent, even if you don’t enjoy your work?
  • Do you have projects you need to finish? What will it take to finish them?
  • Why would we choose to still put effort into something that we don’t particularly enjoy but is required?
  • What is something that you need to be more diligent with in your life?
  • How is diligence related to and different from commitment?

For K-4th Graders:

For K-1st Graders:


The three videos at the bottom of this website are great for all elementary students and there are also some activities on the page regarding diligence:

Character First Education: Diligence

For 2nd-5th Graders:

For K-2nd Graders:

For 1st-4th Graders:

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