Sunday, Feb 5

“Concentration is the secret of strength.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher



Today’s Excerpt: Lesson Opening Activity 

Start by playing a game in two parts.

  1. Ask one person to name an animal.
  2. Ask the person to their left to name that same animal and then add one of their own.
  3. Continue going in a circle, inviting each person to name all the previously listed animals while adding a new animal to the growing list.
  4. After every three turns, ask one of the distraction questions below to the person whose turn it is (with the intent to distract them from being able to then remember all of the animals).
  5. If someone says any part of the list incorrectly, they’re out until the next round.
  6. Continue going in a circle until only one person remains.

Distraction questions:

  • Do you prefer hot weather or cold weather?
  • What is the tallest building you’ve ever seen?
  • Can you name all the states you’ve visited?
  • If you had $100, what would you spend it on?
  • Can you name all the rooms in your house?

Part 2

Repeat the same game with a new list of animals and no distraction questions. See if you can create a longer list than you did in part one!


  • Which version of the game was easier? (If part one was easier, you might joke about how the entire object lesson is ruined.) 😀

Explain that researchers have studied what happens when we’re distracted. One researcher that studied toddlers found, “If you and a small toddler share attention toward something as you name it, the toddler learns that name; if her focus wanders as you name it, she won’t.”

That’s the same for all of us. When we’re distracted, it’s harder for us to remember what we’re learning.

Even more critically, when we’re distracted, we don’t fully enjoy the moment we’re in.

In short, focus can help us learn and experience life more fully.