Firefighter Response

This lesson goes along with the Firefighter Response Gallery.

Lesson Type(s) Grade(s) Description

Social-Emotional, Physical, Social Studies

K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

Learn about perseverance and take the FDNY Stairclimb Challenge!

Activity Prep Materials Heart Badges



Rescue, General


EXPLAIN: Firefighters helped save many people on 9/11. They rushed into buildings that were on fire and in danger of collapsing, and they worked to get people out of danger. Even when they wanted to stop, they kept going.

DEFINE: Perseverance: Perseverance means that you keep going even when you want to stop.


  1. Turn to a partner.
  2. Share about a time that you showed perseverance.

EXPLAIN: Today, we’re going to see how the 9/11 firefighters showed perseverance, and how we can do it ourselves and encourage others to persevere as well.


VISIT: The Firefighter Response Gallery of the 9/11 Lesson:

READ: The story of one firefighter.


  • How did this firefighter show perseverance?
  • What do you think kept him/her going?
  • What might make you keep going if you wanted to quit?
  • How can/have you encouraged others to keep going?

EXPLAIN: Today, we’re going to take the 9/11 Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge. It will be hard, and it’s okay to share if you’re feeling like it’s difficult or you want to stop.


  1. Listen to and follow the directions of the Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge.
  2. Share if you’re feeling a challenge, or if you want to encourage others by shouting it out at a level 3.
  3. Let’s see how far we can go!

START: Firefighter Stair Climb Challenge


  • Was the climb easy or hard?
  • How did you keep going even when you wanted to quit?
  • What made you want to keep going?
  • How did it feel to encourage others to keep going?


DISCUSS: Why is perseverance important in school?