GREENVILLE, N.C. (CBS News) – As Americans returned to school and work on Monday, one thing weighed heavy on many minds: the death of Kobe Bryant and eight others in a helicopter crash the day before. One teacher from North Carolina said he decided to brighten his students’ mood that Monday, using Kobe as a lesson.
Second grade teacher Michael Bonner wrote about his lesson plan on Facebook. It involved Kobe’s 2017 short story “Dear Basketball,” which was turned into an Oscar-winning animated short film that he narrated.
“To honor Kobe [Bryant’s] legacy, I allowed my students to annotate his retirement poem. They had a beautiful conversation on how they felt his passion, work ethic, and the attitude to never quit through his words,” Bonner wrote.
Bonner said he then asked the kids to write down a current fear or struggle.
“When they were done, I told them to ball up their fears for a quick activity. I divided the class into 4 teams. Each individual had to throw away their ‘fear’ for a point,” Bonner added.
He further incorporated Kobe into the activity by having students yell his name as they shot their paper ball into the air, a popular ritual among fans.
“Needless to say, this small activity gave us the joy needed to make it through today,” he wrote.
Bonner posted videos of his students at South Greenville Elementary School making their “Kobe” shots. When a student made a basket, their fellow second graders rejoiced.
Bonner also posted the Kobe quote he shared with his students: “We don’t quit, we don’t cower, we don’t run. We endure and conquer.”
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