I relate the giraffe in the story to how if they do their best in kindergarten they will be ready for first grade and if they do their best in first grade they will be prepared for second grade and so on up to college and their future careers.
Students then think about what they want to try their best to become when they are older. We talk about how if we choose something we love we don't mind working hard for it. Each student chooses a giraffe cut-out which they transform into what they want to be when they grow up. I provide scrap paper for them to add to their giraffe cards to represent their future career. It is always fun to hear how excited they get thinking about what they might do when they are older. While the students work, I walk around and write down what each student is turning their giraffe into so I can label their cards. We conclude our lesson by talking about how their teacher is looking for them to give their best effort, even when things are challenging.
After our lesson, I create labels with each student's name and what they are trying their best to become. I hang the giraffe cards in the hallway next to their classroom with a sign that reads "Doing my best so I can...". All month long students are reminded to work hard each and every day.