Encourage self-esteem by teaching students to look at their unique qualities and how they are physically and emotionally changing in a positive light.
- Complete a list of personal talents and traits
- Learn how their and their peers' talents contribute to class pride
- Set realistic personal goals for themselves
- Colored construction paper
- Paper cutter
- Journal notebooks or writing paper
- Use a paper cutter to cut the construction paper into inch-wide strips. You will need at least five strips per student.
- Write several of your special talents on construction paper strips to use as examples. These can be traits (kind, helpful, compassionate, organized, etc.) or talents (play an instrument, artistic, athletic, etc.).
Part I: Class Pride
Step 1: Ask students to think about their special traits and talents. Have them write down at least five things they do well.
Step 2: After students have finished writing, call on different students to share some of their talents. Briefly discuss some of the traits and talents in the classroom. Emphasize the importance of having many different traits and talents in one community.
Step 3: Show students your example construction paper strips. Have students select five different colored construction paper strips. Ask them to use markers to write one of their traits or talents on each strip of paper.
Step 4: Have students connect their construction paper strips together in a chain. They should curl one strip into a circle and staple it together, then thread the next strip through the first and staple in a circle.
Step 5: When students have made small paper chains with their own paper strips, help the class connect all of their paper chains into one long chain.
Step 6: Once the entire chain is constructed and linked together, have all students stand and hold their portion of the chain. Ask the class what this chain demonstrates (that all students have talents that they do well).
Step 7: Ask students to write about the outcomes of this activity in their journals. Hang the completed chain up in your room to remind students of their unique talents (individually and collectively) and refer to it as needed.
Part II: Setting Personal Goals
Step 1: Explain the relationship between goals and self-esteem. Reaching a goal helps your self-esteem because you have succeeded in doing something that you wanted to do. You have a sense of accomplishment and pride.
Step 2: Many students may have goals to which they aspire without really knowing how to achieve them. Ask students to choose a goal that they want to achieve. Have them think and write about what they will have to do in order to reach that goal.
Step 3: Either ask students to share their goals and plans with the class or break students into small groups to share their goals.
Have students ask their parents what goals they had when they were in middle school. Which of these goals did they achieve?
- Reflect on their own special talents and traits
- Contribute to a paper chain of class talents
- Set personal goals and plan how to achieve them
Did all students participate positively in the activity?