Encourage self-esteem by teaching students to look at their unique qualities and how they are physically and emotionally changing in a positive light.
- Define "self-esteem"
- Self-assess how they feel about their self-esteem
- Record strategies to protect and reinforce self-esteem
- Journal notebooks or writing paper
Step 1: Divide students into pairs or groups of 3–4 students.
Step 2: Tell students that they will be learning about self-esteem. You want them to research the term "self-esteem" and write down a definition that everyone in the group agrees with. It needs to be clear and understandable. Students may use dictionaries, but the definition must be written in their own words.
Step 3: When all groups have finished their definitions, ask groups to read their definitions aloud to the class. Make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the meaning of "self-esteem."
Step 4: Ask students to quietly reflect on their own self-esteem. They can write in a paragraph, free-write, or list format. If desired, ask students to assess their own self-esteem using a scale of 1–10.
Step 5: When students have had sufficient time to write, have students return to their small groups. Ask the groups to make a list of reasons why a teenager might have low self-esteem and what things could be done to enhance self-esteem.
Step 6: After sufficient brainstorming time, ask groups to share their ideas with the class.
Step 7: When all groups have had a chance to share, ask students to again reflect on their own self-esteem. If desired, have students reassess their own self-esteem using a scale of 1–10.
Step 8: Assign the following for homework:
Watch a television program or movie or read a book and write about one of the characters. Did this character have high or low self-esteem? How did you know? Give some examples of how this character's self-esteem showed up in their personal choices and behavior.
Discuss with students that they can build their self-esteem by helping others. For example, students can tutor a younger child, help coach an elementary sports team, or help at a local Boys/Girls Club.
Have students ask their family members, neighbors, friends, etc. how to improve one's self-esteem. They can report ideas back to the class.
- Define "self-esteem"
- Brainstorm things that affect self-esteem, both negatively and positively
- Reflect on their own self-esteem
- Evaluate and write about a fictional character's self-esteem
Did students fully understand the meaning of self-esteem?