I Like Myself
Students will be able to define the word "self-esteem" and discuss why self-esteem is important in school, friendships, and in community.
- Join students together in a circle, either seated or standing.
- Explain that the class will participate in an activity called "Talking Behind Your Back."
- Explain that this activity is not about saying negative things about others. Instead, this activity is about noticing what it feels like to say and receive kind words.
- Break the class into groups of 3–4 students.
- Explain that one person will turn their back to the rest of the group and the other students will say kind things about the person who has their back to the group.
- Model how this may be done for the class.
- Tell students that they have one minute to talk about each person and that you will ring a chime at the end of each minute, until everyone has had a turn with others talking behind their back with positivity.
- Ask them to begin.
- Ring the chime after one minute and repeat until everyone has had a turn.
- Periodically throughout this exercise, ask students to pause and notice how it feels to say and receive kind words.
- Ask, "What did you notice? How did it feel to receive kind words? How did it feel to say positive words towards others?"
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Explain that it is important to notice the positive in others and that it is just as important to notice the goodness in ourselves.
- Show them the book I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont.
- Explain that when we feel good about ourselves and say kind words about ourselves, this builds self-esteem.
- Write "self-esteem" and the definition (confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect) on the board.
- Ask the class to share examples of practicing self-esteem. Offer examples from your own life, like engaging in positive self-talk when you make a mistake or forget something.
- Begin to read the book I Like Myself!
- Ask the class to raise their hand when they notice positive talk and self-esteem in the book.
- Ask, "When did you notice self-esteem? In what ways did the main character think positively about herself? Why is this important?"
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Review the Secret Notes of Kindness worksheet and the directions.
- Choose student names, secretly, out of a jar to give to each student. Students will write a kind note to the person whose name got chosen for them out of the jar.
- Ask students to go somewhere in the classroom where others may not see the kind notes they are writing.
- Pass out the Secret Notes of Kindness worksheets.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Dismiss students to go to a special place in class to write their notes of kindness independently. Walk around the room and check in with as many students as possible to see if they understand the term "self-esteem." Ask students to give you examples of how they can practice self-esteem.
Enrichment: Ask advanced students to create a poster about self-esteem.
Support: Work one-on-one with any students that may need support in writing their kind notes to classmates.
- Walk around the room and check student comprehension of the term "self-esteem" during independent work. Ask students to share how they can practice self-esteem.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Collect kindness notes.
- Bring students back together in a circle.
- Ask, "What was it like to write a kindness note to someone else? What was it like to write a kindness note to yourself?"
- Ask, "How can self-esteem help us in school, friendships, or in the community?"
- Ask, "What are some ways we can lift each other up to build self-esteem in our classroom?"
- Thank the class for a job well done!