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My Best Self
- Students will be able to identify a time when they were their best self.
- They will also be able to practice loving kindness for themselves.
- Join the class together in a circle, seated on the rug or in chairs.
- Ask one student volunteer to join you at the front of the room.
- Ask the rest of the students to turn to a partner.
- Tell them that in a moment, you are going to share a time when you were your best self.
- Ask, "What does 'best self' mean? What is an example of a time one of you has been your best self?"
- Write their answers on the board.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(15 minutes)
- Work with the student volunteer to model the activity for the class. Both of you should share a time when you were at your best.
- Then, you and the volunteer should compliment each other on the "best self" qualities you heard from the story that the other person shared.
- Remind the class to listen as carefully as they can when their partner is speaking. You can share, "We have two ears and one mouth so we can use them proportionately."
- Tell the partners to decide who will first share their story.
- Then, ask them to share a time when they were their best self with their peer.
- Have each student who listened share compliments of the "best self" qualities they heard in their partner's story.
- Tell the partners to rotate roles, and repeat.
- Bring the class back together.
- Ask the students, "How did it feel to share about a time you were at your best? How did it feel to have someone listen to you? How did it feel to give and receive compliments?"
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Tell students that they will be practicing loving kindness for themselves.
- Write "loving kindness" on the board.
- Explain that loving kindness is when you send kind wishes to yourself or someone else.
- Ask the class to sit upright, relax their bodies, and be as still as they can.
- Tell them to close their eyes or look down.
- Have them place one hand on their heart.
- With each breath, ask them to notice their chest rise and fall at their heart center.
- Tell them to think of someone who loves them dearly, such as a pet, family member, friend, or teacher.
- Say, "Imagine that this person or pet is with you right now, and they are sharing all the reasons they love you. Imagine that they are looking you in the eyes and thanking you for being exactly who you are."
- Tell students that this person may give them a hug and whisper something kind in their ears.
- Ask them to feel this person's love in their heart, and to soak it into their heart and body.
- Have the class take a few deep breaths into their bellies and slowly open their eyes when they are ready.
- Ask, "What did you notice? How do you feel? What was it like to receive love and kindness from a loved one?"
Independent working time(25 minutes)
- Explain to the class that they will be designing a poster that illustrates a time when they were their best self.
- Read the instructions of the Loving Kindness Posters worksheet, and show your sample poster.
- Dismiss the students back to their seats to begin working.
Enrichment: Ask advanced students to write a letter to their future self to remind them of all of their positive traits.
Support: Work one-on-one with struggling students to create their posters.
- During the independent working time, move around the room and connect one-on-one with as many students as possible. Ask them to share when they were their best self and why.
Review and closing(15 minutes)
- Bring the students back together in a circle, and ask them to bring their posters.
- Depending on the size of the class, have each student share their poster with the whole class or with a partner.
- After each student shares their poster, say one thing you appreciate about them.
- As a class, hang up the posters in a prominent place to remind them of their unique talents and qualities.