Marshall B. Rosenberg Ph.D.,
Films about integrity and self-image:
Meet John Doe 1941
Twelve Angry Men 1957
Fly Away Home 1996
The Edge 1997
To help students gain an understanding of their unique story and how it fulfills an important function in the development of their self-image and relationships. Students become aware of the influences shaping their "story" and take steps to accurately tell their "story" themselves.
What happens to us during our lifetime is often a result of our reactions to events. The formula E + R = O is a way to understand the concept of responsibility. It challenges one to take control of one's life and live pro-actively rather than feel that one is a "victim" of circumstances.
Next, have them make a collage on a 12"X18" piece of construction paper with images which represent their answers to these questions. Keep these collages or display them. At end of course revisit them and re-answer the questions. See if there are any changes which might indicate change of self-image, attitudes or values.
Question #1: (pages 31-35)Talk about the importance of needs.
Question #2: (pages 35-38) Writing activity: Take an inventory of backpack, locker, bedroom, CD's, books, magazines, etc.
Question #3: (pages 38-41) Students create a coat of arms using symbols with which they identify or use to classify themselves.
Question #4: (pages 41-43) Self-assessmentto be filed in teacher-held student portfolio.
Question #5: (pages 43-45) (See Les Brown's book page 233 for "Drop Your Burdens" worksheet.)
Activity: Letting go of "baggage." Students write negative things that they are holding on to on pieces of paper. Collect them in a paper sack and symbolically burn them.
Question #6: (pages 45-48) Here we have two activities which are aimed at having students recognize those who have helped them in their life.
#1: Quadrangle of life. Students fold a piece of paper into four parts
and label each box as below with four stages of their life. In each box
they then list important positive events in their life and the names of
those who were central to that event.
Free Resource Kit, Video and Guide:
Farmer's Insurance Group
organization and magazine:
CBS Sunday Morning
To have students come up with some practical steps they can take to improve their lives and the lives of others.
Objective: To identify various aspects of one's identity.
Distribute the "Circles of Self " worksheet and explain the directions. (example: in the "Social" category one might put outgoing, likes people, etc. Once the circles are completed ask students to share the words or phrases from any two categories with a partner.
To create a Circles of Self worksheet master:
Chain of Life:
This activity is aimed at creating a concrete awareness of how all elements in a life-supporting system are interconnected. This can be done on either the model of a natural environmental system, or a man-made social system.
Nature model: Have all students stand in a circle with the teacher in the middle. Teacher has a ball of string and asks students to name a plant that grows in the area. One student represents that plant and holds the end of the string. Students then name in succession animals or insects that would use plant for food and in turn animals which eat other animals and insects. Bring in other elements like soil, water, humans and so on. When each student is holding a piece of string a "web of life" is created (be sure that the ball of string is passed randomly across the circle and not passed to students who are standing next to each other). To demonstrate how each individual is important to the whole community, take away by some plausible means one member of the web. (i.e. Have one of the elements killed, eaten, die or somehow destroyed or eliminated.) When the person falls, those elements related to that person feel a tug on their string. When a person in the web feels a tug he or she gives a tug. The process continues until every person is shown to be affected by the elimination of one of the elements.
Social Model: Same procedure as above except that each person in the web represents some element of the community which depends upon another element. These may be social or governmental services, professions, jobs, businesses, transportation, utilities and infrastructure, recreational facilities, individual citizens, and so on. Who is affected when one of the elements is eliminated?
Practical Steps for Improving Life: (Text pp. 56-65)
(Before starting to plan for service revisit the gift box. "What I have to give.")
Wait until the end of course for students to fill in the "What I've done" column of the above worksheet. This could even be the theme for a written paper or final.
"Click" here for a copy-master of log sheet.
To re-define "failure" and to learn how to use experiences of failure constructively, and to build a "success" self-image.
A) Pre-reading exercise: have each student write down his or her own definition of "failure."
B) See book, Winner's Circle, Chapter 6 pages 129-130. Use as overhead transparency. Cover name and age of person described and have student try and guess identity.
C) Have students write down their own definition of "success." Then read and discuss pages 70-74 in Rebellion with the objective of coming up with a class definition. (Use Think, Ink, Pop-up technique)
D) Honest confrontation of self about shortcomings, habits, addictions, dependencies without self-criticism. Let students know that "A bad habit does not indicate a bad person." Such honest confrontation creates integrity.
Growth of Personal Assets (Not grade point average! This must go before
good grades; good grades will follow.)
Log: Students keep a log in their Leadership Notebook of all their
achievements and accomplishments in life they are proud of. Nothing is
too small to be included.
The goal of these activities is to build the students' self-esteem resources. Note the "Poker Chip" theory of success: When you have a lot you risk more. Those with a small stack of chips will usually be more reluctant to take risks.
As we approach challenges it is important that we be aware of our skills for success. These are our "chips" in the "game" of life.
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2005 SNS Press