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I am Unique and So Are You

Main Core Tie

Health Education - 4th Grade

Time Frame

5 class periods of 45 minutes each

Group Size

Small Groups

Life Skills



Melissa Lusk


This is more like a unit plan that can help you get to know your students individually and help them get to know themselves and each other better.



  • M_M_work_sheet.doc
    A worksheet that prompts students to list goals and things they like about themselves with M&M's as a motivation.
  • Maxims.doc
    A list of sayings/maxims to discuss possible meanings and whether or not they could be applied to students' lives.
  • Personal_Letter_Form.doc
    A scripted letter to themselves that you can either save and give back to the student at the end of the year or mail it to them at another time.

  • Construction paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Your students will be assigned into groups of six and each group will need 2 different dice. One to represent numbers and one to represent letters.
  • A paper bag full of random objects (enough for one per small group)
    Some examples:
    a paper clip
    a pine cone
    a roll of tape
    a toothpick
    an envelope
    a straw
    a bottle cap
    a spoon, etc.
  • M&Ms enough for 5 or more per student
  • Writing Utensils
  • Writing paper

Background for Teachers

Teachers should review Maxim list and make sure they are familiar with the sayings listed or make up a new list for themselves.

Student Prior Knowledge

You should ask students to ask their parents, grandparents, other family members, religious leaders, or neighbors for sayings, adages,or proverbs that they are familiar with and bring them to class.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • To help students reflect on their self-worth and strengths.
  • To help ensure students appreciation of their individuality, ethnicity, and cultural heritage.
  • To help students experience cooperative learning and to share experiences
  • To create an awareness, an understanding and appreciation of one's own culture as well as those of others.
  • To help students look beyond the physical attributes of things and people.

Instructional Procedures

  • Day 1

  • This lesson will focus on "Identify stregths and talents in classmates" under Standard 7040-0201.
    For the first lesson all the students will need a piece of construction paper. Today the students will spell their name across or down the paper and then write our a positive trait or phrase that begins with each letter of their name. The students can choose to hang their names up on the wall(s) and look at the other students names. This should be followed up with a discussion of why students picked the words/phrases they picked and to share stories surrounding choices. The teacher should do their own name also and discuss their choices, reasons, and share any stories.
    Example: Melissa.
    M arvelous
    E xcellent reader.
    L oves to laugh
    I ntelligent
    S uper fun to be around.
    S pecial
    A wesome

  • Day 2

    This lesson will focus on "Identify personal strengths and talents" under Standard 7040-0201
    Day two's activities play into both each other and day one's activity because they require the student to list goals and personal attributes. For the first half of the lesson the students will all need a copy of the "Personal Letter Form" (see attachment under materials). The students will write a letter to themselves that you can either save and give back to them at another time of your choosing. (The personal letter form is adapted from a Glencoe Health Personal letter form)
    The second half of the class will be spent working on the M&Ms worksheet (See attachment under Materials section). Each student will need some M&Ms and will fill out the worksheet according to the colors of M&Ms that they receive. It is up to the teacher on how many M&Ms each student will receive. It might be beneficial to have mini M&M portions ready to save time and assure a variety of colors for each student. You must use the regular color {Brown, red, blue, green, yellow, etc.} selection of M&Ms.

  • Day 3

This lesson will focus on "Summarize how a variety of strengths and talents contribute to the uniqueness of people." under Standard 7040-0201.
Day three will be spent using the paper bag of random items. Arrange the students into small groups and then have a member of each group reach into the paper bag (without looking) and grab 1 item out. Each group member should examine the selected object for a few moments, then they will be instructed to:

  • Give the object/article a characteristic that you admire.
  • Describe three ways in which the object is beautiful.
  • Think of three ways the object is or can be useful.
  • Give four reasons why or how your object could help you.
  • Name 2 ways you could be helpful or offer help to your object
  • Give three ways in which you can enhance your object's self-esteem and make it feel valued and needed.
  • The follow-up discussion can be about how students came up with their lists for their object. From there the discussion should lead into people, some self-realizations and learning how to view other individuals and/or groups of people who may be different and how everyone has some good qualities and characteristics if one takes the time to look for them. (This lesson idea came from University of Illinois Extension Lesson Plans)

    • Day 4

      This lesson will focus on "Demonstrating assertive communication" under Standard 7040-0302.
      Day four is going to focus on role-playing. Before you begin you need to write on the board:

    1. A
    2. B
    3. C
    4. D
    5. E
    6. F

      To begin each student should take a piece of paper and write an example of a situation that is hard for them, makes them feel bad or that they are afraid of. The waste basket should be empty and placed in a central position in the classroom. The students should then crumple up their papers and throw them into the wastebasket. All of the paper should go into the basket, so you should give students plenty of time to keep trying until they get it in.
      The students should then be placed into groups of six. Each group will get 2 different types of dice. One should be identified as the one that they will use for letters and the other one for numbers. The number/letter substitution is written on the board and each group will get six of the situations that were thrown into the trash; one for each student. The group should read each situation and discuss possible solutions, healthy reactions, or ways to counter-act the offense. The problems should then be balled back up and placed in the middle. Each student will then be assigned a number and a letter. They will then role the dice and get something like- 4-F. That means that person #4 will pick out a scenario from the pile and read it. Person F will listen and then respond to the problem. When a number is re-rolled the student (who just role-played) should keep rolling until a new number/letter turns up. Each student should have an opportunity to role-play reading a problem and listening to it.

    • Day 5

      This lesson will focus on "Showing respect for the uniqueness of others, regardless of gender; e.g., abilities, talents, strengths, characteristics, and hopes for the future" under Standard 7040-0302.
      Today we will be looking at sayings/maxims and what they mean. Students should be arranged into small groups. Each group will need a copy of the maxim list (see attachment under materials sections) and all of the saying the students contributed. Each group will choose two-to-four familiar and unfamiliar sayings from the list(s).
      Each group will discuss the possible meaning of their selections and write their interpretation of the maxim or adage, with an example of the interpretation. Students will then write about how the maxim does not or could apply to their lives.
      Maxim: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.
      Interpretation: If someone gives you something don't go looking for more; be grateful for what you have.
      Example: If your mom gives you an extra hour of play time don't ask if you can stay out later than that.
      Following group-work each group should talk about their examples and then as a class you can share any known history, authors, stories (when your grandma uses it) about the maxim and whether or not it is reflected in the statement and if that matters. You could also talk about for whom the maxims would work better (people that lived 40 years ago, parents, students, young people, etc). (This lesson idea came from the University of Illinois Extension Lesson Plans)

      Assessment Plan

      This unit's purpose is to spend time getting to know your students. As such, it is not a point-guided assessment plan. If necessary, points could be awarded on a participation basis.


      • Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. "Hands-On Health: Creative Teaching Strategies."
      • University of Illinois Extention. "Strategies for Empowering students. Classroom activities that engage the mind."

    Created: 04/16/2005
    Updated: 02/06/2020