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One of a Kind


The objectives of this lesson are to recognize and appreciate qualities and attributes that make each person "one of a kind," and identify positive personal qualities and attributes in self and others.


Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will recognize and appreciate qualities and attributes that make each person "one of a kind." They will identify positive personal qualities and attributes in self and others.

Instructional Procedures

Lesson at a Glance

  1. Tell the "Parable of the Apple Tree" and discuss it.
  2. Complete the "Things That Make You One-of-a-Kind" interview and activity.
  3. Discuss values messages in various quotes and readings.
  4. Complete "Everson Wall" worksheet
  5. Complete optional activities.

Introduction (Setting Focus)

  1. Read or tell the "Parable of the Apple Tree" and discuss the following:
    • How are we sometimes similar to the apple tree?
      • Think we are "not good enough."
      • Focus on what we don't have instead of what we do have.
      • Compare ourselves to others.
      • Don't see strengths.
      • Look for negative traits instead of positive traits.
      • Want to be like others.
    • What advice could be given to the apple tree that would apply to all of us?
  2. Show a jar with some eraser stars, or something similar, buried under rice. Shake the jar as you explain that if we are patient, if we have faith, and if we believe in ourselves, we'll find our stars. Continue to shake the bottle until the stars come to the top of the rice. As you shake the jar say: "Be patient, have faith, believe in yourself, and you'll find your stars." Reinforce that each of us is an amazing "one-of-a-kind" design.
  3. Using the "Many Things Make Us a One-of-a-Kind" poster, discuss what qualities and characteristics (stars) make a student "one of a kind." Guide the discussion to help students better appreciate the unique characteristics of self and others.

Body (Strategies/Activities)

  1. Assign students a partner. Give each student a copy of the "One-of-a-Kind" worksheet and allow them time to interview each other.
  2. Using the information gathered from the worksheet, students draw a portrait of their partner. The drawings should include the person's name and at least six drawings about their partner. Ask students to be positive, do their best, and make the drawings as colorful and lively as possible. If desired, play positive background music while the students are working on the drawings.
  3. Students share their posters with the class and tell a little bit about their partner. Display the drawings around the classroom. Let the class know how enjoyable it has been getting to know them better and encourage them to continue to look for the stars in themselves and others.
  4. Read and discuss the Dr. Seuss poem titled "Today You Are You."
  5. Read or tell the story of the "Stonecutter." Discuss and share ideas about the moral or message of the story. Reinforce the concept that there is power and potential in each person and that success and happiness comes from recognizing and making the most of his or her own personal attributes.
  6. Discuss the meaning of the Malcolm S. Forbes quote as it relates to the story of the stonecutter ("Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are").
  7. Discuss the Theodore Roosevelt quote poster ("Do what you can with what you have, where you are"). Discuss what this means and how the concept can be applied to life. Share inspiring stories of people who have made the most of who they are.

Closure (Wrap-Up and Extension)

  1. Discuss the Everson Wall quote on the "It's Your Time to Shine worksheet. Complete the "It's Your Time to Shine" worksheet by listing personal qualities and attributes that they can be personally used to become successful.
  2. Encourage students to find their "stars" and to do the best they can with what they have to build the best possible life. Reinforce that each person has special qualities, contributions and personalities.


Optional Activities

  1. Using their stars or personal attributes, students build unique sculptures using magnetic moons and stars to represent the best life possible. The stars and moons represent who they are (stars are qualities and attributes). Share and explain the designs with the class. Discuss how building sculptures with magnetic stars is like building real life. Things are not always easy and sometimes the end results are different that we imagined. The process takes time.
  2. Play the song "Shine On" (Jess Carson, Real Life, Curb Records 2001) and discuss key phrases. Discuss what is means to "shine on." Words are included in the handout.
  3. Play the "Three Truths and a Lie" game. Students write three things that are true about themselves and one thing that is a lie. Students take turns reading the statements to the class, and the class members try to guess which of the statements is a lie.

    I've hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
    I play the guitar (the lie).
    I collect frisbees.
    I have a donkey.

Created: 12/11/2009
Updated: 01/22/2020