Health Education - 6th Grade
Standard 1 Objective 2
10 class periods of 45 minutes each
This lesson plan integrates Health Standard 1 (self acceptance) with Language Arts Standard 8 (use Technology to Facilitate Writing). It helps students recognize strengths in themselves and others as well as teaching them to write in verse.
Self-concept and self-esteem:
Self-concept is the view you have of yourself. It is basically how you see yourself as the unique person you are. People who recognize their strengths and qualities generally have a positive self-concept.
Some people tend to focus on their weaknesses rather than on their strengths. They may see themselves as too short, too tall, too slow, or too something else. People who focus more often on their weaknesses can develop a negative self-concept. A positive self-concept is an important part of good mental and emotional health.
Your self-esteem is the way you feel about yourself, or how you value yourself. It is closely related to your self-concept. If you have high self-esteem, you are more likely to try hard and succeed. This success, in turn, reinforces your self-esteem and leads you to make efforts in new areas.
Often, a negative self-concept leads to low self-esteem. For example, if you aren't chosen for the track team after practicing for months, you might look upon yourself as a failure, even though you excel in other activities. This unrealistic picture of yourself could negatively affect your self-esteem.
Even someone who is physically healthy can get a cold, or some other illness, now and then. In the same way, your mental and emotional health is also likely to go through its own ups and downs. Fortunately, you can learn to improve your self-esteem and your overall level of mental and emotional health. Some of the ways a person can improve self-esteem include:
1. Motivate yourself. Set healthy, realistic goals and working to achieve them. Motivation helps you focus on your goals.
2. Focus on your strengths. See yourself in a more positive way. Start by making a list of all your strengths and successes. Perhaps you are good at a sport or being a true friend. Working to improve your talents and abilities can also improve your self-esteem.
3. Understand and manage your feelings. Managing your feelings is another important part of your mental and emotional health. For example, suppose that you find yourself losing your temper with friends for no apparent reason. You may realize that you are nervous because you have a track meet coming up. Recognizing the cause of your anxiety will help you manage your interactions with friends.
4. Develop a positive attitude. Your thoughts and behavior have a strong influence on your mental and emotional health. If you believe that you cannot handle new situations, your mental and emotional health will suffer. If, on the other hand, you see challenges as obstacles that you can overcome, your mental health will be affected in a positive way.
5. Learn from your mistakes.You can also improve your self-esteem by learning from your mistakes. This means that you take responsibility for your actions and recognize when you are wrong. It also means that you see mistakes as opportunities to grow and improve.
1. A stanza is a group of lines in a poem. A stanza forms one part of a poem or song. A line of space separates stanzas. Short poems may or may not be split into stanzas.
2. Just like songs, some poems have a definite beat or rhythm. The rhythm of a line of poetry comes from the alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables in the line.
3. The rhyme scheme of a poem is determined by the pattern of rhymes in the words or syllables that end the lines of each stanza. Many rhyme schemes are possible. Sometimes the alternating lines of a four-line stanza rhyme. That rhyme scheme is abab. If the second and fourth lines of a four-line poem rhyme, the rhyme scheme is abcb. If the first and second, and the third and fourth lines rhyme, the rhyme scheme is aabb.
Familiarity with Power Point is helpful.
Days 1 and 2
Begin class by reading aloud "The Lion Who Couldn't Roar" by Gary Hogg. Ask students what Laydle the Lion learned in the story. Begin a discussion on self-esteem and self-concept. Ask students to think about the following questions:
1. How do you feel when you think about the kind of person you are?
2. Do you like and respect yourself?
3. Do you accept yourself for who you are?
4. Do you have confidence to try new things even though you might fail?
On a piece of scratch paper, have the students brainstorm their strengths and the positive qualities that make them unique. Make sure they include adjectives such as honest, kind, fair, hardworking and so on. Ask students to list at least 10 strengths and qualities.
Hand out art paper and supplies. Instruct the students to draw a picture of themselves in the center of the paper. Around the outside, have them draw and write 6 of the 10 qualities they brainstormed. They should NOT write their names on these projects. Allow students a full class period or more to complete these projects. Remind them that neatness counts. Hang the completed pictures in the hallway or around the classroom and allow students to guess who each paper belongs to based on that person's strengths.
Day 3 and Beyond
Reread "The Lion Who Couldn't Roar" and ask the students what they notice about the story. Students will point out that the story is written in prose or poetry. Talk about the elements of poetry (stanzas, rhyme scheme, etc). Have the students choral read some poetry, demonstrating how to emphasize the rhythm. Have them clap out the rhythm if needed. Offer several pieces of poetry with different rhyme schemes for students to read and interpret.
Have students write their own short story in prose (like "The Lion Who Couldn't Roar"). Ask them to depict a character who realizes his/her strengths and positive qualities. For example, students may write about a bird who couldn't sing, but who could fly higher than any other bird around. They might write about a leopard who has no spots, but has some other amazing talent. This assignment may take several days to complete, depending on your requirements.
When the students are ready to write a final draft, take them into the computer lab and teach them power point. Have them write their stories using power point and import pictures to use as illustrations.
When the presentations are complete, have the class put on a self-esteem workshop for some younger children. Have them explain what good self-esteem is and how to achieve it. Let them display their personal strength picture and explain it to the children. Finally, have students present their power point stories.
Students will be graded separately on four assignments:
1. Students will receive a grade on the personal strengths art project.
Grading will be based on completing the assignment on time, having 6 positive qualities listed, neatness, spelling, and grammar.
2. Students will be given a short quiz on Poetry
3. Students will be graded on their power point presentation using a rubric.
4. Students will be graded on their oral presentation to the younger students using a second rubric.
Hogg, Gary. The Lion Who Couldn't Roar. 1991.
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill. Teen Health Course 3. 2003.
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill. Reading Grade 6. 2003.