Knowing Strengths

Educational Objective: The student will express his personal strengths as needed during an interview or when completing an application
Language Arts Standard: Speaking, Reading & Writing
See Strengths Rubric Download

• Identify Need
* During an Interview for a Job
* Completing an application

• Introductory Activity
• Define Steps to determine self-worth. Below see a summary of the recommendations of psychologist, Lisa York, Ph.D.

Techniques for Positive Change

*Self-Acceptance: Separate Who You Are from What You Have Done. We will make mistakes.
*List and Reinforce Strengths: Make a list of personal strengths and build positive self-statements about each one.
*Avoid Self-discounting Statements: Work to decrease your negative self-attacks.
*Replace Negative Thoughts with Positive Ones: Record negative, critical statement you make about yourself for one week in a notebook. Now, challenge the rationality and validity of each one. Replace each one with its opposite self-supportive statement.
*Develop a Positive Quality through Visualization: Identify a quality you want to possess and select someone that exemplifies this quality

Compare yourself to the Personal Qualities we call as life skills.

Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, one being lacking and 10 being strong.


___ INITIATIVE: TO DO SOMETHING BECAUSE IT NEEDS TO BE DONE. What can you do today to show initiative?

___ FLEXIBILITY: THE ABILITY TO CHANGE PLANS OR COURSE OF ACTION WHEN NECESSARY. Try to be flexible when necessary. There may be times when you need others to be flexible.

___ PERSERVERANCE: TO KEEP WORKING UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE IN SPITE OF DIFFICULTIES. Don’t give up. Sometimes all it takes is one more attempt.

___ ORGANIZATION: TO PLAN, ARRANGE AND IMPLEMENT IN AN ORDERLY WAY. You can get much more done if you are organized and have a plan.

___ SENSE OF HUMOR: TO LAUGH AND BE PLAYFUL WITHOUT HURTING OTHERS. When appropriate laugh and get others to laugh with you. It feels good and is good for you.

___ EFFORT: TO TRY YOUR HARDEST. Always do your best. Your effort will be rewarded in many different ways.

___ COMMON SENSE: TO USE GOOD JUDGMENT. Think about it first. If it seems right, it probably is and you are developing good common sense.

___ PROBLEM SOLVING: TO SEEK SOLUTIONS EVERYDAY AS WELL AS IN DIFFICULT SITUATIONS. Look at finding the solution to problems and difficult situations as a challenge. Soon little problems will no longer be difficult to handle.

___ RESPONSIBILITY: TO BE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS. Always do the right thing and you will not have to explain your actions.

___ PATIENCE: TO WAIT CALMLY FOR SOMEONE OR SOMETHING. Staying calm helps you think clearly, make good choices, and appreciate the results.

___ FRIENDSHIP: TO MAKE AND KEEP A FRIEND THROUGH MUTUAL TRUST AND CARING. Do something kind for a classmate today; you may make a new friend.

___ CURIOSITY: TO DESIRE TO LEARN OR KNOW ABOUT A FULL RANGE OF THINGS. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, you can never learn too much.

___ COOPERATION: TO WORK TOGETHER TOWARD A COMMON GOAL. You can get a lot more done and it’s much more fun when everyone cooperates.

___ CARING: TO FEEL CONCERN FOR OTHERS. One small act of kindness can often make a big difference in someone’s life. Help make that difference.

___ RESPECT: TO HAVE CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS. Remember to always treat others the way you would like to be treated.

___ YOUR SMILE: Do you share it with others.

If you scored below a 4 on any one of these, write something positive you could do to improve yourself in that area.

Rubric for A Self-Evaluation

Student (Speaker)____________________________ Student (Subject)____________________________

Date: _____________________
Observer's Name:___________________________________________

Social Skill Being Practiced: _____________________________

Behavior of Speaker: No Yes
Did the student rate several of the Life Skills with a 6 or better?    
Did the student identify areas for personal improvement?    
Did the student indicate a willingness to improve?    
Did the student indicate at least one other strength he had?    

Other Comments: ___________________________________________________________

Extension: View "Chariot Races"

Title: The Chariot Races
Author: Live Wire Media
Audience: Students, grades 6-12 and young adults
Ordering Information: Extension Educational Resource Library
Annotated Bibliography: This realistic video presents the experiences of youth and adults who have responded to the challenge of rebuilding their lives after experiencing accidents that resulted in physical disabilities. This video is best for a small group of up to 12 people as video will make a strong impact on the audience. There is not a lesson plan for this video but it will generate many many questions from the audience.

New Game!

300 Fun Activities That Make Children Feel Good about Themselves

By Barbara Sher

Self-esteem games show players that it is okay to be themselves, because the essence of self-esteem is to know and accept who we are just as we are now. These games reinforce positive feelings and provide a lasting foundation for learning.

Special sections highlight:
· Knowing your strengths and abilities
· Expressing everyday feelings and reactions
· Enjoying being unique – like everyone else!
· Building relationships by being with friends and trusting others
· Building confidence by getting to know your body and senses

See also:

The teenage authors of The Struggle To Be Strong don't have all the answers, but they do a hell of a job wrestling with the questions. The wisdom they've gained is what makes this book so powerful and so helpful to teens who are facing tough issues as they move toward adulthood. The 30 stories offer an abundance of lessons learned, from Younique Symone's painful reckoning with her drug-addicted mother in "I Don't Know What the Word Mommy Means," to Artiqua Steed's exploration of interracial dating, to Tamara Ballard's story of becoming tight with a girl she never thought she'd be proud to call sister.

6th Grade:
Speaking Applications:
2.4 Offer a logical sequence of information and engage the listener, foster an acceptance of an idea.

7th Grade
Speaking Applications:
1.2 Determine a speakerís attitude toward a subject.
1.6 Use speaking techniques, including voice modulation , inflection, tempo, enunciation and eye contact for effective communication.

8th Grade
Speaking Applications:
1.2 Paraphrase a speakerís purpose and point of view and ask relevant questions concerning the speakerís content, delivery and purpose.
1.3 Organize information to achieve particular purposes by matching the message, vocabulary, voice modulation, expression and tone to the audience and purpose.