Self-Esteem Activities for Elementary Students

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Building the self-esteem of your elementary-aged students is one of the most important things you can do as their teacher. This lesson offers specific activities to help your students feel stronger and more confident.

Why Self-Esteem Activities?

As an elementary school teacher, you have a lot on your plate! You are thinking about students' cognitive development and their achievement in so many different areas. At the same time, you know that it is important not to neglect their emotional well-being. One important thing you can do is focus on your students' self-esteem, or the way they feel about themselves. Students with healthy self-esteem will do better academically and be better equipped to develop independence. They will have stronger friendships and a better ability to cope with challenges that come up.

The activities in this lesson are oriented toward helping students feel strong, confident, and realistic in their assessment of their own strengths and capacities. You can modify the activities to meet the needs and abilities of students in your class. Of course, there is no one magical activity that will automatically boost your students' self-esteem, but working on these little by little over time can make a big difference, and it can also strengthen the sense of community in your classroom.

Self-Esteem Activities for Elementary School

Everyone's a Helper

This activity will help your students reflect on their own strengths and get to know and understand the strengths of others in the class, too. Ask your students to fold a piece of paper in half. On one side, they should draw a picture of something they feel they are really good at. On the other side, they should draw a picture of something they feel they struggle with. Bring your students together and ask them to share their drawings. Then, ask them to think about how they can use the thing they are good at to help others with their struggles. For instance, if a student feels really good at sports, maybe she can help a student who struggles to throw or catch a ball. If a student thinks he is good at making friends, he might be able to help someone who feels shy. Using students' ideas, create a chart labeled 'Everyone's a Helper.' List the names of all of the students in the class and their ideas for what they can help with. Then, encourage students to consult the list to figure out who might be able to help them with their weaknesses.

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