Self-Esteem Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Pack a punch with your instruction on self esteem with the help of two lessons and an interactive classroom activity. Options for further study and related lessons are also included.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define self esteem
  • evaluate theories on self esteem
  • apply the principles of self esteem to their own lives


1 hour


  • Notebook paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • White board or chalk board
  • Dry erase markers or chalk
  • Tablet, computer, or projector to access lesson

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claims.


Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.

Key Vocabulary

  • Living consciously
  • Self acceptance
  • Self responsibility
  • Self assertiveness
  • Living purposefully
  • Personal integrity


  • Begin by asking students to list things that they have tried and failed. Also have them include the things that they'd like to try, but are afraid they would fail.
  • Now show the video lesson What Is Self-Esteem? - Definition & How to Improve It, pausing at 00:44.
  • Next, ask students to list things at which the excel.
  • Resume the video lesson, pausing at 1:57. Ask the students to raise their hands if they were born during the self-esteem movement. How about their siblings?
  • Resume the video lesson again and pause at 4:12. Ask students to consider these ideas as they revisit their lists of things that they are good at and those that they have tried and failed. Do they agree with the statements about failure, effort, and self esteem? Do they feel good about themselves when they give it their all even if they aren't successful?
  • Now play the remainder of the lesson for the class.
  • Next, ask students to read the text lesson What is Self-Esteem? - Definition, Six Pillars & Issues in its entirety.
  • As the students are reading the text lesson, write the vocabulary terms on the board.
  • When all students have finished reading the text lesson, have them write down examples from their own lives of the six pillars of self esteem that were discussed in the text lesson and are written on the board. If they cannot find an example for one or more of the pillars, have them describe a way that they could integrate it into their lives to improve self esteem.

Discussion Questions

  • Do the ideas of the failures of the self esteem movement ring true for their generation?
  • How does this differ from their parents' generation?
  • Is improving self esteem as simple as integrating the six pillars into daily life?


  • Have the students interview athletes at school. Does everyone get a trophy for participating? If so, does this impact performance? What factors determine how much time on the field or court a given player receives?
  • Ask students to interview older friends and relatives about self esteem. How were they treated when they succeeded at something? How about when they failed? Do they believe that this affected their self esteem? Now have students share their findings with the class.

Related Lessons

Achievement Motivation: Theory & Definition

Intrinsic Motivators: Examples & Overview

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.