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close this bookLife Skills for Young Ugandans- Secondary Teachers' Training Manual (UNICEF, 254 p.)
close this folderSection Four: Sample Activities
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentHEALTH
View the documentWATER AND ENVIRONMENTAL SANITATION
View the documentFAMILY HEALTH AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS
View the documentCOMMUNICABLE DISEASES
View the documentORAL HEALTH
View the documentSMOKING
View the documentDRUG ABUSE

FAMILY HEALTH AND SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Introduction

A family is a group of people living together. It is the fundamental unit in society where a child is socialized right up to adulthood. Since there are many types of families, the children always have different roles and responsibilities in their family structures. The factors that promote good family relationships include practise and demonstration of love, feeling of belonging, good communication, adequate income, companionship, and equitable sharing of resources. It is important that the children understand themselves and their relationships in the families.

This section addresses the characteristics of a good family structure and a wide variety of particular skills to be developed. Details of characteristics and needs are contained on page... in the manual.

TOPIC

FAMILY STRUCTURE

ACTIVITY ONE

RELATIONSHIPS IN A FAMILY

Objectives

By the end of the activity students should be able to:

1. Name the people in their families.
2. Identify their roles and relationships in the families.
3. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of their family structures.
4. Put into practice the skills of empathy and critical thinking,

Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, empathy, self awareness and self esteem.

Materials

Pieces of paper for drawing, coloured crayons or pencils, instruction sheet for drawing.

Procedure

1. Ask participants to answer the following questions.

(i) Which people do you consider to be members of your family?
(ii) How do family members relate in your family structure?
(iii) Which family members do you feel closest to? Why?

2. Ask the students to draw a diagram according to the following instructions.

(i) Draw a diagram of your family. Draw circles to represent girls/women and squares to represent boys/men. Represent yourself as a circle or square according to your sex, and colour it completely to distinguish it from the rest.

(ii) Include all the people you consider part of your family, whether they live in your household or not. They do not have to live in your household. Shade the symbols in different colours to distinguish the other members.

(iii) As you draw, distinguish the order of positions you feel you and other family members hold in your family structure.

(iv) When you have finished drawing, use loops (strings) to connect your personal symbol with two or more of the family members’ symbols. These connecting loops (strings) will illustrate how you relate in the family structure, above, below or equal.

(v) When you finish, draw a frame around the portrait. Decorate it in any way you wish.

3. Students display and explain their portraits. Ask the group to identify one or two examples of how members in your family relate in your family structure.

4. Ask the students to answer the following questions:

(i) What are the advantages and disadvantages of your family structure?
(ii) If you were able to change one thing about your family, what would you change?

5. Ask for volunteers to share their answers with the rest of the class.

6. Discuss the issues that arise with the students.

Learning points

· A family structure doesn’t necessarily consist of a father, mother and children. Many (happy) families are single parent, polygamous, include children living with stepparents, relatives etc.

· A good family structure addresses the right of a child:

“... to grow up in a peaceful, caring and secure environment, and to have the basic necessities of life, including food, health care, clothing and shelter” CRC, Article 27 Sections 1 and 2.

· A good family structure promotes appropriate direction and guidance to the child, without oppression. Article 5 of the Rights of the Child.

· Answers to 4 above could include: Father is absolute authority. Mother does not have much authority; boys are above girls; or above females (mother and daughters inclusive); mother and father together share authority and children are below; role of grandmother or uncle (etc.).

Hint

· These are sensitive issues and you should make sure that the ground rules are followed, including the right to pass.

Extension Activity

1. Ask students to write down what is important about living in a family for the next class.

ACTIVITY TWO

GIVE AND TAKE

Objectives

By the end of the activity, students should be able to:

1. Practice the spirit of give and take in their families.
2. Explain children’s rights and responsibilities in the context of the family.
3. Demonstrate the skill of positive interpersonal relationships.

Life Skills to be developed

Critical thinking, interpersonal relationship.

Materials

Large sheet of paper or chalk board, three sets of paper/cards for each student.

Time: 40 minutes.

Procedure

1. Distribute one card to all the students.

2. Write the phrase “give and take” on large sheets of paper and ask each participant to write down on his/her card what the phrase means.

3. Ask 4 volunteers to read out their definitions. Come to an agreement on a correct and acceptable definition.

4. Explain that “give and take” is a key element in all successful relationships but is a especially in a family.

5. Distribute another card to all the students and ask them to write down numbers from 1 to 10.

6. Ask students to fill in up to 10 ways in which they give to the family.

7. When they have finished ask them to write 1-10 on the reverse side of the card and fill in up to 10 things they get or take from their families.

8. Divide the students into groups. Each group prepares a consolidated list of what they give to and what they take from their families.

9. Write “privileges and responsibilities” on a large sheet of paper and explain that privileges are what we take from the family and responsibilities are what we give to the family.

10. Groups present their “privileges” and “responsibilities” from their consolidated lists.

Learning point

· It is important to realise that the students recognise that there are many things each person gains from her/his family.

Hints

· Point out that while some of their colleagues enjoy all these privileges, there are some families where adults are missing or are not able to provide their adolescents with all the things listed above This does not mean that the family has no value.

· Point out that though not all adolescents have all these responsibilities many of their colleagues do. They could be the responsibilities of other members of the family.

· It may be worth looking at different responses of males and females. For example it may be clear that girls actually give more than boys to the families while boys take more.

Extension activity

1. Students prepare answers to the following questions for the next lesson:

(i) How fairly are privileges divided up in your family?
(ii) Who seems to enjoy the most privileges? Why do you think so?
(iii) Who distributes the privileges?

TOPIC

FAMILY STRUCTURE

ACTIVITY

“FATIMA OVERWORKED”

Objectives

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

1. Explain division of labour within the context of the family.
2. Explain how such a division of labour usually affects the girls adversely.
3. Explain the relevant children’s rights with regard to non-discrimination
4. Take steps to address the unequal division of labour in their own homes and communities.

Materials

Copies of the case study.

Time: 40 minutes.

Procedure

1. Divide the students into groups. In this case the groups could be single sex.

2. Ask the groups to read through the case study and answer the questions that follow it. Different group members take it in turns to read aloud the parts of Sara and Fatima.

3. Group members present their answers to the plenary for discussion.

Learning Points

· Many studies now show that girls have to do far more work at home than boys and that this seriously affects their ability to study and climb the educational ladder.

· A good family should not overburden some of their members (on grounds of sex or any other criteria) with more responsibilities than they can comfortably bear. It is based on sharing and respect for all.

· The issue of culture needs to be confronted. So many cultures have changed that greater work sharing in the home is quite acceptable.

· Article 29 Section 1d, of the CRC spells out equal opportunity and treatment to a child, regardless of sex.

· While we normally refer to child labour where the child works for another person, child labour is a serious problem inside many families. Children have the responsibility to work in the home but not to the extent that it interferes with their lives. Particularly with regard to girls, the justification is that girls will have to impress their future husbands through hard labour to sustain the family income and ensure a stable marriage. Instead it leads to girls being pushed out of school and being unable to look after their children properly.

Hints

· The activity should help the adolescent develop a positive attitude towards responsibilities of household chores.

· If the response point towards few responsibilities being given to the boys, and more to the girls, the lecturer should point out that responsibility given to a child in the affairs of a family prepares them for better and more effective control over one’s life when they grow up. So both boys and girls need to be prepared.

· The lecturer could make use of the first Sara Communication Initiative (SCI) episode which is concerned with the issue of excessive work for girls.

CASE STUDY

Sara: Hey! Fatima, why were you dozing throughout the lessons today?

Fatima: I was tired.

Sara: Even during the first lesson in the morning?

Fatima: Yes.

Sara: What were you doing last night?

Fatima: A lot, starting from yesterday.

Sara: What do you mean?

Fatima: Well, in the first place when I went back home last evening, I had to fetch water two miles away, enough to keep the family going till I collect more today in the evening.

Sara: Sure?

Fatima: Yes, after which I had to gather enough firewood as well.

Sara: That’s quite some work. When do you do you homework?

Fatima: Most times I don’t. I have to prepare and serve supper, then clean the dining place and wash dishes before I finally go to bed.

Sara: I thought Selemani was your brother, doesn’t he help you?

Fatima: No. I’m told it is all the girls’ work.

Sara: I get the same comments from my uncle.

Fatima: Well, and this morning I had to dig my portion of the vegetable garden, prepare breakfast, and leave the family’s midday meal ready. Last night I went to bed around midnight and by 5 o’clock this morning, I was up again. That’s my daily bread. I am always tired.

Sara: I thought I had too much to do, but you have to do twice as much. I think we should let our teacher, Mrs Matata know about it. She may be able to guide us.

Fatima: That’s a good idea.

(i) Why is Fatima so tired? Do you think this is a common problem?

(ii) From Sara’s replies, what kind of life do you think she leads as well?

(iii) What is the effect of such a situation on Fatima’s and Sara’s chances in life?

(iv) What do you think of Selemani? Why doesn’t he help?

(v) How fairly are responsibilities divided up in your family? Who seems to have the greatest responsibilities? Why do you think that is so?

(vi) Are there responsibilities that you feel are too great for you to handle as an adolescent? If so which and why?

(vii) If you were Fatima, what would you do in this situation?

(viii) If you were Selemani what would you do?

(ix) If you were Ms Matata, how would you address the issue of fairness and culture?

TOPIC

CULTURAL AND ADOLESCENCE: CULTURAL FACTORS

ACTIVITY ONE

TALKING WITH OUR PARENTS, PART ONE

Objectives

By the end of the activity, students should be able to:

1. Identify sources of poor communication in family situations and ways of overcoming them.

2. Communicate better with their parents/guardians and other adults.

Life Skills to be developed

Creative thinking, effective communication, negotiation

Materials

None

Time: 40 minutes.

Procedure

1. Divide students into groups to answer the following:

(i) How much do you know about your parents/guardians when they were young? Interests/activities/aspirations in life etc.

(ii) To what extent can you talk to your parents/guardians about their past? Would they be willing to answer your questions if you asked?

(iii) Of what value would it be to you to know about your parents/guardians when they were young?

2. Groups report to the plenary for discussion.

3. Brainstorm on ways of improving child-parent communication.

4. Groups develop parent questionnaire.

5. Wrap up activity by reminding students to be very tactful in the way they ask their parents.

Learning points

· It is possible for parents and children to have healthy communication.

· Adolescence is a time of rapid changes that may lead to conflicts and confusion because they are not always understood by older people even if they had similar problems in their childhood.

· Changes in taste, fashion etc often cause conflict because many adults see them as against culture.

· The youth of today may well do the same as their parents when they grow older. It is important that we learn to communicate effectively in order not to have the same problems in the future.

Hints

· The initial group discussions will give you an insight into the kind of families your students come from. Use their responses to enrich classroom discussion.

· Deal with some of the difficult situations in an open minded way. Do not be moralistic in your responses.


Figure

Extension activity

1. Students discuss the questionnaire with their parents and feedback is given in a future lesson.

SAMPLE QUESTIONS FOR PARENTS

(i) What was being an adolescent like for you?

(ii) How did you feel when you were my age?

(iii) What did you enjoy doing when you were my age?

(iv) What responsibilities did you have in your family when you were my age?

(v) Do you think young people today have better or worse times than you did? Why?

(vi) If you could change one thing about the time when you were young?

(vii) What was your family like?

(viii) What do you like most being a parent?

(ix) What is the biggest responsibility of a parent?

(x) What advice would you give to adolescents today?

(xi) What lessons did you learn from your parents or guardians, and other adults that you try to pass on to us now?

Guidelines to participants on how to get information from their parents:

1. Find a convenient time and make an appointment with your parent, and request about 30 minutes of his/her time, on a day agreed upon.

2. Be prepared with your questions, paper and a pen or pencil, before your appointed day.

3. Explain why you are doing this exercise with your parent/guardian. There is a class activity to learn about how the world was in the time when their parents’/guardians were young and how their family members related to one another. Explain that the information will be useful in the next lesson.

4. Take notes to help you remember. Do not write everything down, but record specific answers to the questions you have prepared. You may also want to write down any especially interesting quotations.

5. At the end of the exercise with the parents, the children should thank their parents/guardians for availing them their time.

6. When they have finally established a more comfortable environment with their parents/guardians, the children should ask them what they felt about the following quotation from The Rights of the Child’, “Article 13 section 1.

“The child shall have the right to freedom of expression”

7. The children should be ready to discuss this last (No. 7) issue in their presentation of findings, to determine the course of the next activity.

ACTIVITY TWO

TALKING WITH PARENTS, PART TWO

Objectives

By the end of the activity students should be able to:

1. Identify factors that lead to poor communication between parents and children.
2. Explain differences between generations in terms of adolescence.
3. Put into practice skills of communicating effectively with parents/adults.

Life Skills to be developed

Effective communication, negotiation, creative thinking.

Materials

Students’ assignments, large sheets of paper, markers

Time: 40 minutes.

Procedure

1. Ask students how they felt carying out the assignment of talking to their parents/guardians.

2. Divide the class into small groups and ask them to discuss the following questions.

(i) What was it like having to ask your parents questions?
(ii) What new information did you learn?
(iii) How did your parent/guardian feel and react about you asking them questions?
(iv) What surprised you most when you were talking with your parents/guardians.
(v) What were their comments about the rights of children?
(vi) How do you feel now having sat down and talked with them?
(vii) How do you think this will help future communication with your parents?
(viii) How would you be similar or different as a parent if you had adolescents?
(ix) Any other comments?

3. Groups report back to plenary for further discussion.

Learning Points

· The children need to know that they have something to learn from their parents. (Older generation).

· Poor communication between generations is often the source of misunderstanding since both sides think they are not understood.

· This exercise was one way of trying to improve communication and understanding. The process should continue and build on the communication established.

· Adults have a lot of experience and can be a valuable source of help and guidance which the students can make use of.

Hints

· To avoid repetition in group feedback, each group should report one major point at a time.

· The children need to be made aware that on top of rights they have responsibilities. (Refer to Section One of the manual for a list of rights and responsibilities)

· The guidelines given to students for talking to their parents should form a basis of their having better communication not only with adults but also among themselves.

ACTIVITY THREE

ASSERTIVENESS WORKS

Objectives

By the end of the activity, students should be able to:

1. Explain the importance of good communication in solving problems.
2. Put into practice the skill of assertiveness (as opposed to passivity or aggression).

Life Skills to be developed

Effective communication, assertiveness

Materials

Large sheets of paper, copies of Fatima’s work schedule

Time: 40 minutes.

Procedure

1. Explain to the adolescents that one way of making communication more effective is to choose the appropriate way of conveying the message in a difficult situation.

2. Read the following scenario aloud:

Fatima has been coming to school late, and always with unfinished homework. As a result, her performance is poor, but not because she is stupid. Her usual day runs like this:

5.15 am

Light fire and prepare a family’s breakfast.

5.30 am

Wash clothes, including her brother Selemani’s bedsheets because he wets his bed.

6.00 am

Dig her portion in the garden.

7.00 am

Collect water from the well, and gather firewood.

7.45 am

Prepare lunch and leave on the fire.

8.00 am

Run to school.

8.30 am

Arrive, 30 minutes late.

8.30 am

Clean toilets and pick rubbish around the school compound as a punishment for coming late to school.

2. Distribute paper to students and ask them to write down what they think Fatima should do to improve her situation?

3. Students present their answers. Write them down under the appropriate heading, PASSIVE, AGGRESSIVE or ASSERTIVE.

4. Divide the class into three groups, PASSIVE, AGGRESSIVE and ASSERTIVE according to the answers they gave. Each group discusses the following questions.

(i) How will Fatima feel within herself, after making the response you chose?

(ii) How do you think Fatima’s parents/guardians would feel if she responds the way you chose?

(iii) What is the best or worst thing that would happen if Fatima makes your response?

5. Groups report back to plenary for further discussion.

6. Use their responses to clarify the difference between passive, aggressive and assertive responses. Conclude by showing that an assertive response is usually the most appropriate and effective because it states clearly the person’s position without being antagonistic.

Learning points

· PASSIVE RESPONSE

· If you behave passively, it means you have not expressed your own needs and feelings, preferring to suffer quietly It may also mean that your attempts to express yourself have been so weakly done that your concerns will not be addressed.

· If Fatima behaves passively by not saying anything, she may develop resentment against her parents and be angry with herself. Whenever she gets to school late she may become furious, and may empty her anger on her colleagues at school, or the teachers on duty. She could end up being misunderstood both at home and at school, and may never be able to state her case, either way.

· A passive response is not usually in your best interest because it allows other people take advantage of you, and violate your rights. However, there are situations when being passive may be the best alternative at the time. Therefore, you must assess the situation at hand. If you feel it is dangerous or not very predictable, choose the most appropriate response that will keep you safest.

· AGGRESSIVE RESPONSE

· If Fatima refuses to do the work disrespectfully in a rebellious way, she may feel satisfied with herself for a moment. This may not guarantee that her response will not instigate her parents to aggresively assert their position as superior. They may exert all available force to make her submit.

· An aggressive response is never in your own or anyone else’s best interest because it usually leads to more conflict.

· ASSERTIVE RESPONSE

· When you behave in an assertive way, it means you have expressed what you want or feel, frankly but with respect without violating the other person’s rights or stepping on them.

· If Fatima asks her parents for audience and politely expresses herself with valid explanations about how she feels and suggest how her situations could be improved, she would have respected her parents, but also stated facts. Hopefully her parents will realize their unfair distribution of tasks and redress the situation. Fatima would have asserted her rights and she will feel proud about it, though there is chance that the parents may still feel offended and ignore Fatima’s concern.

· Though an assertive response has the greatest chance of success, and guarantees getting what you want without hurting others, at times it can be out of place. If tempers are high, or people concerned are depressed or hurt, being assertive may not be the best choice. Good timing must be observed when the situation is calm and conducive to dialogue.

· The major skill being fostered is ASSERTIVENESS. While Adolescents are encouraged to be assertive before their parents/guardians to defend their rights, they must be reminded that they have a responsibility to:

“Work for the cohesion of the family, to respect his/her parents [elders and other children] and to assist them” From National Council for Children - Uganda

· Adolescents must be reminded that, it takes practice, with several failures at times to acquire the skill of assertiveness - it doesn’t happen overnight.

· For assertiveness to be effective, the situation and timing must be appropriate.

· A good family is where members express themselves freely and share responsibilities, concerns and experiences fairly without overburdening a single member.

· Adolescents need to know that their parents/guardians have a responsibility of ensuring they enjoy their childhood. It is their right to be children and to develop slowly into adults. Nothing should be forced on them which is above their age. “The Rights of the child, “Article 31, Section 1.

Hints

· When you introduce the topic, keep in mind that speaking out our minds to our parents/guardians or adults is not considered the norm of most of the cultures in Uganda. The level of freedom with their parents also will vary among participants. Some will come from families in which speaking up for oneself, or refusing to carry out a task, especially from an adult or a male, is considered rude or inappropriate.

· You do not want to encourage adolescents to behave in a way that could have unpleasant consequences for them in their cultural or family circles. It is important however, for the children to know that there are situations where speaking out will yield positive results.

· You also have to note that being frank and speaking out calls for a lot of precaution on the side of the speaker.

Extension activity

1. Ask the students to respond to the following:

(i) Think of circumstances where passive communication may be safest, even if your needs may by met.

(ii) Have you ever behaved aggressively in a situation? How did it work out?

(iii) Have you ever behaved assertively in any situation? How did it work out?

(iv) When is easier, and when is it more difficult, to be assertive? Give examples.

(v) In what kind of situations do you feel you will have to act assertively?

(vi) Have you heard people getting a negative reaction when they tried to speak out assertively? Explain.

(vii) Does acting assertively always guarantee your getting your needs or wants or feelings met?

ACTIVITY FOUR

THE ROLE OF THE ADOLESCENT IN PROMOTING THE HEALTH OF THE FAMILY

Objectives

By the end of the activity, students should be able to:

1. Explain how they can contribute to health in the home.
2. Demonstrate the skill of peer resistance.

Materials

Large sheets of paper, markers.

Time: 40 minutes

Procedure

1. Write the following terms on the board/large sheets of paper.

· Social health
· Emotional health
· Mental health
· Physical health

2. Divide participants into groups of 4 - 6 people.

3. Assign one item to each group, and ask them to brainstorm on how they understand the term (Note: This does not have to be a definition as such).

4. Ask each group to present their findings for discussion.

5. Put up final findings on the wall for reference.

6. In their original groups, students discuss how they could contribute towards the social, mental, emotional and physical health of their families. Each group deals with their original item. Each group member should make at least one suggestion.

7. Groups present their ideas to the plenary for further discussion.

8. Hang final lists on the wall and agree with the students that they will remain there as a permanent reminder of their role in promoting health in their families.

9. Conclude by asking the students to discuss briefly the following questions.

(i) What did you discover from this activity about your role in promoting health in your family?

(ii) What opportunities and limitations do you think you can face in promoting health?

(iii) Which areas are easier for you (physical, mental, social, emotional?)

(iv) What similarities and differences did you find in the families?

Learning points

· The report could use some of the examples below:

What I could do to promote the Social Health of my family:

1. Greet my parents and siblings in the morning before I go to school.

2. Help my mother prepare meals.

3. Assist my younger brother to prepare his clothes and books for school everyday.

4. Share fun and laughter with my family members.

5. Not make noise when my sister needs concentration on her homework.

6. Respect everybody’s privacy - not search anybody’s bag or belongings without their permission.

7. Not hurt other family members.

8. Take time to listen to other family members’ concerns, issues or problems.

9. Keep the family’s confidentiality.

What I could do to promote the physical health of my family:

1. Boil drinking water.

2. Help in cleaning the house everyday.

3. Open the windows every morning.

4. Collect all the rubbish around the compound.

5. Cover all our food.

6. Place a small container of water near the latrine, for washing hands after visiting the facility.

7. Help my mother plan a balanced diet.

8. Have a small garden with greens and pineapples to minimize the family expenditure.

9. Care for the sick members of my family.

10 Help my younger brother brush his teeth every morning.

What I could do to promote the emotional health of my family:

1. Understand when my parents can not afford to meet all my needs.
2. Give comfort when one of us is hurting.
3. Join in the family’s celebrations.
4. Participate in the family’s prayers or workshop.
5. Help reduce conflict between family members.
6. Reassure my mother and father that I appreciate them and what they do for me.
7. Do my part in the household chores or responsibility.
8. Not hurl insults or humiliate my younger brother.
9. Share in the happy moments of my sister or brother when they succeed.
10. Work to promote the good image of our family.

What I could do to promote the mental health of my family:

1. Not create tension by what I do or say.

2. Not support conflict when my father and my brother/sister don’t seem to agree.

3. Let my family know where I am after 6.00 pm.

4. Accept and help other members to accept a situation about which we can’t do much to change.

5. Appreciate the little we have and make the best out of it.

(The Facilitator is free to adapt, add or make new lists or exercises).

Hints

· The students need to realize their important role as members of their families who can influence the health of their families in many ways, by translating what they learn from school into action at home.

· You could use The Special Gift’ as an example of activity to promote health through stopping air pollution, and a measure against deforestation. (Refer to the Sara Communication Initiative, “The Special Gift.”)

· The participants (adolescents) must be encouraged to review what exactly they have been doing in promoting the health of their families, and making resolutions for the better.

· The exercise above aims at promoting a sense of responsibility and creativity for the adolescents, it also aims at emphasizing a sense of membership to their families.

Extension Activities

Ask the students to:

1. Write how they can improve their own lives in order to contribute to improving their family’s health.

2. Develop an Action Plan for themselves. It should not be too ambitious but one that can be implemented. The Action Plan could look like this:

(i) My aim is.............................................................................................................
(ii) The steps I need to take are:

(a).......................................................................................................................
(b).......................................................................................................................
(c).......................................................................................................................

(iii) The way(s) to do this are......................................................................................
(iv) I need support from..............................................................................................
(v) It will take (how long)............................................................................................
(vi) I will know it has worked if or when........................................................................

ACTIVITY FIVE

DEVELOPING A SENSE OF SELF-WORTH

Objectives

By the end of the activity, students should be able to:

1. Identify those behaviours which influence children negatively.
2. Explain their own strong points and how they can develop them.
3. Describe the positive approach to bringing up children.
4. Put into practice positive behaviours based on their growing self-esteem.

Materials

Text of poem, and “Who am I”, paper, markers.

Time: 40 minutes.

Procedure

1. Divide students into pairs and ask them to share with their partner things they remember from their childhood which hurt or disappointed them.

2. Pairs give examples of this to the plenary. Write down their examples on a large sheet of paper/chalkboard.

3. Students compare experiences briefly.

4. Explain that everyone goes through experiences during their childhood which affect how they look at themselves when they grow up.

5. Distribute pieces of paper to each student and ask them to draw a picture representing a shield divided into six or eight parts.

6. Ask students to put a spear through their shield for everything they remember as having hurt or disappointed them.

7. Ask students to keep their shields for further reference.

8. Read the following poem to the students.

TEACH THE CHILDREN WELL I

If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty

If a child lives with tolerance he learns to be patient

If a child lives with encouragement, he learns to try his best

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate

If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.

(Nolte)

9. Explain that the poem refers to both boys and girls. The flow of the poem would be interrupted by writing he/she all the time.

10. Read the poem a second time more slowly and ask the students to answer the following questions.

(i) What is the main point of the poem?
(ii) How can you compare the poem to what you represented on your shields?

11. Ask students to use the poem and their shields to write six statements under the title ‘Who am I?’

12. Ask for volunteers to read out their statements. Stress the importance of giving positive images of themselves and give the following example of a positive self-image:

Who am I?

I am a girl and I am proud of it.

I am only 3 feet 5 inches tall and I like myself

I am dark skinned, I am beautiful

I am the only one like myself

I am special

I am unique.

Extension Activities

1. Ask the students to answer the following questions:

(i) What aspects of your life can you not change (eg appearance, relatives etc)? Can you change your physical features by worrying about them?

(ii) Can you ever exchange your parents for others?

(iii) What should you do about those things you cannot change about yourself or about your life?

2 Make a resolution to tell yourself the following words, every morning before you get out of bed:

“I AM UNIQUE, I DON’T LOOK LIKE ANYBODY ELSE IN THE WHOLE WORLD. I AM SPECIAL BECAUSE I AM ME”

Learning points

· Even when your childhood was nasty, you can determine to change your self-image into a positive one.

· Adolescents may not be able to influence or alter the opinion other people hold of them, but they can change their own opinions about themselves.

· The power to fully love yourself and hold a positive self-image lies within yourself.

· The individual is the final authority in uplifting or destroying her/his up your self image.

· It takes practice and determination to build a lasting sense of self-worth.

· The skill being emphasized in this unit is SELF-ESTEEM. The way one behaves is largely determined by the level of self esteem one has.

Hint

Stress that, although the favourable conditions mentioned in the poem are more likely to lead to higher self esteem, every student from whatever background can build their self esteem.