Explanation of the activity:
This activity will help students to understand that friends and the media can contribute to their self-esteem.
Choose whether students will work together as partners or together as class to read the following scenarios and the questions that follow.
Anna and Olivia are eating lunch together. Anna asks, “Did you watch The Lindsay Ruff Show last night?” Olivia says she missed it. “Oh, it was so great,” Anna gushes. “Her hair was super straight and she put blue streaks in her bangs. I wish my hair could do that.” Olivia thinks Anna’s curly hair is pretty but she agrees with her friend and doesn’t say so. Instead, Olivia says, “I wish I could dye my hair, too. It would be easier to dye if it were blond.”
1. Who do Anna and Olivia compare themselves to?
2. Is it realistic to compare yourself to someone you see on television or in a magazine? Explain.
3. What could Olivia have said to Anna that was positive?
Be sure to make sure students realize that in this scenario, Olivia contributed to Anna’s negative thoughts about herself AND put herself down. Discuss that people on television and in magazines have access to professionals whose job is to make them look “cool and attractive.” You should never compare yourself to anyone.
Mark and Diego want to play baseball after school. They are deciding who to ask to play with them. Diego says, “I think we should ask the new kid from the class next door.” Mark disagrees. He says, “Justin? I saw him try to catch a ball in gym class. He was terrible. If you want to ask him, he’s on your team.” Diego asks Justin to play with them. Justin admits that he is not a great athlete, but he’ll try. Justin strikes out during the game and misses a fly ball in the outfield. “I told you so,” Mark whispers to Diego. After the game, Justin uses his math skills to tell everyone what their batting percentages were. He thanks Diego and says, “I love baseball, but I never got asked to play at my old school.” Mark is impressed with Justin’s math skills and offers to help him with baseball in exchange for some math tutoring.
Make sure that the students note that it is important to give people a chance. Justin can get better at baseball with the help of his friends and practice. Mark will also improve at math with Justin’s help. Helping your friends is an excellent way to help them have positive self-esteem.