As social creatures, humans inherently desire acceptance and recognition from their social circles. This desire starts from a young age when one starts to develop a sense of self-concept, which is the way an individual perceives oneself. Self-concept is significantly influenced by the relationships one cultivates, particularly with friends. Good friends provide support, constructive feedback, and affirmation that aid in self-discovery.
One way to harness the power of friendships in building a positive self-concept is through a game called "Who's Missing." In this game, a student is chosen to leave the room while another student hides somewhere in the classroom. The student who left the room then returns and must guess who is missing based on clues provided by their classmates.
But there’s a catch – the clues must be positive attributes about the missing student. For example, students might say the one missing is kind, funny, or a good listener. As the game progresses, the person hiding hears all the positive things their classmates say about them. They share how all these make them feel once their identity is revealed.
"It is crucial for first graders to learn how to surround themselves with positive and supportive individuals who see the best in them."
"Who's Missing" can be repeated whenever students need to hear positive things about themselves. This SEL game can be played during spare time or incorporated into regular classroom activities. Over time, every student can have a chance to participate and benefit from the positive feedback of their peers.
It is crucial for first graders to learn how to surround themselves with positive and supportive individuals who see the best in them. By surrounding themselves with individuals who believe in their potential and encourage them to grow, they can develop a strong sense of self-worth and confidence.
Equally important is the ability to be a good friend to others. First graders need to understand the value of kindness and how it can make a positive impact on someone else's life. Through this lesson, they learn how to be a positive source and make others feel good about themselves.