Friendly relationships have a significant influence on one’s life in more ways than one realizes. They can provide a comforting sense of belonging and acceptance that humans, as social beings, need to thrive. As a support system, they help cope with trauma and relieve one’s stress, increasing focus and mental clarity. These benefits of friendly relationships make one feel seen, accepted, and understood, thus improving one’s self-concept and self-worth.
To reinforce the significance of friendships in self-development, this kindergarten SEL lesson assesses the students’ comprehension of friends as a factor in shaping self-concept.
"Friendly relationships have a significant influence on one’s life in more ways than one realizes. They can provide a comforting sense of belonging and acceptance that humans, as social beings, need to thrive."
Using the "Happy Face" and “Sad Face” of their “Self-Concept Signals,” kindergartners participate in a simple yet fun SEL game. The game asks them to identify which actions of a friend make them feel positive or negative about themselves. Having such a good time, kindergartners raise the “Happy Face” side of their signal to answer that the action is positive. The “Sad Face” is raised, on the other hand, to signal that the action is negative.
Engaging kindergarten students in this easy-to-follow game is an effective retention and engagement strategy as it strengthens their comprehension of the lesson. In the end, the students draw and color a picture that depicts how they or their friends make each other feel positive about themselves. Their outputs are compiled in their "All About Me" booklets.
Overall, it is important for kindergartners to understand that their friends contribute to how they think about themselves. With this understanding, they can develop a positive self-concept by building a positive relationship with them. Having positive feelings about themselves is crucial in ensuring their success as they learn to trust their potential to improve academically and personally.