How to Celebrate Uniqueness by Learning Self-Awareness

KindergartenLesson: 503

How to Celebrate Uniqueness by Learning Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is one of the core competencies of social-emotional learning. It is defined by Collaborative Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as "The ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts." In this kindergarten lesson on self-honesty, young students develop and harness this skill to practice being honest about themselves. In doing so, children discover more about themselves and continually strive for improvement.

An illustrative audio story titled "Sadie the Sea Serpent" introduces the lesson to kindergarten students. This narrative features the jungle and forest animals on their sailing adventure across Lake Self-Honesty. While in the middle of their journey, a strange creature emerges from the lake; she is a majestic sea serpent named Sadie. Seeing a sea serpent for the first time terrifies the animals; meanwhile, the sea serpent finds the animals odd and amusing.

"Other than for self-discovery, self-awareness is a fundamental skill that facilitates self-honesty, self-improvement, and self-identity."

Sadie the Sea Serpent, queen of the lake, initiates the conversation and introduces herself. Without hiding her amazement, she openly shares her fascination with the new and odd-looking animal creatures. In a refreshingly honest exchange, the animals respond in kind, admitting that they also find Sadie strange-looking. Their candidness amuses Sadie. She laughs at the comment, displaying her self-awareness on the matter. In the end, she agrees with their observation, embraces her uniqueness, and guides her new friends across the lake.

Part of being honest with oneself is being aware of one’s traits. This is the essential lesson that Sadie’s story imparts to kindergarten students. Through Sadie’s character, who takes pride in her uniqueness, the young students learn to embrace every bit of who they truly are.

In a fun SEL activity that ends the lesson, kindergartners embark on a trip to self-discovery. As the facilitator, the teacher says, "I know someone who…" and then says something positive about one of the students. The rest of the class should try to guess the person being described. With this activity, students can learn that one way to get to know themselves is by understanding how others perceive them.

Other than for self-discovery, self-awareness is a fundamental skill that facilitates self-honesty, self-improvement, and self-identity. As kindergartners embrace their individuality and practice self-honesty, these young learners are poised to make a positive impact, not only in their own lives but also in the lives of others.

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