What does the word "unique" mean? How does being unique help improve self-concept? Using an educational and imaginative story titled “The Jack-O’-Lantern Contest,” this lesson helps kindergartners to embrace who they are and see that they are amazing in their own way.
In a tranquil jungle setting where the Halloween season is coming, the story starts with the jungle animals carving jack-o’-lanterns. Under the shade of a nice tree, Chippy Cheetah, Miska Monkey, Jareef Giraffe, and Ellie Elephant admire their own one-of-a-kind carvings, claiming theirs is the best. Suddenly, a contest for the best work ensues among them. Leonard Lion, waking up from his nap, makes them realize that all of the lanterns are equally beautiful in their own way. The animals feel good about themselves and their work knowing that there is no one like them.
"The value of this lesson lies in helping kindergartners understand that their uniqueness makes them special, improving how they see themselves as a result."
Having unique, positive qualities can make one feel special, increasing the way one views personal value and self-worth. By helping kindergartners recognize that they have qualities that make them important, they improve their ideas of themselves. After the story-telling, they reflect more on this, answering the discussion questions that reinforce the story's moral.
To finish the lesson, the students participate in an SEL activity that helps them realize how incomparable they are. The teacher explains that this is positive as each has their defining characteristic. Kindergartners then start to view themselves more positively with the newly gained sense of confidence.
The value of this lesson lies in helping kindergartners understand that their uniqueness makes them special, improving how they see themselves as a result. This improvement helps with all kinds of social and emotional development in areas such as self-awareness, self-management, and relationship-building, all of which can benefit them throughout adulthood.