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Self Esteem

Teacher Guide by Patrick Healey

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Self Esteem and Self Concept Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Self Esteem Include:

When children have high self esteem, they make positive decisions that better themselves. Low self esteem may lead to more destructive decisions. These decisions may be as little as not joining a team/club, or as risky as crumbling under peer pressure. The following activities will help students build positive self concept and important life skills.

Self Esteem Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Self Esteem Vocabulary


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When covering important topics it is essential for all students to understand common terminology so that everyone is on the same page with content. At times, terms on self esteem can be confusing and easy to mix up. When students define words in their own terms using visuals, it helps students get their perspective across and retain information better. Other activities will refer back to these terms.

Self Esteem Vocabulary

Positive Self Concept

Someone with a positive self concept likes who they are and tends to make decisions to better themselves based on the high value of self.


Negative Self Concept

Someone with a negative self concept is unhappy with who they are and tends to make more destructive decisions based on a poor value of self.


Self Esteem

Self esteem reflects the attitudes you have about yourself, positive or negative.


Self Concept

Self concept is the idea you have of yourself and behaviors.


Ideal Self

The ideal self is the person who one wants to be.


Self Worth

Self worth is how much value you put behind yourself.


Self Talk

Self talk is when someone thinks or says out loud something to motivate themselves.


(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of self esteem concepts by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Come up with your own definition and type it in the description box.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Here I am... Setting Goals for Myself


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Teens are constantly challenged in making decisions. (Should they try out for a team? Join a club? See friends? Do homework?) We want them to make the best choice every time, because even little decisions may have unforeseen consequences. Developmentally speaking, children are not naturally thinking about the future. Setting goals is a great way to help them stay on track and think about the BIG picture. This activity will ask them to create what they want to be in five years and ten years. This will help them create their ideal self!

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Show your ideal self at two different times in your future life by creating a three-cell storyboard.


  1. Click "Use this Template" and fill in the title boxes with Present, Five Years From Now, and Ten Years From Now.
  2. In the first cell, create a image of who you are today.
  3. In the second cell, create an image of who you want to be in five years.
  4. In the third cell, create an image of who you want to be in ten years.
  5. Put a brief description of what you created in the cell above and include a decision that was made.
  6. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Helping Others and Ourselves


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It’s always good practice to give positive support. We usually find it easier to complement or support others before ourselves. At the end of this storyboard, the students will show how they can not only build someone else’s self confidence, but also their own. Self talk is a great way to motivate yourself. The students will show how they have supported someone else in need and then show how they can positively support themselves.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the impact of self esteem by creating a storyboard where you support others first, and then support yourself.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Label the first two titles, Supporting Others, and the third title, Supporting Ourselves.
  3. In the first two cells, show how you can positively support others or your peers in need.
  4. In the third cell show one way that you can positively support yourself.
  5. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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I Am! Positive Affirmations


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At times we can be over-critical of ourselves and may harp on our imperfections, usually forgetting about the already existing good qualities. This activity will have students make positive affirmations for themselves. By creating five or more affirmations, students will have to think about more than just surface characteristics.

You may find that students have trouble listing five good things about themselves. This is a troubling reality, but is exactly the reason why we are covering this topic. It shouldn’t be hard to talk positively about yourself. If a student is struggling, a good idea is to tell them what you like about them as a student (class participation, good listener, hard worker, etc.).

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of positive self concept by creating five or more positive affirmations for yourself in a visual storyboards.


  1. Click "Use this Template" in the assignment.
  2. Use the "Add Cells" button to create five or more cells.
  3. In each cell, create an image of what you like about yourself.
  4. Each cell should be different and contain a short blurb describing what is good about you.
  5. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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FLIP It! Learn From Your Mistakes


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Part of being a student is making mistakes. At times, students will be challenged or face obstacles. It is easy to turn obstacles into excuses, but overcoming them will be an important skill for life. Recognizing mistakes is only the first part; learning from them is more important. Students may dwell on their mistakes even if they seem insignificant to others. Practicing and realizing that mistakes are a part of life is important.

In this activity, students will be flipping mistakes into learning experiences. Individually students can use their own mistakes, but if this is a group or partner activity, students may want to create examples outside of their own experience.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard showing lessons learned when making everyday mistakes or obstacles.


  1. Click "Use This Template" from the assignment.
  2. Label each column Obstacle/Mistakes and Lessons.
  3. In each mistake/obstacle cell, depict a common mistake or problem experienced by you or by teens in general.
  4. In each lesson cell, depict the character learning from this mistake or obstacle.
  5. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Consequences of Poor vs. Positive Self Esteem


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Our self esteem develops as we grow and changes as we get older and we take on new roles. Self esteem affects relationships with others. Positive or high self esteem, if we like who we are, will make us value ourselves and others. Negative or low self esteem, if we don’t like ourselves, will make us withdrawn, and we may treat ourselves and others poorly.

At a young age, our self esteem may impact our decisions. If we value and believe in ourselves, we will be more likely to take risks and be more outgoing. Life is all about going out on a limb while weighing the consequences over the rewards. If we lack the confidence to take on the risk, we may never challenge ourselves or others. Staying stagnant isn’t what we want our youth doing. Have students create a storyboard where they are faced with a decision and how self esteem may impact the outcome.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Show the impact of self esteem by creating a comparison storyboard.


  1. Click "Use This Template" from the assignment.
  2. Label the left column, Low Self Esteem, and the label the right column, High Self Esteem.
  3. Label each row with common decisions students face throughout their school year.
  4. In the cells in the left-hand column, depict an outcome of the decision when someone has low self esteem.
  5. In the cells in the right-hand column, depict an outcome of the same decision when someone has high self esteem
  6. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Self Esteem and Self Worth

We want our students to make decisions that will better themselves and the community. We can’t make decisions for them, but as teachers we can make an influence. If a student feels good about themselves and has high self esteem, they will put themselves first when faced with important choices. On the other hand, when a student has low self worth, they may occasionally or consistently make destructive decisions. Developmentally speaking, young people do not think consequence first, but they have developed a reward system. If students don’t value themselves and they are faced with a destructive decision, they may ask themselves; why not? If they have low self worth, they may feel like there is nothing to lose.

Throughout this activity guide, the students will be creating storyboard that will help them foster positive self esteem and self worth. They will be challenging their self worth in different ways. Mental health is an underappreciated aspect of health that may not be thought about until it’s negatively affecting our lives. It is not something that can be seen and it is hard to measure, making mental health an afterthought, especially for students. Let’s help our students help themselves.


Essential Questions for Self Esteem and Self Worth

  1. What is self esteem?
  2. What is the difference between self esteem and self concept?
  3. How does self esteem tie into decision making?

Additional Self Esteem Lesson Plan Ideas

  1. Practicing Positive Self Talk - Students create stressful situations in a storyboard and practice self talk to get through them.
  2. Coat of Arms / Family Crest - Students create their own coat of arms in a single cell storyboard.
  3. Thankful For - Students depict something they are happy about currently in their lives.

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•   (English) Self Esteem   •   (Español) Autoestima   •   (Français) Amour Propre   •   (Deutsch) Selbstachtung   •   (Italiana) Autostima   •   (Nederlands) Zelfvertrouwen   •   (Português) Auto Estima   •   (עברית) הערכה עצמית   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) احترام الذات   •   (हिन्दी) आत्म सम्मान   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Самооценка   •   (Dansk) Selvværd   •   (Svenska) Självkänsla   •   (Suomi) Itsetunto   •   (Norsk) Selvtillit   •   (Türkçe) Benlik Saygısı   •   (Polski) Samoocena   •   (Româna) Stimă de Sine   •   (Ceština) Sebevědomí   •   (Slovenský) Sebavedomie   •   (Magyar) Önbecsülés   •   (Hrvatski) Samopoštovanje   •   (български) Самочувствие   •   (Lietuvos) Savigarba   •   (Slovenščina) Samopodoba   •   (Latvijas) Pašapziņa   •   (eesti) Enesehinnang