Purpose: Students identify the importance of self-respect.
1. Students define “self-respect.”
Have students recap qualities worthy of respect and write them on the board. Ask if, based on these qualities, they would add their own names to the list. Students may suggest that this would be bragging. Point out that each student has special qualities, just like the people they listed; these qualities make them worthy of respect, as well.
2. Students identify and discuss incidents in which qualities that deserve respect are evident.
Ask students to consider the respectable qualities they have discussed thus far and instruct them to list a few of those qualities that apply to themselves. Ask them to think about a time when they demonstrated one of those qualities.
Divide students into pairs. Have each student describe the time they thought of to their partner. If necessary, prompt students with the following examples:
- Standing up for a friend
- Getting a job
- Studying hard to pass a difficult exam
As students speak, have their partners take notes describing the tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language of the speakers. Have partners switch roles so that each student has a chance to describe their best moment.
Now, ask students to briefly describe a negative moment or one that they would be happy to forget. Again, as students speak, have their partners take notes on the tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language of the speakers.
3. Students analyze behavior and identify the need for self-respect.
Have students report on what they noticed about their partner’s behavior. Ask students if they noticed a difference in their partner’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language between when they described the positive event and when they described the negative event. Most students are likely to report that the partner’s tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language were far more cheerful and confident when describing a pride-filled moment than when describing one of embarrassment.
Conclude that, when we respect ourselves, we send out signals of confidence, such as a lively tone of voice, good eye contact, laughter, or an upright posture. When a person displays self-confidence, they become a magnet to others. Self-confidence—the expression of self-respect—empowers us by drawing others’ attention to our best qualities.