An Activity for Working on Self-esteem in the Classroom

Do you want to work on the development of self-esteem in the classroom but don't know how? Here's a very effective activity.
An Activity for Working on Self-esteem in the Classroom
Ana Couñago

Written and verified by the psychologist Ana Couñago.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

The concept of self-esteem refers to the subjective perception and valuation of oneself, both personally and socially. To develop a good level of self-esteem, you need to love and accept yourself as you are. But this isn’t always easy, especially in childhood and adolescence, when individuals are forming their own character. For this reason, in the following article, we’ll recommend an activity to work on self-esteem in the classroom. In this sense, we must take into account that, at certain ages, friendships and the opinions of other peers become very important. Therefore, it’s good to work on self-esteem in a joint way, with the whole class.

“Only if I feel valued for being the way I am can I accept myself, can I be authentic, can I can be true.”

-Jorge Bucay-

A row of elementary students working in class.

Factors that influence the development of self-esteem

As we’ve already mentioned, self-esteem is the subjective evaluation a person makes of themselves. When this evaluation’s positive, it entails feelings of:

  • Confidence
  • Capacity and personal worth
  • Respect for themselves
  • Appreciation and consideration for themselves and their qualities

All this is fundamental for optimal growth and evolutionary development. But the formation of good self-esteem does not depend only on oneself, but also depends on several factors, such as the following:

  • One’s own perception of capabilities, qualities, and personal characteristics.
  • The valuation of one’s own achievements or goals.
  • One’s own comparison with respect to other people.
  • The appreciation received from other people. In childhood, the perception of attention and affection from the family is especially important. In addition, in pre-adolescence and adolescence, feeling loved and appreciated by friends is also highly valued.
  • Experiences.
  • The opinion that others have about oneself.
  • The interpretation or comments others make about one’s behavior or manner.

“Self-esteem is the reputation we acquire with ourselves.”

-Nathaniel Branden-

Therefore, to work on self-esteem in the classroom with children, it’s best to make them see what other classmates think about them and their own reflections about it. So, do you want to discover an activity to achieve this goal? Here, we’ll explain it step by step so that you can easily put it into practice.

An activity to work on self-esteem in the classroom

Before starting the activity, you need to explain to the children what self-esteem is in a simple, clear, and understandable way. Once they’ve understood the meaning of this concept, the following steps should be followed:

A young boy who's proud of himself.
  1. First, each student is given a blank sheet of paper. At the top of the paper, they should write only their name.
  2. Then, each child gives the paper to the classmate on the right. This classmate should write something positive about the student in question, whether it be qualities, physical characteristics, abilities, skills, etc.
  3. When the teacher says “switch”, the children must pass the paper again to the child on the right so that they receive another classmate’s paper. Once again, they have to write positive characteristics of the person whose name appears at the top.
  4. This procedure is repeated as many times as necessary so that a chain is formed among the students until each of the sheets of paper arrives back to its owner with the compliments and praise written by the rest of the classmates.
  5. Each child reads the positive characteristics that appear on their sheet, reflects on them, circles those that surprise them, and underlines those with which they agree.
  6. And, finally, a debate is created in the classroom in which the positive evaluations that the children have made among themselves are discussed as a group.

So, now that you know this interesting activity to work on self-esteem in the classroom, we hope you’ll put it into practice soon with your students so that they can appreciate all the incredible qualities that each one of them possesses, even if they haven’t yet realized it yet.

“Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves.”

-Nathaniel Branden-

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.