Character Education - The Six Pillars of Character - Citizenship

Teaching Guide:

for grades K-5

This page is from the teaching guide for the video "Appreciating Yourself" in the DVD series You Can Choose!


 Be careful about comparing yourself to other people. Sometimes that can make you feel good or even inspire you to improve in some way. But sometimes it can make you overlook what's truly good about yourself and cause you to feel bad.

 Think about times when you've done something good. Include those times when you've made a difference to somebody else by being helpful, kind, or thoughtful.

 Take part in activities that make you feel good such as hobbies, reading, sports, or spending time with good friends.

 Don't be so afraid of failing that you're not willing to try something new. New experiences can help you grow and discover wonderful new things about yourself.

 When you do fail at something, don't get down on yourself. Think about what you can learn from the experience and how you can do better next time.

 Think about things you do well. Take pride in your successes.

 Remember, the most important thing about people is what we're like inside, not what we own or what we've accomplished.

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the video

Buy This Series

This video teaches children:

 To recognize and value the positive inner qualities they posses.

•  To recognize and value other people's positive inner qualities.

 That it's important always to be themselves.

see story synopsis . . .


the series
Start your kids on the path to positive, healthful life choices. This delightful video series teaches children valuable lessons that contribute to self-discipline, good decision-making, high self-esteem, a sense of responsibility, and the ability to get along with others.  more. . .

For more information about individual videos in this series, click on the title below.
•  Cooperation
•  Being Responsible
•  Dealing with Feelings
•  Saying No
•  Doing the Right Thing
•  Disappointment
•  Appreciating Yourself
•  Asking for Help
•  Being Friends
•  Resolving Conflicts

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.



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If you are using the video, ask the first two questions before viewing.

1.  Do you ever compare yourself with other people? Is that a good idea? Why or why not?

2.  What makes people feel good about themselves?

3.  What kept Tuggy from telling the true story of his remarkable moment?

4.  If Tuggy hadn't decided to tell the truth about his story, what might have happened?

5.  What do Fiona and Moose really like about Tuggy?

6.  Why didn't Tuggy think his good qualities were so important until Fiona and Moose said so?

7.  Have you ever felt the way Tuggy felt? What made you feel that way? What did you say or do?

8.  How can it hurt you to compare yourself with other people? How can it help you?

9.  What can you do to feel better when you're feeling bad about yourself? What are some things you can say to yourself? What are some things you can do?

10.  Think about a time when you were feeling bad about yourself and then felt better. What changed your feelings?

11.  What things do we sometimes do or say that might make other people feel bad about themselves?

12.  What can you do to help someone you know who's feeling bad about himself or herself?

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

To find teaching guides on related topics for this and other grade levels
click here.


1. Ask the children to imagine their self-esteem as a bucket of water. We start out feeling good about ourselves and our buckets are full. Every time someone puts us down, it's like punching a little hole in the bucket, and our self-esteem leaks out. Ask the children to think of ways people punch holes in each other's buckets and ways we can plug up the holes and feel good about ourselves. Make a list and compare it to the one at the top of this column ("How to Appreciate Yourself").

2. Recognize and celebrate children's positive qualities in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:
       Have the students make drawings or collages showing times when they've been considerate of others, helped others, or been a cooperative member of a team.
Develop a bulletin board about positive qualities of people such as a sense of humor, friendliness, determination, courage, concern for others, helpfulness, and being a good friend.

3. Divide the class into pairs. Each pair develops a skit about two people meeting each other for the first time. One tries to impress the other by telling about his or her accomplishments or possessions. The other talks about the kind of person he or she is and things he or she likes to do. With the large group discuss these two different views of what's important in a person.

4. Give each student a piece of paper. Ask them to write their names at the top and create a design or drawing that says something about who they are. Post the papers on a bulletin board and give everyone time to write positive qualities about their classmates on the individual sheets.

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

Other teaching guides in this series:

  •  Cooperation
•  Being Responsible
•  Dealing with Feelings
•  Saying No
•  Doing the Right Thing

•  Disappointment
•  Appreciating Yourself
•  Asking for Help
•  Being Friends
•  Resolving Conflicts


1.  Write about a personal experience you've had that illustrates one of the points listed at the top of this column ("How to Appreciate Yourself").

2.  Write about someone you admire. Describe that person's best qualities and why you admire him or her.

3.  Imagine you overhear people talking about you. Write about some things you would like them to say about you. What would you not want them to say about you?

4.  Write about a real or imaginary person who made up stories or pretended to be something to impress others. First describe what the person did. Then write about what happened as a result.

5.  In a daily journal write about different things you've done to help people feel good about themselves.

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)


To enlist the involvement of parents, make copies of the "For Parents" block (see below) and send them home with the children. Tell the children to discuss the video with their parents, and to perform the following activities.

1.  Ask a family member about a time when he or she felt bad or inferior in comparison with others. What did he or she do to feel better?

2.  Look for ways to compliment family members for their good qualities and positive things they did. Then write notes or a journal about how they responded and how you think they felt.

3.  Play a "ways to appreciate myself" game with family members. Going around a circle, each person tells about something he or she does in times of self-doubt. It could also be things to say to yourself when you're feeling down or ways to remind yourself of your good qualities.

Note to the teacher or group leader: It might be a good idea to think of some way for the children to share the outcomes of these activities with each other. Perhaps they could give written or oral reports or discuss their experiences in small groups.


(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

(Copy this block and send it home to the parents.)


ear Parent,

Your child is involved in learning-activities designed to develop good character and empower young people to make good choices for themselves. He or she may be asked to complete several tasks at home. Your cooperation with these activities will support our overall program.

The current lesson is about self-appreciation. We have shown a video entitled "Appreciating Yourself," which presents a skit and discussion about someone who makes up stories because he doesn't think he's good enough. We urge you to ask your child to tell you about this video program and what he or she learned from it.

Here are some things you can do to help your children develop a healthy self-esteem.

 Take their ideas and emotions as seriously as you take your own. Theirs are just as real.

 Give praise and recognition whenever it is deserved. Your children need to hear it.

 Encourage your children to participate in activities that make them feel good.

 Give your children appropriate responsibility. It shows that you trust and respect them.

 Show them that they are important to you. Spend time with them, attend school events, talk with them about their activities, meet their friends.

 Give criticism without attacking their character. Criticize the behavior, not the child.

 Tell them you love them. Say it often.


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