Objective: To enable students to turn negative comments into positive self-esteem boosters.
Comment: Students in the Middle School and Elementary School where I teach are always calling each other names, especially when they do not like each other. I decided upon a lesson to turn the negative comments into useful ones and possibly help some of the students combat the negative effects of these harmful comments.
1. The teacher leads a discussion about the effects of negative comments such as calling your classmate a DORK, SCANK, etc. Allow time for the students to add words to the list. (They usually have a great supply.) Have students role play the name calling scenerio to enhance the lesson.
2. The students then use the words on a word poem poster. The words are spelled in a vertical format on the poster board and each letter stands for a positive comment. DORK for instance can be Daring, Opportunist, Ravishing, Kind. The students select the word they want to use and come up with their own positive comments.
3. Display the posters along a wall in the school where school traffic is excessive so that all students can see the comments. This usually becomes a high interest wall while the posters are displayed. Hopefully, the positive comments can help those who are suffering from low self-esteem to overcome the negative aspect of these heart wrenching words.
4. Make sure the posters are neat, spelled correctly, and creative. Students who are good artists can add appropriate pictures to the poster for display.
5. Evaluate the lesson by a group discussion a few weeks later.