Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Guidance Lesson: Resilience (9th & 10th grade)


The transition from middle to high school can be overwhelming for many students. Adolescents are entering a particularly stressful time in their social and academic life. This guidance lesson is directed at the social/emotional aspect of student development. Our goal for this lesson is for students to become aware of their own resilience in hopes that they will see themselves as worthy and unique individuals and increase their self-efficacy. Building self-awareness and developing a positive view of self is a crucial aspect of this goal.
The theme of the lesson is that rain (adversity) falls on everyone but we each have umbrellas (resilience traits) that help us stay dry. The PowerPoint has been created to go with this theme: the background looks as if it is raining on it.
By helping students see that they are resilient and that they are viewed by others as resilient, school counselors are helping students develop the following competencies.
PS:A1.1  develop positive attitudes toward self as a unique and worthy person
PS:A1.10 identify personal strengths and assets
PS:A2.3  recognize, accept, respect and appreciate individual differences
PS:B1.4  develop effective coping skills for dealing with problems
PS:C1.10  learn techniques for managing stress and conflict
PS:C1.11 learn coping skills for managing life events

Materials:
·         Construction paper
·         Markers/color crayons/color pencils
·         PowerPoint
“Into every life, some rain must fall.”
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1842

Presentation:
Resilience is an abstract idea and can be difficult for adolescents to grasp; connecting the definition with a concrete idea – the rain and umbrella analogy – is used to help illustrate resilience. In the PowerPoint, the definition of resilience is presented. Examples of resilience traits are divided into categories; social, emotional, academic, and physical. Having a visual while you explain the analogy goes a long way in helping cement the idea.

When starting the presentation, ask students if anyone knows what resilience is or if they have heard the term before. They might not know, but it is a good way to gauge where the students are. Once the definition is given and you feel that students understand, ask students who believe they are resilient to raise their hands – this question is important for assessing whether or not student have gained personal awareness

Once you begin going through the examples of resilience traits, keep students engaged by asking them for specific examples. Not only will it keep them engaged, but asking them to come up with their own examples will get their minds working for the activity.

Activity:
1.    Students will draw themselves under a large umbrella.  The umbrella should be big enough to write in. They should write their names on the corner of their paper.
2.    Give students a few moments to write down resilience traits (in the umbrella) they have identified within themselves.
3.    When you feel students have had enough time, have them all stand in front of their desks with a writing utensil in their hands. (They leave their drawings on their desks)
4.    Next, students are going to go around the room and write down a resilience trait on each of their classmates’ drawings. (This should have a speed-dating feel to it, with everyone rotating in the same direction at the same time.)
5.    When they return to their original seats, give students a moment to read and reflect on the resiliency others have identified in them as well the traits they identified in others during the activity.
Discussion:
·         What traits did you see? Were there some common ones, did any stand out?
o   Discuss similarities, maybe talk about how some students can be born with a trait versus another student having to learn to develop the trait.
·         What did you notice when looking at the traits you wrote for yourself versus what others wrote for you?
o   Talk about differences, emphasizing that resilience doesn’t have to look the same for everyone.
·         How many of you would say that you are resilient?
o   Here you can comment about the increase in number of hands, and how their awareness has increased





Conclusion:
Remind students that every person is resilient. Resilience can be learned and/or enhanced.

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