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Activities At A Glance

Confidence: Discussion Guide

After watching Confidence engage students in a five-ten minute discussion of the following questions. 

  1. When Alex got to W.U.N.D.E.R. headquarters, he froze up instead of telling the team what he overheard. Why do you think Alex hesitated? What happened to him?
  2. Ellsworth told Alex that at W.U.N.D.E.R., the journalists focus on each other’s strengths. What strengths did Alex have to share with the team?
  3. What roles at W.U.N.D.E.R. seem most interesting to you? Why?
Activity 1: Strengths and Roles

In this activity, students will list their strengths and then use art materials to envision a community role based on one or more of those strengths.

  • Intro

    In this episode of the SuperD! show, Alex meets all the members of the W.U.N.D.E.R. team and hears about their roles. He is overwhelmed and doesn’t think he belongs when he sees the other journalists’ confidence. Ellsworth and Juniper ask him about his strengths and  discover how Alex can help the team. Alex knows he is an excellent observer, so the team names him the new story finder at W.U.N.D.E.R. Studio!

    Today, we are each going to make a list of our strengths. What are the things you love to do? What activities are you drawn to? What comes naturally or easily to you?? Then, we will refine our lists and design a role based on our strengths contributing to our class community. Just like Alex used his observational skills to join the fun at W.U.N.D.E.R., you can use writing or drawing to illustrate the role you envision contributing most to our classroom team!

  • Procedure
    • Start by asking students to write down as many strengths as possible for three minutes. Teachers may consider writing down the two questions from the prompt on the board to help students stay on track:
      • What are the things you love to do? 
      • What are the things you do that come easiest to you? 
    • After kids have brainstormed individually, have them work in pairs or small groups to share their lists and brainstorm ideas for classroom roles based on their identified strengths. 
    • Allow students to design their roles in whatever medium is most comfortable for them. Possible mediums include writing, drawing, or some other approach previously established in the classroom. Their role design must consist of the following:
      • Role name: Class Chef, Bug Expert, Gardener in Chief, etc.
      • Define the role’s duties–what will they do? 
      • Describe how their role will help the group.
  • Closure
    • Students can share their roles with the class. Some options for sharing include:
      • Gallery Walk–Place the finished pieces around the classroom. Students pretend to be in a museum viewing their works of art.
      • Partner Share–Students share their certificates with a partner. Then each student shares one strength and growth area they learned about from their partner’s piece.
      • Whole Class Lightning Share–Each student shows the class their poster and states one thing they are good at and an area for growth.

    Closing discussion questions:

    • What is your favorite thing about the role you designed for yourself?
    • When thinking about yourself, how did you identify your strengths? Which ones were the easiest to think about? Which ones did you need time to come up with?
    • What was it like to think about your strengths and roles within your group? Was it easier to think of your strengths and roles or help your partners identify theirs?  How does it feel to have our strengths acknowledged?

Students will explore ways to utilize their strengths as the basis for positive community roles.

  • Self-reflection
  • Positive identity
  1. Paper
  2. Pens/markers/colored pencils
Activity 2: Negative Self-Talk

Students will work together to write positive self-talk phrases. These statements will replace anonymously submitted negative self-talk phrases generated by the class.

  • Intro

    In the episode “Confidence,” Alex watches the other journalists at work and thinks, “There’s no way I could fit in here. I think I should just go home.” This thought is an example of negative self-talk. Luckily, Ellsworth catches him on his way out the door and helps him see that he already fits in at W.U.N.D.E.R.

    All of us have moments when we doubt ourselves. Usually, when that happens, it means we have negative self-talk going in our brains, just like Alex did. The two most important things to know about negative self-talk are that it happens to everyone and that just because those stories pop into our heads doesn’t mean we have to believe them. The question is: “Can we become aware when our brains create negative self-talk?”

    Today we are going to practice one strategy for stopping negative self-talk. We will be thinking of positive responses to each of our negative thoughts. We will work as a group, because sometimes another perspective helps us see clearly through negative messages.

  • Procedure
    • Write the two phrases from the episode on the board in two colors. 
      • “Everyone is so confident. There’s no way I could fit in here.”
      • “You totally belong here. We all have the chance to find out what we’re good at.”
    • Have students write down one-three negative self-talk phrases from their own life on a slip of paper and place them in a basket or bin. Sharing these may be challenging or vulnerable for some students, so be sure that children have enough space to write without classmates reading what they have written.
    • Now the class will work as a team and come up with a response to the negative messages. Bring the basket of phrases to the board and write answers down   for the class to engage with. Challenge students to think of a way to respond to the words on the board that shut down negative thoughts with positive messages and encouragement. 
    • Complete as many phrases as the class has time and interest for. Be sure to select only those phrases that don’t include details that would inadvertently identify the writer.
  • Closure
    • What surprised you about the negative self-talk phrases today? 
    • What patterns or themes did you notice in the phrases?
    • What did you learn about creating positive self-talk for yourself in the future?

Students will develop positive self-perspectives by countering negative self-talk.

  • Positive outlook
  • Creative thinking
  1. Sentence Strips
  2. Writing utensils
Activity 3: Skit Writing

Students will work in small groups to write a short skit exploring their ideas about inclusivity.

  • Intro

    In the episode “Confidence,” Alex tours the studio and sees everyone working together on the set. All the children contribute in unique ways, and when Alex starts to feel like he isn’t good enough to be there, the other kids help him see that he belongs. Today we will write skits to show what inclusive and positive communities look like.

  • Procedure
    • Using a turn-and-talk approach, invite students to think through examples of how the kids at W.U.N.D.E.R. created an inclusive community together. Record students’ noticings and examples of inclusivity on the board during the report back. Some examples might include:
      • Supporting and encouraging each other
      • Finding ways to make everyone feel welcome and valued
      • Listening to each other’s ideas
    • Break the class into groups of two-three students each. Tell students they will create a skit to explore one or more of the ideas from the brainstorm. Their performance should be at most four minutes and must demonstrate one of the elements of an inclusive community in action. Allow students ten-fifteen minutes to plan their skits together.
  • Closure

    Students should present their skits to the class. 

    Closing discussion questions:

    • Which idea do you think was the easiest to demonstrate in a skit? Which was the most challenging?
    • What parts of an inclusive community are already influential in our class? What parts do we want to work on? How could we realize our goal?
    • How is having an inclusive community connected to feeling confident?

Students will consider what it means to be in a community and create a safe space where differences are recognized and celebrated.

  • Self-reflection
  • Valuing differences
  • Teamwork
  1. None
Activity 4: Confidence Acrostic Poem

Students will define confidence for themselves using poetry.

  • Intro

    In the episode, Alex has to find his confidence to join the team at W.U.N.D.E.R.  Today; we will explore the idea of confidence a little more. We will have a short class discussion, and then you will have the chance to write an acrostic poem exploring what the word confidence means to you.

  • Procedure
    • Start writing the word, “Confidence” on the board. Have the group engage in a discussion about what the word means. Some possible discussion questions to get their ideas flowing might include:
      • What makes someone confident?
      • Does confidence look the same from person to person?
      • Is confidence important? Why or why not?
    • After thinking about the idea of confidence as a group, students will each create their acrostic poem using “confidence” as their vertical word. Their poetry aims to reveal what confidence means to each of them.
  • Closure

    Students can share their poems through a gallery walk or in a closing poetry reading where each student shares their poem aloud with the group. 

    Closing discussion questions:

    • What was your favorite part from another student’s poem?
    • Did your ideas about confidence change through our activities today? Why or why not?

Students will consider words, feelings, and actions that represent confidence to them.

  • Self-expression
  • Reflection
  1. Paper
  2. Markers/Decorative Materials
  3. Optional, online dictionary or thesaurus
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