PK Activity 1 – WE ALL HAVE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES

Introduction

Children often don’t understand the simple fact that it is typical to be good at some things and not at others. As pre-k teachers, you have seen children who are afraid to offer a thought in the group or test out an idea for fear of making a mistake. In other cases, children have not yet developed skills in handling a mistake. It is important for children to freely offer an idea or thought without fear of being “wrong.” Your efforts to cultivate a culture that celebrates individual strengths and weaknesses while valuing learning as a process (mistakes included!) builds children’s resilience and a growth mindset.


Description

Children explore through sharing and discussion that everyone has strengths, some similar and some different.


Principle Overview

Look around and you will notice friends and family who are really good at some things and not so good at others. While adults might grasp this as something normal, students often don’t and can perceive their own strengths and weaknesses in distorted ways. When we demonstrate our own strengths and weaknesses, we help students come to terms with their own, and help dispel the illusion that any of us are better, worse, more, or less worthy than others.

Materials:

  • Ooops And Yays! song
  • Ooops and Yays music video

Goals and Objectives:

  • Identify individual and group strengths.
  • Discuss individual and group challenges.
  • Recognize how practice helps us learn.
  • Listen to the Ooops And Yays song to better facilitate class discussion.
  • As children name something they are good at, consider a class cheer to celebrate their success in learning a new skill.
  • You might consider asking children to make a personal pledge to practice a certain skill they consider challenging, like writing their name, or using scissors to cut on a line.
Knowing about strengths and weaknesses in ourselves and others helps us grow, learn, and work together. The Me Too! Oh, Wait! Not Me! skill builder helps children gain an understanding of their individual strengths and weaknesses and the diversity of those in their class. They also think about how to encourage their peers to use their strengths and keep trying when they struggle with a weakness. This discussion provides another opportunity for children to discover their individual “ooops” and “yays!”

Skill Builder
Use these visual resources to enhance the student experience in this unit.

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Activity Steps

  • Connector.

    Listen to the Ooops And Yays song or watch the Ooops And Yays music video. Ask:

    What word does Uncle Jim use in the song to celebrate something you are good at? What word does Uncle Jim use in the song to point out something you are not good at doing?

    Replay parts of the song as needed.

  • Connector.

    Point out that we all have strengths and weaknesses. Ask:

    What are you really good at… what can you do that would be a “yay!”?
    What is your “ooops!”—something that you are still learning that is challenging for you?

  • Connector.

    Choose a simple song that your children know, such as the ABC song, and sing it together. Ask:

    Who is good at singing the ABC song?

    Be sure to congratulate everyone with a “yay!” after singing.

  • Connector.

    Now suggest a more challenging activity, such as finger snapping. Encourage children to experiment together as they snap their fingers. Some children may find this more challenging. Ooops!

  • Connector.

    You can play the Ooops And Yays song for them to snap along with in their own way. Celebrate all children’s attempts to snap their fingers. Some children may like to clap hands instead, and that is okay, too.

  • Connector.

    Help children see that they might be good at one thing but not another and that everyone is good at something! Point out that some friends were better at clapping and others at snapping, and that everyone joined in and found ways to keep the beat with Uncle Jim. And that with practice, snapping might become something everyone is good at doing!

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