The things we do well are often called our ‘strengths’ and can include things like displaying kindness, courage, leadership and creativity. Evidence shows that when we are using our strengths, we are happier, more energised, and feel that what we are doing is purposeful and meaningful. When students know their strengths, they can use them to help them achieve their goals and to approach tasks with a sense of purpose and confidence.

Year level

7-10

Duration

60 minutes

Type

In class activity

Online learning

SEL Competencies

Self-awareness

Social awareness

Relationship skills

Responsible decision-making

Learning intention

Students learn about character strengths and how to apply them to activities, goals and tasks.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify their personal strengths

  • identify how to use them in their life

  • understand the role of their strengths in completing tasks and activities.

Materials needed

  • Access to 24 VIA Character Strengths

  • Access to VIA Youth Character Strengths Survey

  • Dice

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Analyse factors that influence emotional responses and devise strategies to self-manage emotions (AC9HP8P06) Plan, rehearse and evaluate strategies for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety or wellbeing may be at risk (AC9HP10P08)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-awareness

    • Self-management

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Investigate the impact of transition and change on identities (VCHPEP123)

  • Evaluate situations and propose appropriate emotional responses and then reflect on possible outcomes of different responses to health and wellbeing (VCHPEP147)

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Demonstrates self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD4-9)

  • Assesses and applies self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD5-9)

Show details

Activity 1

VIA Character strengths

15 minutes

1. Organise students into pairs.

2. Ask students to read 24 VIA Character Strengths and to circle/write down any that they identify with. Alternatively, students can complete the VIA Youth Character Strengths Survey.

3. Ask students to choose THREE strengths that they feel relate MOST closely to them, and to discuss these with their partner.

4. Students discuss with their partner a time when they have used the skills (e.g. they won an award at school; they were nice to a sibling at home).

Activity 2

Character strengths for teamwork

10 minutes

  1. Organise students into pairs.

  2. In pairs, students discuss:

    • What are individual strengths?

    • Why is it important that people have different strengths?

    • What are some things to be mindful of when working with people who have different strengths?

    • How could different strengths be used to our advantage in group work?

    • How can we develop our strengths?

Debrief: Explain to students that every person has different strengths, as people are good at different things. Combining teams of people with different strengths can lead to better grades on assignments, as more perspectives are available on the topic.

Activity 3

Throw the dice

35 minutes

  1. Organise students into groups of three or four.

  2. Hand each group a dice and a list of six questions. (See sample questions below, or create your own.)

  3. Explain that there are two ‘rounds’ in this activity.

  4. In each round, everyone has a turn to throw the dice and then answer the question that corresponds to the number thrown.

  5. If, on the second round, someone throws the same number as they did on the first round, they throw the dice again until they get a different number and thus a different question.

Example questions:

  • Why do you think these three strengths are your top strengths?

  • Which strength makes you happy when you use it? Explain why.

  • Which strengths seem to come naturally to you? Explain why.

  • Provide an example of a time when you’ve used one of your top three strengths.

  • What strength could help you to reach a goal/s? Explain why.

  • What strengths do you want to improve? Explain why.

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