Resources to Promote Children’s Self-Awareness Skills
These resources support self-awareness skills, including developing empathetic attitudes to build positive relationships, identifying and controlling emotions and reflecting on choices and their consequences.
Characteristics and Benefits of Self-Awareness
Self-awareness affects every aspect of your student’s life. How they communicate, learn, and interact with others are all influenced by their ability to understand themselves. Children who show self-awareness consider the effect of emotions on themselves and others and reflect on how these feelings influence their choices and any repercussions.
Self-awareness skills allow them the ability to recognise what triggers their emotions. For example, can they pinpoint what makes them angry, sad, jealous, etc,? This awareness helps them deal with their emotions in positive ways, recognise the feelings of others and that people may view them differently than they see themselves. These skills also helps them understand their strengths, limitations and personal preferences, allowing them to develop these strengths, learn from their mistakes and seek support.
Self-awareness traits will exhibit in different ways depending on your student’s age and experiences, include:
- Identifying and verbalising emotions
- Recognising the needs and feelings of others
- Understanding how other people see them
- Recognising and building on strengths and limitations with confidence
- Using different learning styles and strategies
- Understanding how their emotions and thoughts influence their behaviour
- Identifying their emotions, the triggers and the consequences
- Acting positively on their thoughts and feelings
- Learning from mistakes and seeking support
- Understanding strengths and limitation/challenges
- Developing academic and personal goals
Key Benefits of Self-Awareness
- understand failure is a learning opportunity and a stepping stone to success
- increases confidence and self-esteem
- being able to identify their emotions and control them in challenging situations
- develops positive relationships by understanding how their actions affect others
- recognises when they make mistakes in schoolwork, and works to make changes
Self-Awareness Teaching Resources
In this section, you will find resources to support your students in understanding the importance of self-awareness. You will find a list of books with resources, short videos, online resources and reading-related questions.
Self-Awareness Picture Books
This collection of books illustrates characters recognising their emotions and how they influence their actions. You can click on the book cover for a synopsis of the book and related online resources. After the list, there is a list of reading questions to use during read-aloud sessions.
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Self-Awareness Discussion Questions
- How did [character] change throughout the book?
- Did [character] consider how their actions or behaviour would affect others? How they could have acted more positively?
- What were [character’s] strengths and weaknesses?
- What lesson did [character] learn? Do you think they now have better self-awareness?
- How could [character] reflect on their behaviour and improve their actions?
- What previous knowledge did [character] use? How did it help them?
- How did [character] deal with feeling [scared, anxious, etc.]?
- What was the most important or relevant moment in the story? Why?
- What do you think [character] learnt about themselves by the end of the book? How do you think they will use this knowledge in the future?
- What factors hindered [character] from being successful?
- Is there anything [character] should do differently next time? Why?
- How could [character] have made the task more challenging?
- What other strategies could [character] try?
- How do you think [character] will solve their problem?
- Why do you think [character] fears trying something new?
- What can [character] learn from their mistake?
- Did [character] ask for help when they needed it? Would it have made a difference?
- How was [character] able to turn their failure into a success?
- Do you agree with the way [character] dealt with their failure/disappointment? Explain your answer.
- Why was it a good idea that [character] set goals?
Self-Awareness Online Resources
- CBeebies: How to talk to your child about emotions
- The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: Teaching Your Child to: Identify and Express Emotions
- Child Mind Institute: Confidence and Self-Esteem
- Childline: Building Confidence and Self-Esteem
- The Gottman Institute: An Age-By-Age Guide to Helping Kids Manage Emotions
- Landmark Outreach School: Self-Awareness (Social Emotional Learning)
- Michigan State University: The importance of perspective-taking for young children
- Mind: How to Increase Your Self-Esteem
- Parent Toolkit: How to Tap into Your Child’s Emotions at Every Age
- PBS: Emotions & Self-Awareness
- Psychology Today: Self-Awareness: How Kids Make Sense of Life Experiences
- Understood: The Importance of Self-Awareness in Kids
- Uni-Play: How-to encourage self-awareness skills at your school
- Bristol City Council: Self-Awareness
- Classroom: Self Awareness Activities in Primary School Children
- Elementary School Counseling: Self Esteem Activities
- Kids Health in the Classroom: Self Esteem Teacher’s Guide
- Macmillian: Self-awareness teacher resources
- Nebraska Department of Education: Self-Awareness Lesson Plans
- Northern Ireland Curriculum: Getting to Know Me
- Northern Ireland Curriculum: Wonderful Me! Unit
- Scholastic: Point of View: A Unit on Perspective
- Teaching Tolerance: Self-awareness in the Classroom
These short videos can be used to start discussions on self-awareness. Watch the video before playing them to your students. Some of them are simple while others are more complex or abstract.
Promoting self-awareness skills in your classroom will help your students understand themselves more clearly and why they may react in certain circumstances. Let me know how you support your student’s self-awareness in the comments.
You can find a round-up of relationship skills picture books in the post 32 of the Best Self-Awareness Books for Children.
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