Use “Self-Improvement Month” to get your students on the right foot for school—and life. It can often be difficult for students with special needs to keep their lives organized and efficient. This free lesson from Daily Living Skills can help your students begin the school year with a new set of healthy lifestyle choices.
Self-Improvement Starts with Small Steps
This free lesson begins with the basics. But these are the foundation on which all other skills rest. A healthy diet, adequate sleep, regular exercise, stress management and a good support system are all vital first steps toward a healthy lifestyle.
By helping students to focus on these foundational skills, teachers can provide students with a solid base to build other skills necessary for adult living.
How to Use this Lesson
Illustrate the Concept. Use playing cards, building blocks, or whatever is handy to have students team up to build the highest structure they can. Explain that this structure represents the skills they need to live a successful adult life. Some cards may represent relationships. Some may be job skills. Others might be education or career goals. Have one group build their tower on a desk or other firm surface. Have a second group build their tower on top of a pillow.
Analyze the Results. Discuss why the structure on the pillow “failed” before the tower on the desk. Help students realize that the foundation was the key to success.
Use “6 Steps to a Better Self.” Explain how humans also need a strong, firm foundation on which to build a life. Read the steps listed and discuss as appropriate.
Print 4 Charts per Student. Challenge your students to use the month to improve the foundations of their adult lives. Each week they are to use one “Better Self” chart to record their activities. Can they improve their activities each week until they become their optimal selves? Use bell time or the beginning of class to allow each student to record their activity from the day before or from earlier in the day.
Analyze their own Results. At the end of the month, have students discuss the changes they have made. Have they noticed that it makes them feel better or makes life easier? Are there particular activities they are proud of? Will they continue to use those activities to find their best selves?
For More Information
This lesson is from Creating Self-Confidence from the Daily Living Skills series providing federally mandated transition services to special needs students with mild-to-moderate needs. A complete unit on self-betterment is provided with the titles: Becoming Self-Aware, Building Self-Esteem, Creating Self-Confidence, and Building Self-Motivation. Other titles in the series cover topics as far ranging as cooking, social skills, job skills, adult living skills and character building skills.
Like all lessons in the series, this lesson is written on a 3rd/4th-grade level with airy pages and bullet point information while nevertheless honoring teens’ sensibilities and sense of humor. These books meet both Indicator 13 requirements and federally mandated transition skills. For more information on the series, or to purchase workbooks go here.