Increasing a Positive Self Image through Writing

This year I have a group of sixth graders that lack the confidence to work independently. Many of them are scared to make a mistake and continually worry about what others think of them. I wanted to do something that would increase their self-esteem and make them feel good about themselves.

       In my school, the beginning of the year is when we focus on personal narrative writing. Students write about their summer vacation, set goals, and tell about their life. Beyond that, our writing curriculum is focused on academics. Literary and argument essays take up the remainder of the year.
       December was an especially low point for my students this year. I needed something that would boost their morale. In researching, I came across a book titled, “The Best Part of Me” by Wendy Ewald. This picture book was created by a teacher and a photographer. Each student chose what they felt was the best part of them. The photographer would take a black and white zoomed in photo of that body part. Students would then create a writing piece that would describe why they chose that certain body part.
       Before the break, I introduced this project to my students. We read and discussed the picture book and then students used a graphic organizer that walked them through completing this project.
       First and foremost, students needed to choose their favorite body part. Many students asked for me to choose for them but I really wanted them to take ownership of what they were proud of so I would not make that decision for them. Once a body part was chosen, I had my students brainstorm three reasons why this was their favorite body part. Going through the traditional writing process, we turned those brainstorms into a writing piece.
       I love how the picture book had all the student pictures in black and white. I kept this same format. I used my cell phone and zoomed in as much as possible on their chosen part and then used the setting to change it to black and white. The black and white effect really looked cool when printed and hung in the hallway. Once photographed and printed, students paired their picture with their writing piece and shared it with the class. They were really proud of their work and were sharing it with others in the hallway too.
       While this is a simple project, I really believe it will help to increase self-esteem in students of all ages. I believe that focusing on the positive aspects of our selves will promote a positive classroom environment. Keeping these on display will really help to serve as a reminder for the students. 

Promote Self Confidence by having students write about the best part of me


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