Universal Needs & Self-Esteem

Author Rebecca Yopp
Grade Level 6-8,9-12

Lesson Plan Description
This lesson helps students recognize universal needs. It demonstrates how other people's perceptions of appearance may affect their judgment of others. It includes a United Streaming video.

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Objective from current NC Occupational Course of Study for Social Studies II (currently being revised)

Students will:

1.01:  Identify universal human needs and characteristics: physical needs, safety needs, psychological needs, self-actualization needs  (this particular lesson focuses on psychological need of self-esteem)

Teacher objective: 

Students will identify positive and negative focuses of self-judgement that impact self-esteem.

Additional Learning Objective(s):
Students will identify commonalities between all people and recognize the inaccuracy of judging people based on appearance.

  1. Review of previous material:  five types of needs (teacher describes examples of needs, students respond with type--physiological, safety, affiliation, self-esteem, self-actualization).  Small group discussion of how these needs are typically met within a day.
  2. Independent practice--needs matching worksheet (students match need types to definitions and label examples correctly)
  3. Self-esteem activity:  students receive two cholocate-covered almonds (or other type of food with exterior "shell" and interior--M & M, etc.)  and decide (without tasting them) which one is the best.  Students share why they chose that particular almond and discuss--are the almonds different on the inside?  Teacher leads discussion to relate this to how all people are the same on the inside even if different on the outside. 
  4. Small-group discussion--we all have the psychological need for self-esteem.  What affects self-esteem?  (Students will probably talk about other people's opinions based on the previous activity.)
  5. Students view United Streaming Video--"Self Esteem II"; discuss John Foppe's experiences and outlook on life (this video shows a young man with a physical disability who has become a very successful motivational speaker).
  6. Teacher provides summary of discussion and video; students take notes:  Self-esteem should not be based on how you look or what you cannot do; this is a negative focus.  It should be based on what is on the inside--what you can do; this is a positive focus.  One way to build self-esteem is by helping others.
  7. Assessment:  students complete Self-Esteem checklist (worksheet that gives examples of positive focus and negative focus--students label each example either positive or negative)

  • examples of needs for small-group discussion
  • needs worksheet; Self-esteem checklist
  • enough chocolate-covered almonds (or other type of food with exterior "shell" and interior) for each student to have at least two

Assessment Guidelines:

Prior knowledge will be assessed through the needs worksheet.  Teacher will assess understanding of certain concepts through group discussion.  Students will complete a self-esteem checklist; analysis of this will allow teacher to judge whether or not students understand positive and negative focus of self-judgement.  This checklist is pretty basic; you can tailor it to fit your individual class.

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