Great Stories to Use
Day 1: Dylan the Eagle Hearted Chicken by David L. Harrison is the story of a chicken who is separated from his mother when she takes a break from her nest. He is raised by an Eagle and is expected to eat and grow as an eagle. Dylan's mom spots him high in the eagle's nest just as he hatches and is able to convince him of where he truly belongs.
Invite students to share how Dylan chose to just be himself. What did he do that was particularly brave?
Day 2: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon is the story of a bat who becomes lost and is being raised by a bird. Stellaluna is expected to behave like a bird, but is all along fighting her natural urge to act like a bat. Her mother finds her and reassures her that her behavior is natural to her species. She is reassured to find out that she was just being herself all along.
After reading the book, discuss with students how Stellaluna was fighting the urge to be herself. Students can share stories about how they have acted differently to make others happy.
Day 3: Monique Unique by Maria Rousaki is a story about a young girl named Monique who attends a private school where she must wear uniforms every day. And not just any uniform, the ugliest uniforms ever. To try and maintain her uniqueness, Monique wears different accessories to school, only to find that her classmates copy her every attempt. Finally, one final, more permanent change, has her beaming at her uniqueness.
Discuss how Monique failed to be unique, even when she tried her hardest. Do students know of any fads that are around school where they see students dress similarly? Share how this makes them feel.
Other books that are beneficial self esteem teaching materials include:
I'm Gonna Like Me by Jamie Lee Curtis.
Smack Dab in the Middle by Anita Riggio.
Being Me by Julie Broski and Vincent Vigla.