Unity in Diversity
Stephanie Lawson / Irini Douladellis
ESL Activities: 2.How Do Other People Influence My Feelings About Myself ?

Theme: Migration and refugees

Key Learning Area:
English - Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE)

Age Group: Secondary Lower (13-14) - Secondary Middle (15-16)

Resource Type: Handouts

Stimulus Name: Feelings

Helen and Zainab

Teaching Strategies

1. Introduce the notion of positive and negative feelings about ‘the self’. Ask students for examples of positive and negative feelings.

NOTE: Student answers might include:
Positive- useful, wanted, liked, needed, good, reliable, capable.
Negative- dumb, useless, ugly, worthless, not liked, bad.

2. Ask students to brainstorm what might make a person have negative thoughts about themselves.

3. Distribute copies of student handout- Michelle’s Story. Choose students to take on the various roles.

4. Begin performing the script. Ask students to mark on their script when they think Michelle might experience a positive or negative feeling about herself.

5. When the first performance of the skit is over discuss the places where students identified that Michelle might have experienced negative or positive feelings. Come to a group consensus about the places. Ask students if they have ever had feelings like Michelle.

6. Students, (same cast as before or new actors), perform the skit a second time.

7. After the second performance ask students to consider each time that other people made negative comments about or to Michelle. Ask the question, Did Michelle deserve that comment or action? Ask students to provide evidence from the skit for their suggestions.

8. Choose one or more of the characters in the skit and discuss the impact of intentional and unintentional actions and words on others.

Questions to ask might include:

• What actions or words influenced Michelle?

•Did the person upset Michelle on purpose?
If yes, why did the person want to upset Michelle?
If no, why didn’t the person realise they were upsetting Michelle?

• How do you think the incident will change Michelle’s feelings to the other person?

•What might our reactions be to someone who intentionally upsets us without a good reason?

NOTE: Reasons for individuals intentionally saying or doing things to upset others may include ignorance or limited awareness, unfulfilled expectations, disappointment, anger at the other person, deflecting attention from themselves or their own errors, annoyance at making a mistake themselves, prejudice. These same influences can be the motivation of words and actions that unintentionally upset others.

9. Ask students to suggest ideas about what a person can do if they realise that their words or actions have hurt someone else.

10. Conclude the lesson by drawing student discussions and suggestions to summarise that their actions and words can have negative influences (e.g. bullies in the skit) and positive influences (Michelle’s friend) on others.

Worksheets to download
Michelle’s Story(PDF)

Related Resources
ESL Activities 1: My Friends and Peers
ESL Activities 3: Cultural heritage
ESL Activities 4: Different culture
ESL Activities 5: Iceberg
ESL Activities 6: Pride and Prejudice
ESL Activities 7: What is Beauty?
ESL Activities 8: Who Am I?
ESL Activities 9: Journeys From Afar
ESL Activities 10: Our Paths to Australia
ESL Activities 11: A Mixed Bag of Apples

ESL Activities 12: Victims of Culture

Copyright Acknowledgement

Activities developed by teachers at Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre, NSW


Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre

©2005 Drift1