Skip to content ↓

August 2019 - Year 21 - Issue 4

ISSN 1755-9715

An Ode to Self-esteem: Raising Self-love in the English Classroom

Clarissa Rosa is a Brazilian Young Learner Language teacher and a Master's Degree student in Literature. She is passionate about teaching children and telling stories. She believes that storytelling is one of the best ways to involve children in language classes. E-mail:








We as language teachers have a powerful influence on our students’ lives. Our job goes far beyond preparing materials, marking tests and teaching pronunciation. We got the power to help students to build a strong sense of confidence and achievement. That’s why reinforcing resilience and self-esteem in our classroom should appear in our lesson plans more frequently. When we boost our students' self-esteem we equip them with critical skills that they need to succeed not only academically, but also socially. In doing this, students will be able to feel confident to take risks in the language classroom and consequently, their linguistic development will evolve.

This lesson is based on the book “I Like Myself” written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by David Catrow. This book is funny, full of rhymes and sparks confidence. It also encourages its readers to appreciate themselves, their abilities, their achievements, and their failures. Besides the self-esteem focus, storytelling is a great way to develop listening and speaking skills when learning a language.


Lesson plan

Level: All

Age: 6-9

Time: 75 minutes

Materials: I Like Myself storybook, paper mirrors for each student, puzzle, colored pencils, crayons, markers

Organization: whole class, pairs, individual

Objectives: By the end of the lesson students will have:

  1. listened to a story from a picture book;
  2. reflected and talked about what they like about themselves;
  3. created a self-portrait using a paper mirror as a canvas.


Outline: Students listen to a story about a little girl who loves everything about herself and follow it with the help of pictures, gestures, rhythm, and rhyme. This activity helps children to share and structure their ideas for a brief oral presentation. This activity encourages children imagination and confidence.

Language focus: I like myself because I’m... / I like myself because I can… adjectives, verbs.

Preparation: Prepare the mirrors using colorful light cardboard. Prepare a puzzle by photocopying the book cover and cutting it in 8 pieces. Read the story and practise telling it (with intonation). 



1. Before the story: Ask students to make a circle on the floor. Tell them you need help to make a puzzle (book cover). Once they have finished it, ask them to guess some information about the little girl’s life and personality based on the picture. You can use these questions: Is she happy or sad? Do you think she has a pet? Do you think she likes dancing?

2. During the story: Read the story, showing the pictures as you go. Share the joy of the book. Stop to ask questions, but be cautious of stopping too much in order to not interrupt the flow of the book and overall comprehension of the story.

3. After the story: Ask: Did you like the story? What was your favourite part? Which part was the funniest? and listen to the students’ response.

4. Activity 1: Encourage students to think about what they like most about themselves and what activities they are good at. Give them a piece of paper where they can write or draw three qualities and abilities. Model this activity first.

5. Activity 2: Once they have finished, write on the board the following structures: I like myself because I’m... / I like myself because I can…. Ask students to repeat.  In pairs, students tell each other what they have brainstormed using the structure.

6. Production: Students choose one of the qualities that they wrote/drew in the previous step. Handed them paper mirrors and ask students to draw the chosen quality/ability. Encourage them to decorate their mirrors providing colored pencils, markers, crayons, stickers. After that, students show their production to the whole class using the structure I like myself because I’m... / I like myself because I can…. Every time a student finishes the brief presentation encourage his or her peers to clap their hands and show support.


Comments and suggestions

  • By drawing their abilities and qualities on the paper mirror and presenting it for their peers, children are not only exercising creativity and language skills, which is very important in a language classroom, but they are also representing how they see themselves, or how they would like to be seen. By doing this activity pupils become aware of their strengths, which most of the time they had not noticed. They stop paying attention to their difficulties, weaknesses, and mistakes and become proud of who they already are. The outcomes of this production are often humorous, emotional and surprising.
  • As an extension to the activity, the teacher (with parental consent) can record the children’s presentation and show them later.


Helpful links

Where you can find the book


Book Depository


I like myself  Read Aloud

Story Time With Ms Becky

Mrs. Clark's Reading Corner


Brainstorm worksheet

Written version

Drawing version


Mirror layouts



Beaumont, Karen, (2004). I like myself. Published by Hardcourt INC.

Wright, Andrew (2004). Storytelling with Children. Published by Oxford University Press.


Please check the Methodology and Language for Kindergarten course at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Methodology and Language for Primary course at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Teaching English through NLP and Coaching course at Pilgrims website.

Please check the Creative Methodology for the Classroom course at Pilgrims website.

Tagged  Lesson Ideas 
  • An Ode to Self-esteem: Raising Self-love in the English Classroom
    Clarissa Rosa, Brazil

  • Homo Ludens
    Lole Vitti, Brazil

  • The Sounds of Writing Poetry
    Malu Sciamarelli, Brazil