topic two – physical appearance
teacher's notes - general approach
Individuals are often unaware of their own gifts and the aspects
of their character which others value. It is often easier to see
others' annoying or negative characteristics than to appreciate
their good points. This topic tries to encourage pupils to value
each other and to realise that each person is unique.
Although human beings are made up of similar components, each individual
is totally unique. One way into the exploration of self-respect
could be through the physical. Activity one illustrates
how looking different is part of what makes an individual special.
However, we are sometimes dissatisfied with the very things which
are unique about us (cf. worksheet 3
page 10, My nose is too big). If the reasons for
such thinking can be identified, it may assume less importance.
What is regarded as beautiful can differ widely between cultures.
If members of the class come from more than one culture, these differences
could be explored together or, if not, research could be done.
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" takes these ideas
one step further. It starts the process of realising that "beauty"
can be independent of physical appearance and that the way a person
looks is therefore not the best guide to knowing what he or she
is really like.
Stories that could be used as resources here are, The Hunchback
of Notre Dame, the film The Elephant Man,
the musical Phantom of the Opera (or the original
book by Gaston Leroux) and Walking Tall by Simon
There are worksheets on pages 9, 10, 11, and 12
with ideas for various activities which explore the meaning of self-respect.
Decide with the class which activities they think will be most helpful
in discovering how they can gain self-respect and how they can also
help others to do so.