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Our skin self-esteem (ages 11-13)

Good Skin Knowledge lesson plan

Time: 45 min


Students will be able to:

  • Discuss the way self-esteem affects people their age

  • Discuss confidence in relation to bullying about skin health 



  1. Throughout the varying activities, assess the discussion between the groups and with the class as a whole to see if students are expressing their thoughts on self-esteem.

  2. During Guided Practice, walk around to see if students understood the role-playing activity.

  3. During Independent Practice, watch students portray themselves to their partners to see if they have been able to find positive about themselves.


1 minute

Explain that today they are going to do an exercise that focuses on their skin and self-esteem.

Introduction to new material

15-20 minutes

Materials: Computer and projector, “Dodge and Burn” YouTube video, paper, pencils

  • Ask students if they have ever heard the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

    • If students have heard, ask for explanation.

    • If students are unresponsive or no students had heard it, explain, “It means that sticks and stones, because they are physical things, are the only things that can hurt you. Words, on the other hand, cannot really hurt you because they can’t break your bones. So words won’t affect a person.”

  • Ask if students agree with this. Why or why not?

  • Say you are going to say a statement, and you want to know whether they agree or do not agree with the statement and why or why not.

    • Beauty is only skin deep (superficial).

    • Skin health and self-esteem are directly related.

    • If someone gets made fun of in middle school and high school, they eventually forget about it as adults.

    • Bullying makes people stronger.

Guided practice

20 minutes

Materials: Skin Condition Strips handout ; Confidence Quotes handout

  • Break students into groups of 5-8 people (make sure the group has “Clear Skin,” “Acne,” and “Alopecia” labels if not full 8).  

  • Walk around and tape a piece of paper to each student's forehead with a skin condition, but you won’t know what it says. The other people in the group are not allowed to say what the paper says.

  • The different skin conditions are: Severe acne, moderate acne, eczema, alopecia, athlete’s foot, dandruff, and clear skin. Do we all know what these are? Give quick review of each—especially alopecia and athlete’s foot.

  • Then, after every person has a piece of paper on their forehead, students will get up and talk to others in their group. Students are asked to treat and talk to one another like others may treat someone with the condition that’s taped to his/her forehead.

  • For example, if someone’s paper says “severe acne,” the others in the group will say to that person, things people think or treat that person the way people may when they see someone with severe acne.

  • You are not to tell the person what they have on their forehead.

  • Remind students to please take this seriously and be respectful of the activity and those around you.

  • This should last about 5-7 minutes. Determine out how long the activity should be.

  • After the activity is done, tell students to stop and sit down. They can look at their papers.

  • Ask students how they felt during the activity.

    • What kind of language was used?

    • Who was treated differently?

Independent practice

15 minutes

Materials: Paper, pencils

  • Explain that many people have a hard time accepting who they are. They see themselves for what they think is wrong—for the negatives—instead of all the positives. Instead of seeing a person who is smart, creative, or driven, they see a person with acne or eczema.

  • Explain that hey are going to do an activity called “Meeting Yourself.”

  • Students are going to imagine what it would be like to meet themselves for the first time—maybe for an interview.

  • They will then write a recommendation letter for themselves—what are all the good things about this person you just met (which would be yourself)? What makes this person special or sets them apart from everyone else? They will have about seven minutes to work on it.

  • After this activity is over, students will work with the person next to them. They will introduce themselves as this person they wrote about. For example: “Hello, my name is Jenna. I am athletic—I am a gymnast. I can do three back flips in a row. I am very positive and work very hard. I can speak two languages: Spanish and English.”

  • After activity is over, say, “THIS is who you are. It is not about your skin or your hair or your nails. It is all these reasons you should have confidence. If you let your confidence shine, no one will ever remember anything else about you except your positive qualities.”


5-7 minutes

Materials: Confidence Quotes handout 

Hand out Confidence Quotes handout and volunteers from the class read them out loud to end the lesson.