July 25th, 2012 | Author: Kris Marshall
Personal beliefs and values keep our lives running smoothly by helping us to make positive choices. If we know what is important to us, it will be easier to set goals and to achieve happiness in life. This is an important lesson that Winning Futures’ curriculum strives to impart to students, particularly through this activity.
To begin, describe to your students the two basic types of values: character and personal. Character values are ideas about right and wrong. Personal values are beliefs, ideas, and feelings about what is really important to each individual.
Every person’s values are linked to their conscience, beliefs, personal experiences, upbringing, and culture, along with relationships with family, friends and the environment in which they live. People also have unique values based on interests, differences, and backgrounds.
Values are the nuts and bolts that help “keep us together” in tough times. As we travel down life’s bumpy road to success, we will be faced with many choices, decisions, and obstacles. Knowing our values and being proud of them will help us make good decisions about our personal lives and futures.
A fun way to explore and express our values is to make personal masks that outwardly display what we feel and believe on the inside. These masks (which can be purchased at a number of outlets such as www.orientaltrading.com) can be decorated with markers, crayons and paint. Give one to each student and ask them to write, draw or embellish their mask with words, symbols and colors that express their values and show who they are on the inside. Each student will leave the classroom with a little more clarity as to who they are and what they believe – and they’ll have a cool piece of personalized art to hang in their locker or room, too!
This fun and easy exercise takes just 20 – 30 minutes. Many lessons like these that you can implement in your own classrooms and youth programs are outlined in Winning Futures’ “Road to Success” workbook. Click on the “Purchase Books” button at left to learn more.