Which gift/talent do you have that is most helpful in the classroom?
This challenge invites students to consider how their personal gifts and talents can be helpful to others. Introduce this discussion by reading What's the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses? by Richard Van Camp, or a similar story. In this book, the author lists many lovely attributes of horses and concludes with his choice of the most beautiful of these qualities. If this book is not readily available, select a familiar literary character (e.g., Cinderella) and make a list of wonderful qualities, ending with the characteristic that you judge to be the most wonderful. After some discussion, ask students what qualities they appreciate in other people. Record these on a flip chart/chalkboard (perhaps using stick drawings). If students have difficulty generating ideas, volunteer some of the gifts and talents that you respect in individuals.
Introduce the idea of a gift (an attribute that a person is born with) and a talent (an attribute that a person develops over time). Offer examples of how some gifts/talents benefit only the individual who possesses them, while other gifts/talents are beneficial (helpful) for others as well. Ask students to consider what gifts/talents they have that are helpful in the classroom (e.g., help others solve a problem, make others feel good, make the classroom a nice place to be). Invite students to draw pictures representing three of their gifts/talents. Then ask students to decide which one of these is most helpful (i.e., offers the most important or best benefit) to others in the class. You may want to adapt the chart and strategies for Selecting the Best Thing (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity. Encourage students to make use of their identified special gift/talent to help others in the class.