Unit II. Visualizing Values - Lesson 7: Personal Values


 50 minutes


Magazines that can be cut up for collage
Paper, scissors, and glue for collage
Blackboard or chart paper


Before class, organize magazines, scissors, and glue so they will be easy to distribute when it’s time for the student collages.


In this lesson, students consider their personal values and create collages that reflect these values.

Big Idea:

We are all unique in the things we value, but we also share certain values with others in our communities.

Introduction (10 minutes):

  1. Tell students you’re going to read a series of statements out loud.
  2. If a student hears a statement that applies to him or her, the student should stand. If the statement does not apply, the student should sit down.
  3. Read some of the following statements:
    • Music is important to me.
    • I value my family.
    • I value my computer.
    • Television is important to me.
    • Freedom is important to me.
    • Sports are important to me.
    • Being American is important to me.
    • I value my friends.
    • Being Jewish is important to me.
    • Education is important to me.
    • Ice cream is important to me.
    • Additional statements that are relevant to your students
  4. After you read each statement, give students time to stand or sit and to look around to see who else is standing or sitting.
  5. Discuss: What can we learn about ourselves and others from this exercise?


Create a Collage (30 minutes):

 Distribute magazines, paper, scissors, and glue and ask each student to create a collage that answers the question, “What do I value?” or “What’s important to me?”

Remind students that what’s important to them might include not only tangible objects but also people, ideas, attitudes, and behaviors. Encourage them to think broadly about what they depict and how they depict it. They do not have to be literal in the way they use the images they find in the magazines.


Share (10 minutes):

Also comment on the way students approached the task visually. Note, for example, if students used the whole page, incorporated color into the composition, organized their work spatially, etc.

  1.  Ask a few students to present their work to the rest of the class.
  2. Jot down on the blackboard or on chart paper some of the items that emerge as important to students. Put these under the heading “Personal Values” and save the list for subsequent lessons.
  3. Discuss:
    • Why do we each value different things?
    • Where do these values come from?


For Homework:

Have each student write a paragraph that outlines what is most important to him or her. Encourage students to visit the website www.thisibelieve.com to read some essays written by others about their core beliefs and values. Also suggest students click here for tips on writing their own essays.