Lesson 3: Tearing Off Your Label

Review Reality Ride concept (use power point or poster)

Warm Up Activity: Who am I?
1. Paste a sticky note with a description of a person on the note; instruct them that they are not to tell each other what it says.
2. Tell them that they will pair up with one another and converse and ask each other questions about things related to the stick note “Title”
3. The object is for each person to guess what their sticky label says about them….jock, easy going, hard worker, … etc.
4. Tell them that as they converse with one another, they cannot use the words that are on the label in their conversations. However, they can ask them questions and talk about things they may do.
1. Was it easy or difficult to figure out what your label was?
2. What did it feel like to be labeled a certain way? Did you feel like it was unfair or right that they did so?
3. By the questions they were asking you, how do you think they were giving you these labels?
4. Inform students that everyone has labels (good and bad). We are able to tear off certain labels about ourselves if we discontinue doing the things that give us bad labels and start doing the things that give us good labels.

Activity 2: The Inner or Outer Shield
1. Say, “How have you been labeled by people or how have you labeled yourself negatively?” Today, we are going to think about those labels that we have been given and have given ourselves.
2. Tell students that they will be given a shield. On one side of the shield, which is broken up into 4 sections they are to write or draw 4 negative labels that others have given them or that they have given themselves.
3. Instruct students that they will be given about 5-7 minutes to complete this part of the activity.
4. Have each student share the negative labels that others or they have given themselves.
5. Once each has shared their negative labels, tell all of them that:
a. Whether those labels are true or false, they are what they are sometimes because they’ve been doing things to get those labels.
b. If we keep doing things that encourage people to continue to use labels that describe us, the labels we have will remain the same.
c. However, if want to create different labels for ourselves, we need to stop doing the things that give us negative labels and start doing the things that give us positive labels.
6. Tell students that on the other side of the shield, they are going to write down positive labels that they want for themselves and what they want others to have for them.
7. They can write about things that they like about themselves, what others like about them, accomplishments, strengths, goals, dreams, etc.)
8. Tell them that they will have about 5-7 minutes to complete this part of the activity.
9. Have each student share what those positive labels are to the rest of the group.
10. Tell them the following:
a. It will be difficult tearing these negative labels off and replacing them with positive labels.
b. Take the following steps to rid yourselves of the negative label and to replace them with positive labels (go to p. 18 of Labels Supplementary Info):
i. STOP living up to your label! Prove your label wrong.
“Believe in the real you…Not in the label.”
What does that statement mean? They can replace the negative label with things they identified on the other side of the shield. Continue to ask yourself the following question: “Will this action cause me to live up to my label or will it help me to tear it off?”
ii.Remember: It is easy to prove that your label is true; just keep doing the same things.
Tell them, if they keep doing the things that initially made the label stick, the label about you only becomes stronger.
iii. Your label is from the past. Today you either need to keep it or start tearing it off.
Tell them, we can only do a few things about the past: Make amends for past mistakes and learn from them and try not to repeat them. The past is done. Everyday we have a chance to create the label we want for ourselves in the future.
iv. Let the REAL YOU stand out so much that the past negative labels must be torn off.
Tell them: Every day, ask yourselves “What did I do today to tear off my negative label? What more can I do tomorrow?

Outro: Play the Labels Video/Song (#2)

Optional Warm – Up: Show Ugly Duckling Video
1. What does it feel like to be labeled? Alienated, sad, depressed, rejected, betrayed, guilty, angry, indifferent
2. Are there labels of yourself you can change? What are some things you can do to change labels?
3. Are there labels of yourself that you can not change? How do you deal with that?

Optional Warm – Up: How do you see me anyway?
Have students write down how people see them: Peers, Family, School/Teachers

Optional Warm – Up: Can you tell me what is true or lie?
Have students tell the group 3 true things about themselves and 1 lie; have group figure out what is the lie

Optional Activity 1: Powerpoint Presentation of Varying Individuals
1. Have students get out a sheet of paper and a pencil.
2. Instruct them that as they see various pictures of people, they are to write different things about that person (what they think, believe about the person; descriptions, characteristics).
3. Tell them that we will be giving them about 30 seconds to a minute to write descriptions about each picture.
4. After going through all the pictures and giving them opportunity to write descriptions about each picture, go back to the first picture and have everyone tell the rest of the group what they wrote (as they share, refrain from making judgments about what they said and also refrain from correcting their responses)
5. After each has had an opportunity to share their descriptions about the picture, give them the accurate descriptions about who those individuals are.
6. Say: We often labels people based on certain actions or behaviors. For example a person who is quiet may be labeled as “shy,” or a person who has trouble with math may be labeled as “stupid.” “These labels may not be fair and they may make people “hurt” or angry.” On the other hand, the labels that people have may also be as a result of what people do over and over again to develop that reputation or label for themselves.

Optional Activity 4: Labels Worksheet