SPARKLERS / Strengths

Discover Your Strengths

A quiz to help senior students find their strengths and make a set of strengths cards.
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki understand and feel good about their strengths.

Tāngia ēnei tohutohu – Print me

Print a set of Strengths Cards for each tamaiti. As well as helping them remember their results, they'll need these for our Use Your Strengths follow up activities.

(If tamariki misplace their strengths cards, they could copy some of the content, and create their own!)

He aha ai? – Why we love it

This activity helps tamariki aged 10 and older identify their strengths to boost their self-esteem, resilience, and encourage a growth mindset.

This is a positive activity for any time but it can be a great way to set-up a positive classroom culture at the start of year 7 and 8, allowing you to call on and foster students' strengths throughout the year.

Tikanga tips

Some students may feel whakamā about acknowledging their strengths. It may be important to reassure students that everyone has strengths, and that learning about these can help to bring out the best in ourselves and others. If you find anyone's not joining in, you may want to catch up with them away from the larger group.

Printing and set-up (easy!)

If you haven't already, print a set of Strengths Cards for each student (or use the content to create your own).

Getting the tech side of things all set up is really easy and the below steps will allow you to create a unique link for your students to use, so you can access their results.

  1. Head here and fill in your details.
  3. Follow the steps to create your unique survey:
    – Under Surveys ensure you select the youth option (disregard the note re: those under 13, as this shouldn't prove an issue).

When you hit save you'll be taken to a page with your unique link to share with students, e.g: - share this with your students in order that they can complete the youth survey.

If any of your tamariki are not yet 10, you could work with them to choose their top three strengths, using the Strengths Cards as a guide.

You’re welcome to take the survey yourself – in fact we recommend you do! If nothing else it’ll make you feel good and boost your familiarity with the quiz.


Explain that everyone has strengths. Some of us might already have ideas about what these are, while others mightn't be sure.

Let students know that today they’re going to use a scientific survey to find out their top 24 character strengths.

They’ll need to answer lots of questions but if they’re as honest as possible, the system will identify their top strengths so they can continue to grow these and develop others too.

What do we mean by 'answering honestly'?
Answering based on how we actually are, right now, rather than how we'd like to be in the future, or how our 'dream self' might behave.

Why answer a quiz like this honestly?!
Because then the results will actually be about YOU! They will be valuable and feel 'true', rather than feeling made up. And remember, this isn't a test. There's no right or wrong, and no strength is better than another. No matter what, the results you get will be positive.

Hei mahi - What to do

NB: We'd suggest giving tamariki their Strengths Cards worksheets as they finish the survey, to avoid the information influencing their answers.

Email out your class URL or write this on the board. Each tamariki will need a device to complete the strengths finder. Do this together (if you have enough devices) – or separately throughout the day.

When tamariki complete the quiz they will be taken to a page where they can view their results. Once they're there:

  • encourage them to download and/or print a copy; and/or
  • give them a Strengths Cards worksheet so they can record their results.

It's important that they save and record their results, as these can sometimes be hard to find on the VIA site, but you should be sent an email for each student. If you can't see these, check your spam folder (the joys of technology!).

Give students time to cut out their strengths cards and make the accompanying pouch. This should only take about 15 minutes.

Tamariki reactions:

Some tamariki may initially be disappointed by results they don't understand or think are uncool e.g. prudence. If this is the case, help them see the positive side of what may be a new concept or idea. Also, let tamariki know that while they have top strengths, they actually have all 24 strengths – some are just stronger than others. Just because a strength is number 24 on the list, doesn’t mean you don’t possess it, and we can all grow and develop strengths.

It’s also handy to know that behind the scenes, you might have two or three strengths come out with the same top score! It’s better to focus on your top five, aka your ‘signature’ strengths then to get too hung up on what comes in at number one.

Our worksheets contain more child-friendly strength descriptions and these can help too!

Debrief and next steps

Let tamariki know that we each have all 24 strengths – some are just stronger than others. If necessary reiterate that we can use our strengths to reach our goals, form strong friendships and face any issues that come our way. Sharing and celebrating each others’ strengths is important too.

Ask tamariki to focus on their top five strengths:

  • Did they know these were their top or ‘signature’ strengths?
  • How do they feel about them?
  • What do they ‘do’ as a person that helped them get this top five?
  • Have their friends noticed these strengths? The answer is usually yes!

What next?

A cool class exercise is to 'tally-up' your top fives (or tens) to work out your class' top strengths. This is a great chance to also celebrate the 'less common' strengths people bring to the mix.

And the only thing better than knowing our strengths is finding ways to use and foster them!

For easy, quick activities that help tamariki do this, try our Using Your Strengths activities.

Sparklers at Home

If you think it may be useful for whānau to give Discover Your Strengths a go, simply copy and paste the following 'blurb' into an email or your home-learning programme as an introduction.

In the classroom we've been looking into our strengths, which we've all been really enjoying. Understanding our unique strengths is a wonderful way to boost self-esteem, resilience, happiness and confidence. And that's what we've been finding in the classroom.

Sparklers at Home has the same activity, Discover Your Strengths we've been trying in the classroom, as an activity ready for home use. It would be great if you explore this with your child, they'll be familiar with it, so it will be exciting for them to take you through it. You may also want to explore your strengths with them too - see which strengths you have in common!

Looking after you

Foster the hauora of your kaiako and team

Learn more