SPARKLERS / Being ourselves

Discover your strengths

A quiz to help year 7 and 8 students to identify and start thinking about their unique character strengths.
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Why we love it

This activity helps tamariki 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 for year 7 and 8 students. You might use this activity at the beginning of the year and revisit it throughout, by working through our additional strength activities.

Tikanga tips

Some tamariki may associate acknowledging their character strengths with being arrogant. 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.

Māori and Pacific tamariki may be shy about this activity and korero. If you find they’re not joining in, you may want to catch up with them some other time, away from the larger group.

Kōrero

Explain that everyone has strengths! Some of us know what our strengths are and some of us find it tricky to figure them out.

Let the students know that today they’re going to identify their top 24 character strengths using a research-based and scientific survey.

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

Set-up (easy!)

Setting up the tech side of things before you get started is really straightforward.

Firstly head to the All Right? Strengths webpage

Have a browse if you like, then press the green ‘take the quiz’ button.

From here you’ll set up a class account, which you’re prepared to share with your tamariki. You’ll be asked to take the VIA Survey (Adult – 120 questions) OR VIA Survey (Youth – 70 questions). 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 and the strengths.

Remember though – your students will need to take the YOUTH survey. If any of your Year 7 or 8 tamariki are not yet 10, you can work with them to choose what you believe their top 3 strengths are. Use this outline as a guide.

For everyone else, once you’ve set up the account, you’re ready to roll!

If you have any trouble it may be that your school's web system is preventing access to the quiz. Setting up your own teacher site can help.

What to do

Each child will need a device to complete the strengths finder. You may like them to all do this at once (if you have enough devices) or separately throughout the day’s normal activities 3 or 4 at a time.

  • Write your class log-in details (email and password) on the board.
  • Then write up the instructions that follow:
    1. Go to the All Right? Strengths webpage - the direct URL is www.allright.org.nz/tools/strengths/
    2. Press the Green ‘Take the Quiz’ button
    3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter our class log-in details into the blue section that says: ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT? SIGN IN HERE.

NB: This will take them to an area where they will be able to see other student’s results – so perhaps let them know to ignore these and be respectful.

Remind tamariki that answering as honestly as possible will identify their top strengths, there are no right or wrong answers as strengths are strengths – everyone has them and they're all positive!

Once tamariki are complete, they can print off their top 24 strengths. It’s important they read the information about their strengths, rather than focussing on just the ‘name’ of them. Some of the strengths names are ‘strange’ but their meaning gives lots more context and it’s important they understand what their top strengths mean.

Let tamariki know that while they have top strengths, they all have these 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.

Reiterate if necessary:

  • We all have strengths and it helps if we can identify and name our strengths.
  • We can all tap into and 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.

Korero with tamariki by asking them to focus on their top 5 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 has brought these strengths up as their top five?
  • Ask them to check in with their friends – would your friends say these were your top strengths (generally they do!).
  • Ask tamariki what their goals are for this year – two maximum and write these down. Ask them to think about which of their strengths could help them achieve these goals. What actions could they take to draw on these strengths even more?
  • Are there any strengths they’d like to work on or develop?

Let them also know you’ll keep revisiting these so they can keep drawing on their strengths and developing these, and others.

We find tamariki are usually pretty chuffed with their results. If they’re looking for more information and how to use their strengths, guide them here.

As a great way to celebrate your strengths individually or as a class, we provide printable ‘Top Strength’ reminders and team posters that list each student’s top 3 strengths in a colourful fun way. Head here to create a 'team poster' if you’re keen to highlight tamariki strengths and refer to them often.

What Next?

To create strength cards, and get loads of ideas for fostering students’ ability to use their strengths, try Using Your Strengths activities.

Thank you to…

We have had the kind help of Dr Lucy Hone to develop this activity and the many extensions. Lucy is a Positive Psychologist and lives and works in Christchurch.

To be honest, Lucy has provided loads of great advice to us with Sparklers!

Looking after you

Check out our top tips for surviving, thriving and bringing your A-game!

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