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LifeSkills Sample Exercise 1

Self Awareness: My Place on the Tree

This is Activity 2 in the LifeSkills Handbook. For a printable version of this exercise, download the PDF.

Purpose of activity: To develop children’s self-awareness about their present lives.

Life skills: Self-awareness, critical thinking, creative thinking

Important points: Try to ask the children to think deeply about their place on the tree and to find reasons for their choices. If children find this difficult, do not worry but note what the children feel or do not feel able to say. The activity can be repeated in Part 3 when children have improved their communication skills. If some children do not want to speak in the group, do not force them, but let them think about their ideas and if possible talk about their ideas to one friend.

Materials: A copy of the tree picture on a large poster for all the children to see

Self Awareness: my place on the tree diagram

Tree of life from the LifeSkills booklet


  1. Show the children the picture and explain that the tree represents life. The people on the tree are at different stages of their lives. They are doing different things for different reasons.
  2. Ask the children to think of a well-known character in your country, for example a famous sports star, a character from a folktale or a famous person. Perhaps this person feels like the person at the top of the tree because he looks sure of himself and powerful. She is smiling at everyone below her. She is pleased with her position! Ask the children which figure in the picture is like the famous person. (The children will probably have different ideas and different reasons – that’s fine).
  3. Show the children the figure(s) on the tree which show where you feel you are in life today. Explain the reasons for your choice.
    • For example: I feel I am like the person doing a handstand halfway up the tree with one hand off the branch. I feel like this because I am feeling full of energy and I feel I am doing something a bit different today by starting this life skills work with you. I am not sure if it will be fun or a bit risky!
  4. Ask the children to choose one figure that is closest to themselves.
  5. In pairs or small groups, children discuss why they identified with a particular figure.
    • For example: I feel like I am at the bottom of the tree waving and looking happy because I am just beginning the life skills (so I am at the bottom of the tree). I am looking happy because I hope the class will help me and I am waving at my friends who will be with me.

Final discussion

Do we feel like different people on the tree at different times of the day or week? Were you happy to tell us about your figure? Why/Why not?


Want More Exercises Like This One?

If you enjoyed this exercise and found it useful there are 60 more practical exercises in the LifeSkills Handbook which also includes comprehensive information about planning, managing and implementing a life skills programme.

Click here for more information and to purchase the book.