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Inspiring leadership lesson plans for kids

Published on 28th January 2019 by Tessa Robinson

Leadership is an important skill to teach kids. It allows them to have confidence in themselves, learn how to delegate and rely on others and helps them understand how a team of people can work successfully together. Here are some ideas for inspiring, also found on StarWalkKIDS the innate leader inside our kids.

Brainstorming: For Groups 

You’ll need: 

A white board or large sheet of paper
Pens or crayons

This is a great first leadership lesson for a group of kids of any age. Ask the group to think about what leadership means. What makes a leader? They can talk amongst themselves for five minutes. Once they’ve had a chance to think it over, get them to throw words at you. Depending on the age of the group you may get different responses.

For the first part, write down all the words you get. Then, when the group can’t think of any more words, examine what you’ve got. You might have words like ‘confident,’ ‘strong,’ ‘kind,’ and ‘listening.’ You may also have words like ‘bossy,’ ‘shouty,’ or ‘cross.’ The words given will vary depending on each individual child’s experiences. Ask the group how each of the qualities makes them feel. If someone is in charge of them and bossy or cross, does that make them feel like they want to follow the leader? If someone shows what to do and leads by example, is that better?

Tring it out 

Put this discussion into action with a game of Follow the Leader. Split the group into two smaller groups and nominate a leader for each group. One group is going to lead using the words that made the kids feel good and happy. The other is going to lead their group using the words that were not as positive. Encourage the ‘bossy’ leader to be as loud and shouty as possible, to make it a caricature of the type of qualities poor leadership means to kids. This should get some laughs from both groups.

Get the leaders to ask the teams to do different ‘tasks’.

For pre-school and key-stage one kids, these should be really simple like:Hop on one foot

Clap hands
Sing
Whistle
Spin on the spot

For older kids, you could organise a treasure hunt where the leader has to give instructions or think of the best way to help their team win, in the spirit of the original leadership style. After an item is found, swap and let someone else be a leader, and also change which team is having the ‘positive’ leadership so that all the kids get to feel what both types of leadership feel like.

By allowing children to experience leadership from their peers, they are learning that they are capable of the same. This builds self-esteem and confidence. By learning about the different ways people can lead and then trying them out, they realise that leading by example, showing not telling, is the most powerful and successful way to lead.

Category: Activity Ideas

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