Children's Music

Just Be Yourself

Lesson by Amy Doyle

Aim: How can we celebrate what is different and unique in each of us?


  1. Photographs of zebra, rhinoceros, and hippopotamus
  2. Drawing supplies
  3. 2-3 sentence description of each student written on small pieces of paper
  4. “Just Be Yourself” by 3-D and player


Learning Objectives
By the end of the lesson, students will:

  1. Discern the difference between external and internal beauty.
  2. Actively listen to each other and recall the contributions made by other students to their discussion.
  3. Identify physical features of a zebra, rhinoceros, and hippo.
  4. Draw pictures of zebra, rhinoceros, or hippo.
  5. Interpret the drawings made by other students and guess the animal.
  6. Actively listen to “Just Be Yourself” and identify problems and solutions described in the song.


Activity 1

Ask students, “What does it mean to be beautiful?” If discussion focuses exclusively on physical beauty, ask students, “What does it mean to be beautiful inside?” In circle have students play a version of “I’m going on a Picnic” in which they say one physical or emotional aspect of their mother or father that they think is beautiful. Other students have to listen closely and repeat every child’s contribution before adding their own. In other words, “Amy thinks her mother’s hair is beautiful, Lisa thinks her father’s smile is beautiful, Mark thinks his father’s laugh is beautiful, and I think my mother’s hands are beautiful.” Teacher should go first and last.


Activity 2

Divide students into groups of three and give each group one picture of either a zebra, hippo, or rhinoceros. Ask students to describe what each animal looks like. Give students time to draw their own version of the animal.

Discussion: Students can present the pictures drawn by members of their group. Other members of the class will guess what kind of animal is drawn.


Activity 3

In circle, the class will play “Who Am I?” in which the teacher will read a description of each member of the class and the class has to guess who it is. Example: I have freckles sprinkled over my nose and I cover my smiling mouth when I laugh. Who am I?”


Activity 4

Play the song, “Just Be Yourself” for students and ask them, “What does each animal see as its problem?” “How does the mother of each animal offer a solution?”


Activity 5

In circle have each student look at the student to their right and say, “you are beautiful” until everyone has heard it.