Lessons on Leadership: What Makes a Good Leader

All children can develop leadership skills. Adults can help youth grow into young leaders by providing them with activities that help them identify their leadership qualities, improve their public speaking and communication skills, and teach them about the importance of serving others.

The following leadership activities will provide children with an opportunity to understand what it means to lead and learn to recognize their leadership potential. The first two activities will allow youth to discuss the qualities of a good leader, and the last activity will help them see these leadership qualities and abilities in themselves.

Age Range:

This activity works best with youth grades 1-5.

Time Required:

Each activity will take between 30-60 minutes or more, depending on the number of children involved and the level of engagement.

Activity 1: Discussion

Using the following questions as a guide, have a conversation with your children about leadership. Ask the question and give them a moment to think about each question before responding. Consider allowing them to jot down some notes or draw out their response on paper before discussing each question as a group.

  • What is a leader?
  • What does a leader do?
  • Who are our leaders (home, school, community, nationally)?
  • Who are some examples of good leaders? Why?
  • What are the qualities of a good leader?

Good leaders are:

  • Hard-working
  • Goal-oriented
  • Honest
  • Good listeners
  • Good communicators
  • Willing to serve others
  • Good at making decisions
  • Team players
  • Encouraging
  • Positive
  • Responsible

Activity 2: “This is Leadership”

Materials: Paper (regular or colored), stickers, crayons, markers, scissors, magazines, and newspapers.

Description: Ask your children to think about examples of good leaders. These could be current leaders or past leaders. Have them design a picture of their favorite leader on a piece of paper. Allow them to be creative; have them write, draw, or incorporate pictures of items cut out from magazines or newspapers that represent specific leadership qualities that the individual has. Once they complete their picture, provide them with an opportunity to improve their verbal communication skills by presenting their leader picture to the group and talking about it. Once they have presented their leader, provide them with feedback (what they did well, and ways they could improve).

Activity 3: “This is Me Leading”

Note: It is recommended that children work on Activity 3 only after Activity 1 and Activity 2 have been completed. This will give them the opportunity to reflect on both activities and think about potential leadership roles that they could perform at home or in their community.

Materials: Paper (regular or colored), crayons, markers, pencils, and pens.

Description: Helping youth develop the confidence to lead is an essential part of evolving into a leader. After discussing leadership and examples of good leaders, ask the children to draw a picture of themselves leading. Provide examples of where they could be serving as a leader in school, at home, or in the community. Once they complete their picture, have them present their picture in front of the group. Have them talk about their picture and what leadership activity they are performing. Once they have presented their picture, provide them with feedback (what they did well, and ways they could improve).


Image by Steve Watts from Pixabay

4/7/2020 11:14:45 PM
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