Values Clarification

By Activity Bank on Nov 14, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

Students with multiple disabilities often have difficulty developing critical thinking skills: the ability to assess a given situation, generalize information, and apply knowledge from past experience. As a result, their problem-solving abilities may be limited to familiar or rote settings. This activity encourages students to practice using critical thinking to identify and develop personal values. They will also increase their self-esteem by developing a stronger sense of self.

Lessons include Concept Development, English Language Arts, Social Skills and Independent Living Skills.


None required


Ask students to discuss some of the following questions. This can be done individually with the teacher, in small groups, or written or recorded by students. Some students may only be able to respond to these questions in a cursory way, while others may be able to discuss their responses in a meaningful way.

  • What three words would you use to describe yourself?
  • What are the three most important things in your life?
  • When do you feel the best about yourself?
  • When do you feel the worst about yourself?
  • What would you most like to change about yourself?
  • Who would you most like to be and why?
  • What qualities make someone a good friend?
  • When should you do what someone tells you to do and when shouldn’t you?
  • Name something you should never do.
  • What rule or law would you like to change and why?


Describe a situation in which the student must make a decision. Ask him to tell what he would do.

Hint: Encourage students to act in accordance with their personal values in real-life situations.