YSS is composed of three books and an interactive, free website. Schools use the books to lay the foundation for the self and then weave website material into the program to further support that ever-changing identity. Here, we briefly discuss the books (but you can also view the books and read sample chapters by clicking on “Books” in the navigation bar).
The first book, Discover Your Self, covers all the internal factors that create your sense of self (your brain, body, thoughts, feelings, morals, and the mind body connection). The second book, Manage Your Self, covers all the external factors that impact the self (friends, family, media, culture, school and experiences). The third and final book, Express Your Self, covers the cyclical interaction of the self with the world emphasizing that what you “put out there” will, in turn, produce a related experience (topics explored are communication, personality, relationships, work, artistic expression and decision making).
The hallmark of the Series is the self reflective questions throughout each book, found in the color green and usually in “Pitstops”. Pitstops do not ask teens to regurgitate the information, but rather to contemplate it and apply it to themselves: What would you do in this situation? What do you think of this information? How does it make you feel? How is it useful to you? In this way the material becomes personally meaningful to them. When material gains personal meaning, it supports motivation and retention. (Note: Teens write directly in the books – making the books a personal journey and journal they can keep and even return to if desired.)
The books are best taught in sequence as skill formation builds throughout the Series and as a mini-drama between four characters demonstrates the various skills presented (thereby providing a vicarious learning experience).
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