Activities and Exercises

For a list of activities and exercises relevant to how you interact with students please choose a resource category from the drop down menu below. Please note that some of the activities may provide instructions/faciltiation notes that refer to use in the classroom or some other specific setting (i.e. career). Many of these activities have been categorized more broadly because they can be easily adapted to fit other settings. Please also note that many of these activities will require you to authenticate using your x.500 while some are available to the general public.

Three specific resources are highlighted below that are especially helpful in 1:1 sessions with students.

If you have strengths activities that you have developed and you are willing to share, please email them, with facilitation notes included, to strengths@umn.edu.

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Please select a category to view the available resources

Mentor Programs

  • This document contains 60 different ideas for Strengths-based activities you could use with students. The majority of these activities work best in group situations versus 1:1 situation such as advising or career counseling/ coaching. The activities can take as little as 60 seconds or up to 60 minutes to complete.

  • Career Exploration Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Strengths: Career Exploration' video or on its own to use your Strengths to explore careers.

  • Degrees of Talent/ Owning My Strengths
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    This activity asks students to recognize the personal difficulties associated with affirming their own themes of talent.

  • Get Engaged (On & Off Campus) Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Strengths: Get Engaged' Video or on its own to learn more about ways to use your Top 5 to find engagement opportunities that are a good fit for you!

  • How Do I Use My Top 5 Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Strengths: Myth Smashing' video or on its own to learn more about the Strengths philosophy, the StrengthsFinder assessment and your own Top 5

  • I Do it With Ease
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    In this activity, students begin to move from reflection and evaluation to application and apply theme-specific strategies to achieve academic success.

  • Intensify Strength
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    This activity will help students begin to actively develop their talent.

  • Job Searching Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Strengths: Job Searching' video or on its own to find ways to use Strengths in your resume, cover letter, interviewing, job search, and elevator pitch.

  • Major Exploration Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Strengths: Major Exploration' video or on its own to learn more about how to use your Strengths during the major exploration process.

  • Making the Most of Your Engagement Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Strengths: Making the Most of Your Engagement' video or on its own to find ways to use your Strengths to lead stronger and get the most out of your engagement on and off campus.

  • Modeling Theme Dynamics
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    This activity expands upon the previous exercise by asking students to consider how all five of their Signature Themes interact and work together.

  • Realizing My Potential
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    This activity helps students integrate the elements of strength development: talent, skills, and knowledge. Specifically, students identify what talents, skills, and knowledge are required to complete three tasks. This process will help students begin to develop a model of how they can consciously apply their talents to develop strength.

  • Reflections on the Movies
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    Films powerfully communicate points about poignant moments in life. This activity asks students to view and evaluate movies with a discerning eye and discover the stories of talents and strengths that are evident through film.

  • Relationships and Teams Video
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Relationships and Teams' video or on its own to learn how you can use your Strengths in your partnerships with others.

  • Secret of My Success
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    This activity asks students to identify examples of how their themes of talent have contributed to past success.

  • Strengths Self-Reflection and Implementation Guide
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    This document is a coaching tool designed to help you discover, discuss, journal, and develop your greatest talents. It helps you reflect on those things that are important to you, as well as turn thoughts into actions.

  • Studying and Academic Success Guide
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    This Guide can be used along with the 'Studying and Academic Success' video or on its own for tips about how to use your Strengths to make the most out of your study time, as well as how you can use your Strengths to achieve your academic goals.

  • Talent, Knowledge, or Skill?
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    In this activity, students learn that there are three things that contribute to the development of a strength.

  • Talent, Theme, and Strength
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    This activity helps students understand and develop a common language in which they can discuss natural talents and the development and application of strength.

  • Talent-Based Studying
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    In this activity, students continue to move from reflection and evaluation to application and appreciate the role their talents and strengths play in making them their own best educator and learner.

  • The Challenge of Affirming My Strengths
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    This activity not only helps students affirm their Signature Themes, but also asks them to examine some of the challenges we all face when attempting to affirm our natural selves.

  • Writing Challenge
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    This activity is a hands-on approach to visualize the difference between using your Strengths and focusing on your weaknesses.