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Ribbon FINLAND 100
How to identify strengths and develop them for better self-esteem, life and future?

You Are...

location_on Helsinki, Finland
You are… is a comprehensive set of learning material for identifying and developing one’s own strengths as well as those of peers and groups. It is based on the books of Finnish writer Jenni Pääskysaari, author of Girl, You Are... (Otava Publishing Company Ltd., 2015) and Boy, you are... (Otava Publishing Company Ltd., 2016). The material can be used as a tool for phenomenon-based learning under the theme of well-being.
I learned that I am braver than I thought. The exercises in the book made me feel self-confident.



HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100

Key figures

Innovation Overview

10 - 15
Age Group
Updated on May 17th, 2022
about the innovation

What is it all about?

Identifying your strengths is not only an important factor in the development of self-knowledge, but also one of the key factors for self-acceptance, therefore becoming more balanced with oneself and others.

By practising to identify their own and others' strengths, a child or a young person learns to encounter diversity and understand people around them. Skills to identify and develop strengths help children and young people not only to cope, but also to embrace who they are in the midst of expectations and even unpredictable changes.

Girl, You Are ... (2015) and Boy, You Are ... (2016) focus on improving children’s strengths. The main message of the books is to encourage children and young people, to support self-awareness, gender sensitivity, equality and everyone's freedom to be exactly who they want to be.

The books have succeeded addressing an unspoken need that speaks to both children and adults alike. Many children and young people who have read the books have experienced that they have helped , for instance, in a difficult life situation or in becoming a bit more courageous and merciful to themselves. The books are thought to say all the things that every growing young person should hear.

The You Are… learning material was made based on the books and the feedback they received. The You Are... book includes exercises for students that are easy to take in, fun and impactful and which help teachers identify strengths and discover themes around self-knowledge in depth. The material is suitable for both classrooms and other groups of children and adolescents.

The aim of the exercises is to become a mentally healthy, more courageous, more open and confident individual, and a group where one’s own, peers’ and the whole group’s strengths are identified, maintained and developed in everyday life.

The Girl, You Are... and Boy, You Are... books are already in use by many teachers and other professionals in the field of child and youth work. They serve as tools for everyday encounters with children and young people. The books were on the best-selling list of Finnish children's and youth books for a long time.

The steps provide you with instructions for acquiring the material and how to use it.

Students’ experiences from the You Are… material:

“I learned new things about myself."
"I learned that I am braver than I thought. The tasks made me feel confident. "
"I learned to be happy with myself."
"It was really nice and memorable. You got to think about different things. "
"I learned that people see a lot of good things in others."
"I learned a few words."
"I learned that everything or almost everything can be affected."
"Everyone has good attributes."


HundrED Academy Review


You Are… provides quality content and exercises that are easily integrated into teaching and which are in line with the reformed curriculum.


Students learn to recognize their own, peers’ and group strengths, which improves self-knowledge and team spirit.


Materials are available in Finnish from Otava Education learning materials. Interested parties can contact the innovation contact person for materials in other languages.


Achievements & Awards

May 2022
Finland 100
May 2019
June 2017
Innovation page created on

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Ordering the learning material
Order the material and get acquainted with the books beforehand.
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Choosing a theme
Choose a subject or theme for your group to explore, based on the books and exercise books.
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Plan your schedule
Plan your schedule and use of time.
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Exploring the material
Explore the material with your students.
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Doing the exercises
Do individual, pair, and group exercises in a positive atmosphere without forcing anyone.
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Feedback discussion
Finally, it is important to have a feedback discussion together.
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