For students: We hope this guide sharpens your reading skills and deepens your understanding.
For teachers: We encourage reproduction and adaptation of these ideas, freely and without further permission from AramcoWorld, by teachers at any level.
Common Core Standards met in this lesson: RI.9-10.4.c, L.9-10.24.d, RI.9-10.1 (see details below).

—The Editors
Do you have comments? I'd be pleased to hear from you at 
[email protected].
—Julie Weiss

Yuna in Song and Style: Self-Awareness and Intrapersonal Intelligence

Every now and then, you come across people who seem to know a lot about themselves, to be, in other words, particularly self-aware. When you read "Yuna in Song and Style," you'll see that Yunalis Zarai is one of those people. She thinks about who she is, how she's changed over time, what her life is like and was like, and how it might be in the future. By the time you have read the article and completed the activities, you will be able to do the following:

•Define self-awareness.
•Find examples that show that Yuna knows herself well.
•Define intrapersonal intelligence.
•Use prompts to develop your own intrapersonal intelligence.

What is Self-Awareness?

Before you can see that Yuna is self-aware, you have to have a good sense of what self-awareness is. Depending on your background, beliefs and the culture you're part of, it may be well-known to you, or it may be quite unfamiliar. Divide into small groups. Do an Internet search and read a few sources about the concept of self-awareness. Then, based on the reading and your own beliefs and experiences, share your thoughts with other group members about self-awareness, answering questions like these: What is self-awareness? What might be the benefits of self-awareness? What might be some drawbacks? Do you value self-awareness? Why or why not? If you think of examples of your own self-awareness as you're answering the questions, write a few notes about them for later in the activity.

Aimannes Harun

Yuna's Self-Awareness

To see some examples of what self-awareness looks like, read "Yuna in Song and Style." As you read, underline or highlight the parts where Yuna says things that reveal that she pays close attention to her motivations, actions, changes and growth. Then, with your group, go over what you've marked. If there is disagreement among group members, discuss the different points of view and see if you can agree about what should be included as examples of self-awareness.

Intrapersonal Intelligence

Now that you've defined self-awareness and found examples of it in the interview with Yuna, let's look at a more formal framework for exploring self-awareness. Educator and scholar Howard Gardner is known for having defined different kinds of intelligence. When you take tests at school most of them focus on language and math. But those are only two kinds of intelligence. Gardner asserts that there are other kinds, too. There is, for example, a physical intelligence that he calls bodily-kinesthetic. People with a great deal of this kind of intelligence might be good at athletics, dance, using tools, or other skills that require physical coordination. There is also an interpersonal intelligence, evident in people who are especially good with other people. Some teachers and coaches might have a lot of interpersonal intelligence, as might psychotherapists and social workers.

To help you understand this article, we're going to focus on what Gardner called intrapersonal intelligence. You may never have heard the word intrapersonal. To figure out what it means, look up the prefix intra- and the word personal. Based on what you find, define the word intrapersonal. What do you think intrapersonal intelligence refers to.

Developing Your Intrapersonal Intelligence

How can you become more self-aware? How can you develop your own intrapersonal intelligence? If it doesn't come naturally to you, complete one of the following activities.

  1. Below are some prompts adapted from things Yuna said in the interview in, "Yuna in Song and Style." Complete the prompts.
  • What made me the way I am today is ___________________________________.
  • One of the things I'm still figuring out in my life is ___________________________________.
  • When I look at ___________________________________, I can see that I'm the same person but not the same person I was five years ago.
  • Five years ago I couldn't even ___________________________________. Now I can ___________________________________.
  • Once in a while, life teaches you things that are difficult. An example of that in my own life is ___________________________________.
  • Since I was very little, I've always been into ___________________________________.
  • What's most important to me is ___________________________________.

2.  Instead of completing the prompts, pair up with another student and take turns interviewing each other the way Andrew Dansby interviewed Yuna. Use these questions:
  • What made you the way you are today?
  • What are you trying to figure out in your life?
  • What is something you can do now that you couldn't do five years ago?
  • What is an example of a time that life taught you something difficult?
  • What have you been into since you were very little?
  • What is most important to you?
After you're done, reflect on what completing the prompts or answering the questions has made clearer to you about yourself. Do  you think insights are valuable. If so, how might you use them going forward. Write a paragraph in which you a) state whether you think intrapersonal intelligence is useful or not; b) provide three examples to support your statement; and c) draw a conclusion based on what you've written.


Common Core Standards met in this lesson:

L.9-10.4.c Consult general and specialized reference materials (e. g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech or its etymology.                                                                                       

L.9-10.4.d Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e. g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.