Positive thinking is a skill that students can learn to improve their resilience and persistence when faced with challenging tasks. Negative thinking is a common stumbling block for many students (and adults). Negative thoughts can affect how a student feels, acts, and perceives what is going on around them. To change this, we teach students to identify their negative thinking and to change those thoughts to positive ones.
In this resource, students will work on strategies to increase positive thinking and manage negative thoughts. Mastering this skill will help students handle frustrating or challenging situations more independently. This can be applied to students who experience negative thoughts about themselves or about others.
This resource includes a group lesson with scaffolded activities and teacher/parent information about negative thinking.
• Small Group Lesson:
I Do, We Do, You Do lesson on negative thinking, how to combat negative thinking, and how to increase your positive thinking. Ideal for small group counseling and for practitioners familiar with CBT.
• Worry Weeds or Sunny Sunflowers Sort:
Students and facilitator sort positive and negative thoughts.
• Sunny Petals:
Students identify positive thoughts and create a sunny sunflower with the positive thoughts.
• Weed Cutters or Sunflower Growers:
Students identify ways to combat negative thinking and increase positive thinking. Students identify they own negative and positive thoughts, strategies, and change a negative thought to a positive one.
• Make a Sunflower Bloom:
Students practice changing a negative thought to a positive one.
• My Mind Garden:
Students write down positive thoughts on flowers. The focus should be on filling our mind with positive thinking and eliminating negative thoughts.
• Fill Your Garden:
Students practice positive thinking about themselves. You can also use this activity to continue practicing changing negative thoughts or identifying strategies.
• Sunflower Color by Strategies:
Students color in strategies as they use them. This can be used over time as a goal tracker for practice, during group sessions, or as part of a game.
• Parent/Teacher Information Sheet:
Information for parents and teachers about negative thinking and how they can encourage positive thinking in their student.
*More activities are provided than would be necessary for a lesson. This should help counselors differentiate material for their students and have follow-up practice opportunities.
Who Should Buy This
This resource is ideal for counselors, psychologists, and social workers who are familiar with cognitive-behavioral therapy. It can certainly be used by teachers and parents. If you have any questions, please send me an email. I’d be happy to clarify anything about implementing the resource.
Positive Thinking Resources for Counseling
• Changing Negative Thoughts Worksheets: Use Positive Thinking, Reframe Negative
• Positive Thinking Workbook: Challenge Negative Thoughts for Positive Thinking
• Thinking Error Cards to Help Kids Spot Negative Thoughts, Use Positive Thinking