The Black or White Thinkers: CBT and Growth Mindset Activity
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Help change the penguins' cold, angry, and depressed mood by replacing their Black or White thoughts (always, never, everyone) with Rainbow Thinking hats (sometimes, yet, some people) and with warm self-talk sweaters (I am learning, I can ask for help). Excellent resource for children with ADHD or Autism.
After randomly selecting any of the 40 black or white thinking penguins, chose from the pile of rainbow thinking hats an alternative word that will neutralize the thought. For example, if the black or white thought is, “no one likes me,” the participant may select the rainbow hat, “some people.” The rainbow hat acts as a prompt to create the new balanced thought, “some people do not like me.”
Next, the participant will select from the pile of sweaters a warm self-talk statement that would match the situation context, such as in this example, “I am likeable.” It is suggested to add as much supporting facts they can think of, such as, “I am likeable because I let others go first, I say sorry, and I share my toys.”
By dressing the Black or White penguin in Rainbow Thoughts, the penguin went from “No one likes me” to “Some people do not like me. However, I am still likeable because I let others go first, I say sorry, and I share my toys.”
This activity may be used in the counseling setting for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and in the classroom to teach growth mindset. A variety of worksheets for different learners are included to use simultaneously. At each stage of the activity, invite shared experiences and feelings discussion in an effort to point out the change in feelings intensity as a result of changing the language.
A list of suggested responses and handwritten editable pages are included.
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