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Lesson Four – Change Your Mindset


Lower Primary

Catch It, Check It, Change It







Students will:

  • Recognise how our thoughts influence our feelings

  • Recognise how our feelings influence our behaviour

  • Change I Can't thoughts to I Can thoughts.


KEY VOCABULARY: thoughts, feelings, behaviour, I Can Thoughts, I Can’t Thoughts, self-talk, mindset.





Background Information


We often think our feelings precede our thoughts.  However, our thoughts and feelings affect one another.  For example, imagine you have a driving test and it is raining.  You may think to yourself, ‘Oh no, it’s raining.  I’m not used to driving in the rain’.  These thoughts will cause you to feel anxious. As your anxiety increases, your worried thoughts increase and the cycle continues.  How do you think your performance will be affected?

In lesson four, students will learn how our thoughts influence our feelings, which in turn influence our behaviour.  This is especially important with regards to students’ beliefs about their learning. Thoughts and beliefs about learning will have a positive or negative impact on achievement.

Lesson four focuses on how what we think controls how we feel and act.  The lesson also looks at how our perceptions (thoughts) influence our feelings and behaviours.  Teaching children to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive thoughts encourages resilience, perseverance and a growth mindset.



Lesson Plan

Introduce Lesson and Review Previous Lesson

Review the previous sessions by asking students to remember what was covered in the last session. Shape students’ responses to reflect the learning intent from the previous lesson.  Revise group guidelines.

Welcome back.  Last week we learned the difference between our thoughts and our feelings.  We talked about how our thoughts are very powerful.  Positive ‘I Can’ thoughts make us feel confident, happy and brave. Negative thoughts are ‘I Can’t’ thoughts.  ‘I Can’t’ thoughts are unhelpful and they can stop us from having fun, giving things a go and enjoying our day. A negative ‘I Can’t’ thought makes us feel worried, nervous or sad.

Today we are going to learn about how our thoughts influence our feelings and also our behaviour.

A Gratitude Attitude (5 minutes)


Sit in a circle. Ask each student to share something that they are grateful for or something positive that has happened to them this week. This simple activity is training students to be positive and to have a gratitude attitude.

​A gratitude attitude focuses on the NOW!  Try to pay attention and be thankful for what you already have and not worry about what you don’t have.  People with a gratitude attitude are positive, resilient and happy.


Activity One: Our Thoughts Influence our Feelings (10  minutes)

The aim of this activity is to encourage students to reflect on how their thoughts influence their feelings. Place 4 cards (happy, sad, angry, worried) in each corner of the room. Play music and encourage students to dance to the music. When the music stops read out a 'thought' and ask students to think about how that thought would make them feel and to stand in that corner that describes how they would feel.

Our thoughts influence the way we feel. A thought can make us feel happy or sad. A thought can also make us feel angry or worried. Our thoughts can make us feel so many different feelings!  I’m going to place 4 different cards that show 4 different feelings, happy, sad, angry and worried in each corner of the room. I will play music for you to dance to. When the music stops, I will read out an unhelpful, ‘I Can’t’ thought or a helpful ‘I Can’ thought. I want you to think how that thought would make you feel. You need to stand in the corner that best describes how you would feel. There is no correct answer and you may have a different answer to someone else.


Examples of 'I Can' thoughts and 'I Can't' thoughts.

  • I’m hopeless at Math’s

  • I have no one to play with

  • I hope Mum doesn’t forget to pick me up

  • I’m bad at spelling

  • I’m going to have fun at school today

  • No one listens to me

  • My homework is too hard

  • I never get to have any fun

  • I love watching movies in the rain

  • Mum packed me a vegemite sandwich, I hate vegemite sandwiches.

  • What if I forget my library books tomorrow.

  • I hope I don’t get into trouble.

boy growth mindset.jpg

Activity Two - 'Positive Ninja' (10 minutes)

We are now going to read a story about a positive ninja who wasn't always so positive! Positive ninja learned to pay attention to her thoughts so that she could catch, check and change her thoughts.

You may like to mute the video so that you can read the book to your students.

Positive Ninja

Activity Three - Our Thoughts Influence our Feelings and Behaviour (15 minutes)

Your thoughts, the talking in your head, not only influences how you feel but also what you do. When we expect a bad thing to happen to us, we may feel worried and not give it a go. If we think we can't do the maths activity, we may feel frustrated and give up. If we think no one likes us, we may feel sad and end up sitting by ourselves.

We can grow our helpful and positive thoughts into positive feelings and positive behaviours.

We are now going to grow a positive, helpful thought flower.  First, we are going to cut out the pieces of our flower.

Students cut out the pot plant, the stem and the flower.  For younger students, you may like to have the pieces pre-cut.

Can you think of a positive thought to write on your pot plant?


Students write a positive thought on the pot plant or teacher scribes for students.

We are going to imagine we have soil and positive seed in our pot plant.  What else do we need for our flowers to grow? Yes, water!  With water, our flower starts to grow.  A positive thought will grow a positive feeling. If you were thinking about the thought that you wrote on your pot plant, how would you feel? Write your feeling on the stem and glue your stem into your pot plant.

Students write a feeling on the pot plant or teacher scribes for students. Students glue the stem into the pot plant.

What do you think you would do?  Write your action or behaviour on the flower bulb. Glue your flower bulb on your stem.

Students write a behaviour on the flower bulb or teacher scribes for students.


We can grow positive thoughts.  Positive and helpful thoughts grow into positive and helpful feelings which grow into positive and helpful actions. Your thoughts are powerful!

Activity Four - 'My No No No Day' (10 minutes)

Read a book called, 'My No No No Day.

It wasn’t the things that happened to Bella that made her day so terrible. Do you know what made her day so terrible?


Yes, it was her thoughts. Bella had a lot of unhelpful, negative thoughts that left her feeling angry, frustrated, sad and unhappy.


Do you think Bella's day could have been different if she had changed her unhelpful thoughts to helpful thoughts?


Activity Five: Catch Your Thoughts and Change Your Mindset (10 minutes)

If we pay attention to the talking in our head we can ‘catch’ these thoughts and decide if they are positive thoughts or negative thoughts. We are now going fishing to catch negative thoughts and practise changing our negative I Can’t thoughts into positive I can thoughts.

​​​Place the fish in the middle of the circle. Students take turns ‘catching’ a fish with their fishing rods.  Read the negative thought on the back of the fish.  Ask the student if they can change the negative thought into a positive thought.

​Examples of I Can’t Thoughts to write on the back of the sea creatures.

  • ​I have no friends to play with

  • I can’t do my homework

  • It’s too hard

  • My teacher doesn’t like me

  • I never get a turn

  • I’m not good at Math’s

  • I’m having a bad da​y


Concluding Discussion (5 minutes)

Our thoughts are very powerful. They influence our feelings and our behaviour. Our thoughts make a big difference to how we enjoy our day. Learning to change unhelpful thoughts to helpful thoughts can change our entire day.  Learning how to change your thoughts is like a superpower!  See if you can catch, check and change any unhelpful thoughts this week!

Close the session: Thank the group for their participation throughout the session.  Encourage them to practice the new skills they learned during the week.  Share with the group an exciting activity that they will do during the next GRIT lesson.

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