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Lesson Four - Change Your Mindset

 

Upper Primary

SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL COMPETENCY: Self-Management

 

LEARNING INTENT

 

Students will:

  • Recognise how our thoughts influence our feelings

  • Recognise how our feelings influence our behaviour

  • Change negative 'I Can't' thoughts to positive 'I Can' thoughts

 

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

 

Resources

         

 

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.  If we can change unhelpful I Can’t thoughts to helpful I Can thoughts, we can change our day.  Helpful ‘I Can’ thoughts make us feel confident, happy and brave. Unhelpful 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. An ‘I Can’t’ thought can make us feel worried, nervous or sad.

Today we are going to learn about how our thoughts influence our feelings and also our behaviour. We are also going to practice catching, checking and changing our thoughts so we are more positive and resilient.

 

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: Thoughts influence Feelings (5 minutes)

Students choose a card and read out the thought.  Using the emoji poster, students choose an emoji that would best represent 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! We are now going to take it in turns to read out a 'thought' card. I want you to think about how that thought would make you feel. I want you to choose an emoji from the poster that best describes how you would feel.  There is no correct answer and you may have a different answer to someone else.

Activity Two: Thought, Feelings, Behaviour (10 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.

Today we have learned that our thoughts influence our feelings. In the next activity, we are going to learn how our thoughts influence not only our feelings but also our behaviour or how we act. We are going to watch a clip from ‘Inside Out’. We will watch it twice. The second time we watch it I will be pausing the video clip so we can think about how Riley’s thoughts influenced her feelings and her behaviour.

Watch a clip from ‘Inside Out’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sX4cF8dS7IA

 

​Watch it again, but this time pause the video clip to fill in the thoughts, feelings and behaviour laminated cards.

 1.   Pause after Riley knocks the plate off the table.

 Pose the question: What did Riley think about the broccoli?

 Write: Write in the thought bubble, 'Broccoli is poison'.

 Pose the question: How did it make her feel?

 Write: Write in the heart, 'Disgusted'.

 Pose the question: What was her reaction, what did she do?

 Write: Write on the behaviour card, 'She knocked the plate off the table'.

2.   Pause after Riley becomes angry after being told that she can't have dessert.

 Pose the question: What did Riley think about being told that she couldn’t have dessert?

 Write: Write in the thought bubble, 'That’s not fair'.

 Pose the question: How did it make her feel?

 Write: Write in the heart, 'Angry'.

 Pose the question: What did she do?

 Write: write on the behaviour card, 'She yelled'.

3. Pause after Riley plays the aeroplane game.

 Pose the question: What did Riley think of the aeroplane game?

 Write: write in the thought bubble, 'I love this game'.

​Pose the question: How did it make her feel?

 Write: write in the heart, 'Happy'.

 Pose the question: What did she do?

 Write: write on the behaviour card, 'Laughed and ate her dinner'.

Activity Three: Role Plays (10 minutes)

​Place the thoughts, feelings and behaviour card on the wall. The aim of this activity is to encourage students to reflect on how negative thoughts affect their feelings and actions. Ask a student to stand under the thought bubble and read out a scenario. The student then stands under the feelings card and describes out how they would feel. The student then stands under the behaviour card and acts out what they would do.

When we expect bad things to happen to us we feel worried and we won’t give things a go. If we think we can’t do the maths activity, we feel frustrated and give up. If we think no one likes us, we feel sad and sit by ourselves.

Imagine you were at the park and you see a dog. If you think the dog is cute, you will feel happy and calm and will pat the dog. If you think the dog will bite you, then you will feel scared and run away.

We are going to take turns acting out different scenarios and thinking about how you would feel and how you would behave in that scenario. Remember two people can have the same thought and feel differently.

Example:

​​The student stands under the thought bubble. The student reads or you read the scenario: it starts raining just before playtime and you now will have to play inside. You think to yourself, ‘I hate playing inside’. Ask the student to stand under the feelings card. Pose a question, how would you feel if you were thinking, ‘I hate playing inside’? Ask the student to stand under the behaviour card. Pose a question, what do you think you would do if you were angry/sad/frustrated because you were forced to play inside?

 

Scenarios​

  • It starts raining just before playtime and you now will have to play inside. You think to yourself, ‘I hate playing inside’.

  • Your teacher gives you an activity that is really hard and you think to yourself, 'I can't do this'.

  • Your best friend is away from school, the playtime bell rings and you think to yourself, 'I have no one to play with'.

  • Your Mum is late picking you up from school and you think to yourself, 'Mum has forgotten about me'.

  • You are working on your homework, you make a mistake and you think to yourself, 'I'm no good at this, I'm dumb'.

  • You are practising for the school cross country race and think to yourself, 'I'm no good at running'.

Activity Four: Preston's Positive Thoughts (10 minutes)

 

Read the story, 'Preston's Positive Thoughts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ph6Ei8vcIQ. You may like to mute the video so that you can read the book to your students.

Preston is having a really bad day. All-day he tells himself he can't do something well, and that's what happens. Can you spot his unhelpful 'I Can't' thoughts?

 

Pose the questions:

 

  • Can you tell me one of Preston's unhelpful 'I Can't thoughts?

  • How did Preston feel?

  • How did his thoughts and feelings affect his behaviour?

Activity Five: Catch it, Check it, Change it (10 minutes)

​​​Place the fish in the middle of the circle. Students take turns ‘catching’ a fish with their fishing rods. The student reads the unhelpful thought on the back of the fish. Challenge the student to change the unhelpful thought to a positive thought.

 

We are now going fishing to catch unhelpful thoughts and practise changing unhelpful 'I Can't' thoughts to helpful 'I Can' thoughts. I like to call this catch it, check it, change it.  The more we practise catching our thoughts, checking them and changing them to more helpful and positive thoughts, the better we will become at it.  If you practise this skill you will become a more positive person. This skill can change how you live your life.

​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 day

 

 

Activity Six: Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (10 minutes)

Read the story, 'Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWLYGbYOoRs

 

What kind of day did Alexander have? What were some of his thoughts? Were they helpful 'I Can' thoughts or unhelpful 'I Can't' thoughts?

Write examples on the board.

How did his unhelpful thoughts make him feel? 

 

Can you think of a time when you felt like this What happened?

It wasn’t the things that happened to Alexander that made his day so terrible. Do you know what made his day so terrible? Yes, it was his thoughts. He had a lot of unhelpful, negative thoughts that left him feeling upset. Do you think Alexander’s day could have been different if he had changed his unhelpful thoughts to helpful thoughts?

Concluding Discussion

Our thoughts are very powerful. They influence our feelings and our behaviour. Our thoughts make a big difference in 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.