Empowering Elementary Students with Positive Self-Talk
Teaching positive self-talk is a key element of social-emotional learning (SEL) for elementary school students. It encourages learners to construct a mental narrative that uplifts them, builds their self-esteem, and improves their resilience in the face of challenges. With a confident mindset, students are better equipped to manage their emotions, overcome difficulties, and foster a healthy and positive self-image.
Introducing positive self-talk to students can be straightforward and require no extra preparation or materials. One simple yet impactful activity is the “Positive Affirmations Circle”.
Start a class by inviting students to sit in a circle. Each student, in turn, expresses a positive statement about themselves starting with “I am” or “I can”. Examples could include statements like “I am a kind friend” or “I can learn from my mistakes”. Encourage them to use these affirmations throughout their day, particularly when facing challenges. This practice helps students to internalize the benefits of positive self-talk and start building a resilient and positive mindset.
- What positive statements do you like to say to yourself when you’re facing a challenge?
- How does it feel when you switch from negative thoughts to positive self-talk?
- Can you think of a time when positive self-talk helped you to feel better or achieve a goal?
- Why do you think it’s important to talk kindly to ourselves?
Positive self-talk is closely tied to several other key social-emotional learning skills. Among these are:
- Self-Awareness: Recognizing one’s strengths and weaknesses, and understanding one’s emotions.
- Growth Mindset: Believing in the ability to improve and grow through effort and persistence.
- Resilience: Bouncing back from setbacks, and dealing with stress and pressure effectively.
If you found this exploration of positive self-talk helpful, there’s much more to discover. Check out Everyday Speech’s sample materials for free resources that can help teach and reinforce positive self-talk, along with many other valuable skills. Equip your elementary students with the tools they need to thrive both inside and outside the classroom.