Purpose: Students learn principles of positive thinking and behavior.
1. Students recognize how positive behavior can benefit them.
Explain to students that when people behave positively, their brains create chemicals called endorphins, which enhance performance. Endorphins can increase physical energy, increase mental alertness, reduce anxiety, and improve problem solving skills.
2. Students learn how to develop positive behavior.
Ask students to predict how they might develop positive behavior. Write responses on the board.
Offer these steps:
- Positive behavior can be developed by forming positive habits.
- Think of yourself as successful and have positive expectations for everything you do.
- Remind yourself of your past successes.
- Never dwell on past failures, but learn from and avoid repeating them.
- Surround yourself with positive people and ideas.
- Keep trying until you achieve the results you want. You only fail when you quit trying.
Ask students to share examples of experiences in which having a positive expectation produced positive results. Then, ask them to share times when they experienced negative results because of negative expectations.
Students may want to discuss times when they had negative expectations (such as a time when they thought they would do poorly on a test) and were pleasantly surprised. Suggest to students that they should consider how well they might have done if they had a positive attitude.
3. Students understand the technique of visualization.
Explain to students that there are many techniques that promote a positive attitude. One of these techniques is called visualization.
Ask students if they know what visualization is. Ask them to suggest meanings of the word “visualization” based on their knowledge of the root word and the suffixes.
After students have offered definitions, explain that visualization is the technique of purposefully creating a mental picture of a successful performance. Visualization improves performance because the positive picture stimulates the brain to trigger corresponding positive responses that support the mental image.
Continue by explaining that this is the technique used by many athletes to enhance their abilities on the field or court, by entertainers to ensure their best performances, and by successful professionals to achieve their goals.
Distribute the “Visualization Techniques” activity sheet to each student and discuss each step.
Tell students that they will have an opportunity to practice visualizing after they learn another technique.
4. Students understand the technique of affirmation.
Ask students if they have ever heard of the technique of affirmation, which is another way of creating a positive attitude. Ask students to suggest meanings of the word “affirmation” based on their knowledge of the root word and the suffix.
Point out to students that visualization is creating a “mental movie” in which they are the stars. Affirmations are like mental commercials that encourage them to buy into positive images of themselves. Affirmative statements are positive self-reminders that help us strengthen our efforts and achieve our goals.
Distribute the “Affirmation Statement Techniques” activity sheet to each student and discuss each step.