Thinking Positively: Learning Activities

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A man who regards his life as meaningless is not merely unhappy but also hardly fit to live- Albert Einstein


Develops self-esteem

Skilfull in affirmation

Motivated in learning

Develops positive attitudes to work

Expresses optimistic attitudes to the future

Core Values

Positive outlook



Positive attitudes to learning

Positive attitudes to work

Positive attitudes to the future


Understanding the concept

Positive thoughts


Positive attitudes


Positive attitudes to learning

Positive attitudes to work

Positive attitudes to the future

Intended outcome

Classroom practices

Hints for peace culture-building

Learning Activities

1. A quality in me, which I am proud of

2. Expressing affection

3. What am I?

4. Introducing friends

5. Something good I have done

6. Affirmation game

7. Guess the person

8. My shield

9. Demonstrating affection

10. Things that I enjoy doing

11. What I was in the past, what I am in the present

12. Playing great characters

13. Facing challenges in life

14. What it?

15. Lost friends

Understanding the Concept

Suppose you are thirsty and you find at last a glass, half filled with water. How do you see the glass? You may see it either half full or half empty. If you see it half full with water, then your outlook is positive. A mind with a negative outlook tends to see it half empty. As we all know,’to live with a negative mind is so distressing, because it sees the dark side of things, including one’s own self. Such a person blames everyone for his failures. You can’t make him happy even if you give him all that he asks for.

When you have a positive outlook, you see the brighter side of things, including yourself, others, events of life and nature. In short, it is to see “The silver lining in the dark cloud” as William Blake puts it. Positive perception brings in contentment, happiness and hope. All life-fulfilling experiences arise from a positive state of mind. They naturally lead to a harmonious relationship with others.

It is interesting to note, that people’s positive or negative states of minds arise from their self-concept, i.e. the image they have built about their own selves. People perceive the world through the tinted glass of their self-concept. If your glass is bright, you see yourself as worthy, able, and good. This attitude leads you to achieve success. And that experience of success strengthens back your image, leading again to achieve success. For instance, if you think that you are a winner, that thought gives you courage to win. Thus success teaches success. So does failure.

Here we see how the negative mind is caught in a vicious circle, difficult to break away from. Psychologists have found that those who have positive self- concepts can face challenges of life courageously and they are not broken down easily. Even if broken down they can regain normalcy within a shorter period compared to persons with negative self-concepts. In essence a positive self-concept is empowering. Consider the following positive perceptions.

Positive Thoughts

With each day I become stronger, happier and better in every way and every manner.

Living is wonderful. I enjoy living every moment of living.

Today I choose to be happy.

I pardon myself.

I love myself.

I am my own master.

I grow in life towards a positive direction.

Every person is good at heart. I behave in such a manner that everyone whom I am in touch with, comes out with his or her best self.

Whenever life gives me a lemon, I make lemonade out of it.

Every failure is a blessing in disguise.

Trust begets trust.

I respect the dignity of every human being whom I come into contact with and look at every incident in life from a positive perspective. Looking at a painful experience positively does not mean that you accept it and cease to act.

The question is often asked that whether we can look at every incident in life from a positive perspective. Looking at a painful experience positively does not mean that you accept it and cease to act. But if you look at it as something that opens your eyes to the reality or truth from which you can learn, then it is positive outlook. Many such incidents can be perceived as opportunities as well. For instance, in the Chinese language the word conflict means opportunity. When life closes one door it opens another. Instead of weeping for the door closed, we can look for the door opened.


Positive attitudes not only build effective individuality but also build solidarity within groups. They charge the social atmosphere with such positive energies that instil joy, creativity, sense of purpose and friendship in people. For example, a positively charged classroom atmosphere is so conducive to joyous learning where work becomes an expression of creativity and productivity.


Teachers bear witness to the fact that most of the high achieving students in schools have positive self-esteem. In the past teachers thought that intelligence was the single factor for successful learning. But now they are increasingly realizing the significance of self-esteem as a factor for successful learning.

One who has a low self-esteem finds it difficult to appreciate others, care for others wholeheartedly, because of the insufficiency within. Only a person with a positive self-esteem can face challenges of life healthily. There is a need in very human being to build a positive self-esteem. It is a basic human need. People build their self-esteems from others’ recognition and acceptance. With children, the need to be recognized, praised, appreciated and valued by parents, teachers, peers and others is very strong. The need has to be fulfilled properly to assure the healthy mental growth in children. Their characters are moulded from the positive valuation they receive. When a child behaves rightly, a word of appreciation reinforces that act and thereby the child tends to repeat it. Skinner, the behavioural psychologist, says, “You are what you have been reinforced.” Naturally the deprivation of social acceptance and appreciation lead children to a pervasive pattern of behaviour. Then they seek recognition from destructive acts. Often children with problematic behaviours are such deprived ones. As we pointed out early, a false self-concept can produce a false self-esteem in people. Having an over valued self-esteem leads a person to look condescendingly or patronizingly upon others. On the other hand, an undervalued self-esteem leads a person to withdraw himself and be submissive to others’ manipulation. School should help children to develop realistic and healthy self-esteems.



It is interesting to observe, how a person’s positive or negative attitudes influence others’ behaviour. Surely you must have seen some individuals gifted with bringing out the’best in others. This ability is called affirmation. The secret of good leadership is the ability to bring out the best in those with whom they come into contact. Good leaders do it by affirmation, i.e by words and deeds of appraisal and encouragement and expression of warmth, friendliness and trust. On the other hand, a negative minded person brings out your low self. Negative minded people are poor in expressing love, warmth and appraisal. They seem to have inhibitions within themselves that prevent them from expressing such innermost feelings.

These inhibitions arise from unresolved psychological problems.

Affirmation is the interpersonal aspect of the positive outlook. Children should learn ways of expressing affectionate feelings and warmth. Affirmation skills are an integral part of the socializing process in education.

First and foremost, teachers need to learn affirmation skills. A person, who is poor in expressing human warmth, affection and appreciation, can hardly be a good teacher.

Phrases for Appreciating Students

* Good.

* Very good.

* Excellent/ Brilliant.

* Good question.

* Good answer.

* An interesting/ brilliant/thought provoking/ idea!

* You are correct.

* Wonderful!

* You are so hard working!

* You are very bright!

* I am so proud of you!

* You have a good future.

* You are honest.

* I trust you.

* I appreciate your effort.

* One day you will be a great scientist/ scholar-l artist/etc

* You have a talent for.. . .

* You should be proud of you.

* I really like students like you.

* Accept my congratulations!

* [Discover more phrases of your own!]

A positive outlook can be used effectively for self-development. For instance, a student needs to have a positive attitude towards learning. A positive attitude to learning is the source of motivation for students. First and foremost, school has to develop positive attitudes to learning in students. Yet some traditional schools do quite the opposite, by viewing learning in a narrow sense. Until recently schools could not imagine education without tears.

Learning is meaningful to the degree it is related to self and life. Most of the subject compartmentalized learning has no relevance to self or life. Such education rarely provides insight into true learning. In fact, the nature of learning and lifelong learning is rarely discussed with students.

Good teachers always create positive attitudes to learning by use of interesting and creative teaching methods. Students should not only learn the subject matter but also learn how to learn. Self-learning methods have to be introduced to them. The habit of reading also needs to be encouraged. Learning is effective when students themselves build knowledge by active participation.


Positive attitude to work

Developing a positive attitude to work is a basic responsibility of education. Every education system has identified the need for it. Period for work experience is named in various systems differently as life skill, creative work, handwork, and pre-vocational subject.

Children have a natural interest to work. To them, work is exciting. However, the above vocational subjects are rarely presented in a manner that evokes enthusiasm in children. School can build working attitudes by exposing children to the world of work, through visits and interaction with people of different vocations. Children’s attraction to vocations changes with their stages of growth. Gradually their fanciful attractions diminish and fade away and finally they select the vocation that suits them most.

One innovative practice schools in many countries have introduced in this area is work activity room. It is an open workshop in school where there are various tools and materials for children to choose freely and work.

Positive attitude to future

It is often said that youth do not have proper attitudes towards their own future and of the country. It has been shown that this lack of hope can lead to anti social and self-destructive behaviour like joining terrorist movements and drug abuse. In Sri Lanka nearly 6,500 people-commit suicide annually and most of them are youth. One of the goals of peace education is to create positive attitudes to the future in students. As a teacher, we should know how to respond to students’ hopes and fears of their future. Youth often say that they have no future. What does that mean? Surely it means that they have no future as things go in the country. This is a passive way of thinking about the future. There are two kinds of futures. One is the future that comes when we do nothing. The other future is what we build for ourselves. By determination and courage. Ask any man of success. Surely he may say that he built his own future. This is true at the national level as well.

David Hicks provides a good insight into the education on future-oriented perspective in his book Exploring Alternative Futures. He suggests four steps for developing positive attitudes to the future in children. They are:

1 Thinking about the future, i.e. children share their thoughts, hopes, fears about the future.

2. Exploring probable future: Children clarify what kind of futures they expect.[1]

3. Selecting a preferable future. Here they select the most suitable future they prefer to.

4. Active citizenship: Children identify the kind of citizenship needed for the preferable future society and they develop the attitudes and skills.


Intended outcome

By effective characterization of the core value of positive perception you will be able to bring out the following positive changes in the students. It is necessary to determine the intended behaviour in the students, through the intervention of peace education. They are important in that they provide the foundation for evaluation. Once they are established through survey of needs, they should be strengthened and nourished through integration of the core values through various media in the school. We believe that the above core values can bring the following positive changes in students.

1. Self-esteem

– Has a positive attitude towards oneself. Conscious of self-identity. Behaves with self-dignity.

2. Affirmation

– Has a constructive attitude about community, school, country, one’s culture, nation and future.

– Brings out the best of people by appreciation, encouragement, support, expression, friendliness and gratitude and exchange greetings.

3. Positive Attitude to Learning

– Motivated learning.

– Participation in classroom activities.

4. Positive Attitudes to Work

– Exhibiting such behaviours as commitment to work, honesty and persistence.

5. Positive Future Orientation

– Express optimistic future attitudes.


Classroom Practices

Children generally absorb living qualities such as positive outlook from social learning. In this regard teachers as role models are very effective. When a teacher has genuine good qualities in herself, her ways of responding to daily situations and lifestyle exhibit them. Children tend to admire and internalize them.

Life stories of great men and women inspire us with the power of positive thinking. The school’s texts can encourage children’s character building by including inspiring deeds of positive qualities such as courage, determination, persistence and creative problem-solving. However when they are lacking in the texts the teacher can supplement them. She can also encourage children to read such biographies.

Appreciating students in a way that brings out their best is an art teachers can really learn and practise. A general guide is given below.

Learn as a teacher to express yourself in positive terms even in the most difficult situations. For example, instead of remarking ‘You are weak’ say, ‘I am sure you can catch up with this subject easily.’ Another example: A student does ten sums and brings the exercise book for you to mark. You will find that all the sums are wrong. Here instead of saying’ Very poor’, you can comment ‘Your effort is admired’.


Encourage students’ efforts using such phrases like: ‘You can’, ‘You have the capacity’, ‘I am sure you will be able to do that’.

Inquire when appreciating group assignments, ‘How did you do it? Who did these? What difficulties did you have and how did you overcome them?’

Instead of denouncing a student for his problem behaviour, show a model student and appreciate him or her. Try to maintain discipline in the classroom through positive evaluation.

Instead of saying generally ‘Good’ for a student’s work, say a drawing, appreciate the features specifically, e.g. ‘You have selected your colours to suit the scene. Especially the clouds over the setting sun are beautiful’. Such comments help students to improve their creativity and techniques.


Hints for peace culture-building in school

1. Have a series of short speeches in the morning school assembly to introduce positive thinking and values related to it.

2.Organize a series of lectures to introduce lives of great characters, e.g. Mahatma Gandhi or Abraham Lincoln. In these talks stress how they faced the challenges of life positively.

3.Develop self-evaluation instruments for students to help their character building.

4. Invite model persons, like national level scholars, poets, artists, writers, and scientists to school and let students listen to them.

5. Organize displays and exhibitions of students’ creative work at the levels of classroom, section, school and community to help them get recognition.

6. Identify creative strategies to provide positive evaluation to students.

7. Organize student personality skill development training sessions in such areas like leadership, human relations, communication and creative thinking.

8. Exhibit mottos relating to positive perception.



Think Positively

1.       A quality in me, which I am proud of This is an activity about self-reflection and valuing others.

Level: Secondary

Curriculum Concern: Religion/ when you want to discuss


1. Positive attitudes help self-development.

2. Recognition and acceptance of each other’s positive qualities improve mutual respect in a group.


1. Identifying positive qualities in oneself.

2. Affirming others’ positive qualities.

Activity: The children stand in a circle facing the centre. Each child non-verbally acts out a personal quality in him/her, which he/she is proud of. Those who are standing in the circle should guess it. The child who makes the right guess wins. If they fail, the actor may give a hint to help them. The teacher jots down on the blackboard the qualities acted out.


Appreciate the good qualities that children have cultivated in them.

Take several good qualities/ human values and discuss their nature, meaning, functions and beauty.

Ask how such qualities could be further developed in oneself.

What are the problems in practicing them and how could they be overcome?


2. Expressing affection

This is an activity about expressing affection to others and opening communication in the class.

Level: Upper primary

Curriculum Concern: Speech/When you want to buiid a friendly climate in the class.

Concept: Ability to express affection helps open communication.

Objective: Learning to express affection socially.

Activity: Children stand in a circle. One child comes to the centre and tells the class, “I have gone on a trip and I have brought you a present” and walks up to a peer and performs an act expressing affection, e.g. a handshake, hug, bowing down, etc. It can also be a loving word such as “I like you”, “You are such a nice person”. Then the act or word is passed from one to the other in the most possible affectionate manner or tone. On completion of the round, another child comes to the centre and continues the game.


Discussion: Guide questions

1. Did you enjoy the activity? If so, why?

2. Why some people are more popular among groups than others? Give a reason.

3. What are the good expressions of appreciation you learned from the activity?

4. What am I?

This is a listening activity that helps to understand oneself and others. Level: Primary and lower secondary.

Curriculum Concern: Language:/ When you want to improve listening skills



o Becoming an individual begins with self-understanding.

o Becoming an individual also involves accepting others as individuals.

o Ability to listen to others attentively and caringly is a basic social skill.



1. To encourage children to perceive themselves as individuals

2. To improve the children’s skill in listening to others attentively and caringly respecting them as individuals.

3. To develop a friendly atmosphere in the classroom.

Activity: The class is divided into groups of five. Each group sits closely together in a circle keeping enough distance from other groups so as not to be overheard. Each member in turn speaks for 4 minutes on the topic ‘What am I?’ Others listen to him / her attentively and caringly. Questions can be asked for any further clarification. However, disturbing the speaker is not allowed.

Discussion: At the end of the activity, reconvene the class and conduct a discussion helping children to learn from reflections of the experience.

Guide – Questions:

How did you feel while speaking of yourself?

Did the group listen to you attentively? Did you give a deep understanding of yourself in speaking out? Did the way others listened to you encourage your speaking? If so, how did it happen? Did you listen attentively and caringly to others in your turn? Did you have any difficulties? If so, what were they? Did you learn anything from the activity? If so, what are they? (List them on the blackboard. Elaborate important points)

l How are you going to incorporate your learning into your daily life?

(Discuss: the application of the concepts)


4. Introducing friends

This is an activity helping to get to know each other.

Level: Secondary

Curriculum Concern: Language: Speech/ When you want to build a friendly classroom


1. Building a climate of friendly understanding in the class.

2. Developing respect and acceptance for each other in the class.

Activity: This activity takes a long time to cover all the participant in the class. Therefore it is appropriate to break it up into several sessions of twenty minutes.

Step 1. The children form pairs. Each pair spends five minutes getting to know one another. One should try to draw out as much personal information as possible to understand and evaluate the other person’s best self. e.g. His/her skills, capacities, likes and dislikes, tastes, ideals, past successes, ambitions.

Step 2. Children are called into class where each pair comes forward in turn introduces each other, i.e. A introduces B and then B introduces A. Encourage participants to make their introductions creative and interesting.

Discussion: Guide – questions / instructions

1. What did you learn from this activity?

2. Comment on the value of friendship in the class.

3. Encourage the children to adopt a positive outlook towards each other and to trust in the goodness of each one.

4. Discuss the usefulness of remembering peoples’ names.

5. How to be a lovable person.

6. Something good I have done

This is an activity about understanding kindness

Level: Upper primary and secondary

Curriculum Concern: Religion/ When you want to discuss kindness

Objective: Evoking altruistic feelings in children and reinforce such behaviour

Activity: The class breaks up into groups of five. Each group sits closely, together in a circle keeping enough distance from other groups, so as not be overheard. In each group one member in turn, narrates a good deed he/she has done in the past. It may be an act of helping, giving, sharing something with somebody in need. Others listen attentively and carefully. Once the narration is over the group appreciate the act. The procedure continues until all have spoken.


Call the children into the class and make a list of good deeds from the narrations in each group, on the blackboard. Categorize the deeds into board types. Ask how such qualities could be further developed in oneself and the difficulties in practising them. Find ways of overcoming them.


6. Affirmation game

This is an activity about affirming and valuing others

Level: Upper primary /Lower secondary

Curriculum Concern: Physical education / When you want to build teams


1. Experiencing self-esteem

2. Improving skills in affirmation

Activity: Children walk around in a circle one after the other slowly. As they walk, one child is pushed into the middle of the circle. E&h passer by makes a positive remark to the one in the middle. The remarks should be appreciative comments about talents, skills, or qualities in them.


1 Great runner

2 Friend of all

3 You have a bright future

When everyone in the circle has made a remark, the child returns to the circle and the procedure continues as before, with a new child pushed into the middle. Discussion: Guide questions and instructions.

1 Did you enjoy the activity?

2 Could you discover something about yourself in doing it?

3 ‘Expressing good remarks for others is something that one has to learn and practise.’ Review the statement.

Note: Encourage children to make creative comments, which not only make the recipients feel good but also add fun to the activity.


7. Guess the person

This is an activity about affirming others

Level: Upper primary /Lower secondary

Curriculum Concern: Social Studies/ When you want tell that every person is valuable in his/her own right

Concept: Positive comments have the power of bringing out people’s best selves.


1. To encourage affirmation of each other

2. To build up self-esteem.

Materials: A slip of paper and pen for each child.

Activity: Each child writes secretly on a slip of paper, an interesting appreciative comment on a classmate, rolls it up and hands it to the teacher. Having collected all the slips the teacher reads the comments aloud taking them one by one.

When a comment has been read out the class should guess whom it is about.

The writer remains silent allowing guessing until the correct name is pronounced. Once the correct guess is made the slip is awarded to the child who owns the cdmment.

The activity proceeds until all comments have been read out and their owners identified.

Discussion: Guide – questions and instructions:

1. Did you enjoy the activity?

2. What talents, skills, and qualities did your friends appreciate in you. (Invite each child to comment)

Assignment: Paste all the slips each one has received on a sheet of paper and preserve it. Show it to your parents.

Note: A problem that might arise from the activity is the possibility of leaving out some children unmarked to avoid it, pair the children and ask them to write comments on each other, without showing what has been written.


8. My shield

This is an activity about understanding one’s deep self.

Level: Secondary

Curriculum Concern: Religion/When you want to help self-discovery.


1. To help gain insight into the self.

2. To enhance mutual understanding in the class.


A half sheet paper and a pencil for each student. Activity:

Step. 1. Explain what a shield is. Draw various shapes of shields. Let each child draw a shield in any shape large enough to be shown to the class.

Instructions to children The shield should have four cages large enough to draw one symbol in each. Number compartments from 1 to 4

Examples of shields:

Draw a symbol in each cage that represents your following features.

Cage 1: My highest expectation in life.

Cage 2: My best quality

Cage 3: My greatest strength / ability.

Cage 4: My greatest weakness.

Step 2. The children come forward in turn, one by one and show their shields to explain the meanings of the symbols drawn in each cage. Discussion: Guide – questions and instructions:

1. Did the activity help you to understand yourself more deeply?

2. Did you find it difficult to decide on symbols?

3. Now, did this activity help you to understand your friends, too?

4. What benefits could you derive from this exercise?

Note: Some children may find this activity difficult or confusing due to lack of understanding what symbols are. Therefore while introducing the activity explain what a symbol is providing enough examples or even giving a simple exercise in symbolization.


9. Demonstrating affection

This is an activity about learning effective ways of expressing one’s affection Level Secondary

Curriculum Concern: Classroom Management/ When you want to make the class lively before starting a lesson


Expressing and receiving affection

Improving self-esteem.

Creating a friendly atmosphere in the classroom


Step 1. Explain the following points briefly before stating the activity.

1 Love, friendship and affection are beautiful human qualities.

2 The world can be much better if people behave affectionately towards each other.

3 Gaining skills in expressing feelings of affection is important in being related to people.

4 Now let us play an interesting game, which will help you to learn the ways of expressing your affection towards others.

Step 2. Children stand in a large circle facing towards the centre. A child is selected and put in the centre. He / she is the recipient of affection of the group. Starting from a point, each child comes to the centre and expresses his/her affection in a non-verbal act, i.e. by touches or gestures such as

a Shaking hands

b Touching face

c Stroking head

d Smiling

e Patting on shoulders

f Bowing head in respect

g Acting out a ‘Love’ message

h Hugging

i Creative expressions are appreciated.

Step 3.  When everyone in the group has had his / her turn, the recipient returns to the circle, Everyone closes his eyes and keeps his fingertips upon the shoulders of the one in front, starts tapping him gently so as to create a pleasurable and releasing sensation. The tapping is soft and gentle at the start. It gains speed, and becomes heavier as it proceeds. Once the climax is reached the tapping gradually slows down and ends. The tapping should be like the pattern of rain.

Then children turn in the opposite direction repeat tapping in the same manner. The activity re-starts selecting another child as recipient and placing in the centre.

Discussion: Guide – questions:

To the recipients:

1. How did you feel while receiving your classmates’ affection?

2. Did it change your view of your classmates? How do you feel about your classmates now?

3. Describe the feeling of being loved.

4. To the rest of the participants.

5. Did you enjoy expressing your affection?

6. Raise your hands, those who felt pleased after expressing affection.

7. Did the tapping make you feel better?

8. What did you learn from the experience?

9. How can you adopt it to enrich your daily life?

Note: In cultures where touching the opposite sex is a taboo the activity can be practised in two separate circles, one for boys and the other for girls.


10. Things that I enjoy doing

This is an activity about exploring how we can use our leisure productively Level: Secondary

Curriculum Concern: Health science/ when you want to discuss the use of leisure Objective:

1. Exploring productive and innocent ways of spending leisure. Activity: Step 1.

Explain 1. Our life must be basically joyous and happy.

2. We must learn productive ways of enjoying ourselves.

3. Let us explore our present ways of enjoyment.

Step 2. Children sit in a circle. Each child is given 3 minutes to explain things that he/she does for enjoying himself/herself. Examples for possible responses:

1 Playing with my friends

2 Going out with friends for hikes/picnics

3 Flying kites

4 Caring for plants in the garden.

Step 3. Individual work. Individually make a list of the activities you enjoy doing.

Step 4. The children mix freely in the room with their lists in hand. They pair with whomever that they happen to meet, and each one in turn describes to the partner in detail the activities he/she enjoy doing. When the pair finishes speaking, then they disperse and join with others and form new pairs The purpose of the activity is to allow children to learn others ways of enjoying themselves and share their ways.

Discussion: Guide – Questions

1. What were the common hobbies of your classmates?

2. What were the ‘not so common’ activities you heard?

3. Out of those you heard which were the most interesting ones?

4. Were there destructive habits? If so, what are they?

5 What are the characteristics of bad habits of enjoyment?

6. What bad habits and activities do some people engage in for enjoyment?

11. What I was in the past and what I am today

This is an activity about understanding one’s growth

Level: Upper primary /Lower secondary

Curriculum Concern: Health science/ when you want to discuss our growth.


1. Importance of understanding the pattern of one’s growth.

2. Constant positive change indicates constant growth.


Key points:

1. Life is a continuous growth process.

2. We grow physically, intellectually and socially.

3. Growth means change in a positive direction. As we grow so do our old habits, values, attitudes, interest, beliefs, and perspectives..

Step 2. Individuals Assignment

Compare your present characteristics with those of the past.

Identity five important changes that have taken place during the past three years. Write them down on paper.

An example: In the past I had been talkative at home, and in the company of friends. Now I am not so talkative. I try to speak with more sense and circumspection.

Step 3. Interviewing

Divide the class into groups of eight. Let each group sit in a circle. A member is nominated as interviewer.

He/she interviews group members one by one, using the following guide. Others listen attentively.

Interview Guide

What is the most significant change you have had during the past three years?

Explain how it happened.

What factors have affected that change?

What is the pattern of change that you observe in your life?

(Put the guide on the blackboard)

Step 4. Once group interviews are over children come out and walk freely in the room. Whenever one meets another, one stops him/her and enquires about the change

Discussion Guide questions:

What were your initial thoughts?

When you identified a positive way how did you feel?

How do you define the strength of character’?

What did you learn from the activity?

Find out people who faced the challenges of life with positive minds,

11. What if?

This is an activity seeing the brighter side of distressful events of life. Level: Secondary

Curriculum concern: Guidance/When you are discussing character building Make a list of five seemingly negative things that might happen to you. For example:

Not being able to enter university

Getting a job in a remote rural area

Not getting a job

Having to work under a rude boss

Group the class and give one topic in the list to each group. Ask them to discover the best they can do under the given condition. On completion they present their lists to the class.

Discussion: (As in the above activity).


12. Lost Friends

This is an activity about affirmation. Level: Upper secondary

Curriculum concern: Language/ when you want to improve skills in speech


1. Improving skills in affirmation

2 Fun

3. Valuing people

Activity: Divide the class into groups of twelve and let each group sit in a circle. The group selects 2 members-one to play the role of a police officer and the other to play the role of an informant about a lost friend.

The informant selects a friend from the group in her mind and informs the police officer that he / she is lost. But the informant does not give his friend’s name. When questioned, all that he recounts are is his friend’s good qualities and skills. By listening to the positive description the police officer has to guess her friend and pick her. He has three chances, failing which he should resign and give his place to another member in the group. The activity continues for several rounds.

(Excerpt from: Teachers Guide to Peace Education, UNESCO)

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