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Optimism involves learning to think positively about the future – even when things go wrong. It’s about looking objectively at a situation, making a conscious decision to focus on the good.

This will help young people understand:

  • optimistic attitudes need to involve realistic ideas
  • self-talk assists in developing optimism
  • thoughts which are negative can be overridden with positive thoughts.
Boy in uniform smiling looking away from camera

Lesson/session outline

Download the lesson/session outline.

Activities have been designed to be standalone or run in a sequence for a 50 minute lesson/session. Templates are linked below for completing the activities.

Activities include:

  1. Buzz activity: Rolling! (15 minutes)
  2. Class discussion (Think-Pair-Share)(10 minutes)
  3. Self-talk (25 minutes)
  4. Exploring

Developing positive self-talk

Challenging negative thoughts (Video)

How to build self-confidence

Classroom tips:

  • Remind students of classroom group agreement/norms (creating a safe and supportive environment).
  • Spend time during your lessons asking students to set goals, short and long – these can be subject, school or personal goals.
  • Develop a class goal for the term/semester to achieve as a collective group.

Next steps