Students' thoughts affect their feelings and actions. Both pleasant and unpleasant emotions have an important role to play in maintaining mental fitness. During this lesson, students will assess how their feelings impact their mindset and will see the importance of rephrasing situations positively.

Year level



5 minutes


In class activity

Online learning

SEL Competencies


Social awareness

Learning intention

Students learn the effects of thoughts on their feelings and behaviour.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify the effect of negativity on their feelings and behaviour

  • understand the role of reflection in changing behaviour.

Materials needed

  • Pen and paper

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Analyse factors that influence emotional responses and devise strategies to self-manage emotions (AC9HP8P06)

  • Plan, rehearse and evaluate strategies for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety or wellbeing may be at risk (AC9HP10P08)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-awareness

    • Self-management

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Demonstrates self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD4-9)

  • Assesses and applies self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD5-9)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Analyse factors that influence emotions, and develop strategies to demonstrate empathy and sensitivity (VCHPEP128)

  • Evaluate situations and propose appropriate emotional responses and then reflect on possible outcomes of different responses to health and wellbeing (VCHPEP147)

Show details

Activity 1


5 minutes

1. Organise students into small groups (e.g. 3–4 students) and ask them to sit in a circle.

2. Students discuss:

  • What are some nice, happy or pleasant feelings? (e.g. joy, hope, love, pride)

  • What are the benefits of happy feelings such as feeling joyful, interested, contented or proud? (e.g. pleasant feelings tell us when something feels good; we feel happy, are more energised, show more initiative, are more willing to have a go, are more open to learning new things; we connect more with others, are more creative and trusting, better at problem solving)

  • What are some uncomfortable or unpleasant feelings? (e.g. sadness, anger, shame, guilt, stress)

  • Why do we have unhappy and uncomfortable feelings? (to warn us that we might need to protect ourselves or find ways to solve our problems)

  • What happens when our unpleasant feelings (e.g. anger or anxiety) are overwhelming? (e.g. we lose control; we don’t think clearly; we can make bad decisions)

  • What effect do unpleasant and negative feelings have on our wellbeing? (e.g. we feel worthless, struggle to see our potential or value)

Debrief: Explain to students that unpleasant thoughts can have a negative effect on our emotions and behaviour, and that it’s important to try and turn these into positive thoughts.


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