Learning Goal

Students will acknowledge their inner critic and utilize two techniques to
manage it.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Understand and name their inner critic
  • Utilize tools to replace negative self-talk with positive thoughts

Learning Summary

Research suggests that it takes five positive interactions to make up for a single negative interaction in a relationship; the same is true of self- talk. This means we need a conscious, active process of positive self-talk in order to make up for our brains’ negative wiring. This lesson helps your students discover and practice positive self-talk.

This lesson begins with a mindful moment in which students learn a new breathing technique called the 3-3-4 breath. You then lead a discussion on self-talk and how we each have our own inner critic. Students name and draw their own inner critic. Then, you introduce students to different ways we can use positive messages to
balance out our inner critic’s messages through an activity that teaches students our negative thoughts are often more sticky. The class discusses ways how we can tame our inner critics and focus on positive messages. Students end by writing a letter to their inner critics in their journals.

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.