Every decision, every action, and every emotion begins with a thought. Therefore, it is crucial to choose positive thoughts to act on. This is the first step to the Happy Thoughts-Feelings-Actions Circle, which is the focus of this lesson.
To start, the teacher uses the "Stop, Choose, Go" poster – a simple and effective tool for managing thoughts. The poster has three lights: red, yellow, and green.
The red light represents the first step, which is to stop and think about the thought. Here, the students analyze if it’s a negative or positive one and visualize the consequences if it is acted on. After this, they proceed to the second step, represented by the yellow light, which is to choose the most positive thought. The last step, or the green light, is to do the corresponding positive action.
"Through this evidence-based lesson, first graders gain a clear understanding of the power of positive thinking and the importance of choosing positive thoughts."
To gauge their understanding of the lesson concepts, young learners participate in an SEL activity where they help Marrott the Mouse escape a trap by correctly answering yes or no questions. They learn that, unlike Maurice the Mouse, Marrott didn’t stop and think before he went after the cheese in the trap. After the activity, they are asked to give Marrott some advice based on the "Stop, Choose, Go" steps.
Grade 1 students also learn in this lesson that thoughts are so powerful they can make people either a Grumpy Grouch or a Bright Sider. They even sing along to a catchy song about this!
Toward the end of the lesson, the students identify positive behaviors they have done together and choose one to write in their Positive Behavior Celebration form. The teacher then asks them to think about the positive thought that led to this behavior.
Through this evidence-based lesson, first graders gain a clear understanding of the power of positive thinking and the importance of choosing positive thoughts. They learn practical steps to manage their thoughts and make positive choices, which they can apply in their daily lives.