People understand themselves and the world around them through the lens of their thoughts. How their thoughts interpret information significantly influences the person they can become, their actions, and their idea of themselves.
By recognizing how influential thoughts are in one’s actions and self-concept, one can actively choose to be mindful and think more positively. Doing so can empower one to take control of their life.
Using an interactive puppet play and an imaginative audio story, this lesson teaches kindergarten students about the importance of positive thoughts to their self-concept formation.
In the play, puppets Picks-It and Nix-It explain that the way they think can color the way they feel about themselves. Therefore, thinking positively can result in happiness about themselves, while negative thinking can poison their feelings about themselves.
After the puppets introduce kindergartners to the relationship between thoughts and feelings about oneself, they invite the students to listen to the story "Barney Bear’s Breakfast." It is a tale about their forest friend, Barney Bear, who discovers that the way his thoughts interpret the events around him affects the way he feels about himself and his friends.
"People understand themselves and the world around them through the lens of their thoughts. How their thoughts interpret information significantly influences the person they can become, their actions, and their idea of themselves."
In the story, Barney Bear finally wakes up from his long winter nap and feels hungry. He goes to the forest to find juicy berries but finds they have all been picked already. Barney starts to think negative thoughts about his friend, Abbott Rabbit, when he discovers that it was Abbott who picked all his berries. Suddenly, Abbott sees him, and as it turns out, Abbott is preparing Barney’s breakfast because he knows Barney will be very hungry. In the end, Barney Bear feels horrible about himself for thinking negatively about his well-meaning friend.
After the story, kindergartners reflect on how Barney Bear’s negative interpretation of his friends’ actions affects his feelings about himself, especially as a friend. Then, they answer more questions about the story to facilitate class discussion.
To practice thinking positively, the students participate in an SEL activity that allows them to think of happy thoughts and draw them on paper. These are then compiled into their "All About Me" booklets.
The goal of this lesson is to develop kindergartners’ self-awareness by recognizing how their way of thinking can influence their ideas of themselves. By engaging in this lesson, kindergartners gain insights into who they are and who they aspire to be. This level of self-awareness fosters their determination to manage their thoughts and choose positive behaviors so that they can develop a positive self-concept.