Positive Self-Talk Worksheet: Teach Your Students Coping Skills

Diverse group of high school students smiling with each other.

Words matter. And the words that matter most are the ones you say to yourself.

– David Taylor-Klaus


ACTIVITY: Practicing Positive Self Talk

  • Use the following prompt (or something similar) when introducing the activity to your class, or group of students:
    • Today we are going to practice using positive thinking skills. Who knows what self-talk means?
      • Allow time for students to answer
    • (Explanation if/as needed): Self-talk means: Talking to yourself either aloud or silently. Think of it as a little voice inside your head. Sometimes you think good thoughts, and sometimes you think bad thoughts. These thoughts can make us feel upset, or they may make us feel better. For example, if you found out you weren’t invited to a friend’s birthday party how would that make you feel?
      • Allow time for students to answer
    • We have the power to help ourselves feel better by using positive self-talk. For example, you could say to yourself, ‘It’s okay. I know I’m a great friend, and I’ll get invited to other parties.’
  • Hand out the worksheet and explain to your students:
    • On this positive self-talk worksheet, you’ll see a list of phrases on one side, and on the other side are different feelings. Take your time to read each of those feelings and draw a line to the positive phrase you can tell yourself. Everyone may do this a little differently, and that’s okay. Let’s do one together: ‘When I feel nervous’….I can say to myself….’I can get through anything.’
  • This lesson can be extended by layering on other questions such as:
    • What can you learn from that situation?
    • What can you do differently next time?
    • What can you tell yourself to help yourself feel better?

Related Articles

Resources We Love (And Hope You Will Too!)

During our May Counterpart meetings, we asked folks to share what they have been engaging with recently. Below is a list of all the resources shared by our incredible community, offering a taste of the diverse and inspiring content they’re currently exploring. This list has something for everyone: from thought-provoking articles to captivating podcasts to must-watch documentaries. So, take a peek, pick your poison, and get ready to dive into something fantastic!

Student Cell Phone Policy: Best Practices for Student Success

As principal of Milwaukie High School, Carmen Gelman (now Director of Professional Development, Coalition of Oregon School Administrators, COSA) worked with the school community (including students) to ensure a firm but balanced approach to student cell phone use. We share their policy and rollout materials to inspire and guide you as you consider tackling this oft contentious topic.

Case Study: Merced Union High School District

Through its work with Inflexion, MUHSD is seeing strong results in student outcomes and in closing the opportunity gap for underserved students. California School Dashboard data show College/Career Indicator scores for African American, Hispanic, English Learners, students with disabilities, students who are homeless, and students who are socioeconomically disadvantaged are 16 to 29 points higher than the state average.

Passion. Pride. Promise. Two Leaders Help Pave the Way for Their Students & Communities

Tucked away in the hills of rural western Oregon, the Vernonia and Gaston school districts defy many of the stereotypes most of us hold when we think of rural schools. Their communities face both common and unique challenges. Vernonia Elementary Principal, Michelle Eagleson, and Gaston Superintendent, Summer Catino, share how their small schools and communities achieve greatness.

Conduct Empathy Interviews: Elevating Student Voices, So You Can Understand and Support Them

Empathy Interviews provide an opportunity to really understand a student, or group of students, by diving deeper than the surface-level question, “How are you?” and receiving the typical response, “I’m fine.” These interviews inform intentional classroom and school-level action by elevating student voices and garnering a better understanding of student needs (SEL and well-being), and experiences (engagement). This resource provides step-by-step instructions on how to conduct an empathy interview.

Responses