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Be Your Best Self: Teaching Students to Use Positive Affirmations

Grade: 4

Common Core Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.4.1.a "Use context (e.g., definitions, examples, or restatements in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase."

Lesson objective:

To learn the concept of positive affirmations and how to use them effectively in daily life to help improve students' general mental health and confidence.


  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Index card for the students to write on
  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Paper

Lesson Starter


  • What do you think it means to be your best self? (Allow students to answer)
  • Does anyone know what positive affirmations are? (Allow students to answer)

Main Lesson


  • Being your best self is about focusing on your strengths, setting goals, and trying to improve each day. It is being kind and honest while being compassionate towards yourself as you strive to improve in areas that you may struggle in. You'll make mistakes, and that's okay.
  • One way of speeding up the growth process is using positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are statements we say to ourselves to boost our confidence, motivation, and overall well-being. These affirmations help us focus on the positive aspects of ourselves and our lives instead of dwelling on negative thoughts and feelings. Everyone needs positivity in their lives. It helps us feel happier, more motivated, and more resilient when facing challenges in the future.
  • By regularly using positive affirmations, we start to believe in ourselves and our abilities more, which can help us become confident and motivated to work towards our goals.
  • Here are some examples of positive affirmations (Pick any number of these and write them on the whiteboard and have your students repeat them aloud)
    • "I am doing the right thing."
    • "I am strong and capable."
    • "I am smart and capable of learning new things."
    • "I am kind and caring towards others."
    • "I am confident and capable of achieving my goals."
    • "I am grateful for the things I have been blessed with."
    • "I can do this."

Activity 1

  1. Divide the students into two groups. Have one group write down any negative thoughts and beliefs they may have encountered daily. These may be things like "I cannot do it" or "I am not smart enough."
  2. Have the other group write down some positive affirmations that they can use in their daily lives to counteract any negative thoughts that may come up when facing challenges. For example, "I am smart and capable" or "I have what it takes to do this."
  3. Let the first group share some of the negative thoughts they have written with the class out loud. You can do this anonymously if students are more comfortable doing so.
  4. Have the second group reply to each negative thought with a positive affirmation that they think would be the best fit to counteract the negativity mentioned.
  5. Let the class discuss the potential benefits of using positive affirmations when negative thoughts might be intruding.
  6. Encourage students to choose one or two affirmations that resonate with them and write them down on index cards to keep with them throughout the day.
  7. Have the students close their eyes and take a few deep breaths. Have them repeat the affirmations they chose to themselves, either out loud or silently.
  8. Encourage the students to each repeat the words to themselves throughout the day as a reminder to remain positive and to strive to become their best selves.

Activity 2

  1. Give the students a selection of magazines and a pair of scissors.
  2. Have the students create a collage of images and words representing their goals and aspirations.
  3. Encourage the students to include affirmations in their collages to help remind them of their goals and to stay positive.
  4. Have them create a large class collage with the individual collages they can hang up as a reminder to remain positive.

Possible Discussion Topics

  • Ask each of the students to share their collages with the class. Have them discuss the goals they wrote down and how they plan on working towards becoming their best selves.
  • Ask students to reflect on their experience with positive affirmations. How did they feel when they used them? Did they notice any changes in their mindset or behavior?
  • Encourage students to share any challenges they faced when using affirmations and discuss strategies for overcoming them.
  • Emphasize the importance of regularly using positive affirmations and encourage students to make it a daily habit.

Written by Denis K.
Education World Contributor
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