Lesson idea: Positive Ingredients

The content below is taken from the Learning Library at IPEN and is by Emily Larson (Director), it is the second of four interlinked lesson ideas I will be posting, which focus on raising awareness of the way our emotions impact us and the importance of developing emotional intelligence amongst children.  IPEN’s Learning Library has many free resources available to print or download, it’s a useful resource bank to add to your teaching toolkit.


What are the students’ positive ingredients?


Complete the ‘Negative vs Positive Emotions’ lesson first.

Teacher Explanation: We discussed last class about how our brains are wired to pay more attention to negative events than positive ones. Today we are going to talk about what increases positive emotions in our lives and how we can structure our days to include more positive emotion. We are going to figure out what the ingredients are to our happy moments.

Implementation note: Have the students fill out the “Positive Ingredients” questionnaire in the (attached). This will give the students a better idea of what the “active ingredients” are for their happiness or positive emotions. For example, if the last time they felt happy they were with their friends, listening to music, and singing – the ingredients to their happiness may be: people, music, signing. Have them fill out this questionnaire for three different happy moments so we can start to detect any patterns.

Teacher explanation: Now that we have filled out our happy moments let’s take a look at any patterns, do you notice any common ingredients in your happy moments? Highlight any areas where you notice commonalities. On a separate sheet of paper write down your common ingredients. Let’s explore ways that we can increase these ingredients in our days. For example, if you are happiest when you are working on your art, try and schedule more time in your day when you are drawing.

Homework: Have the students think about something that is a “positive artefact”. An artefact can be any material that increases your well being. For example, your favorite song, story, a poem, movie, or drawing. Ask them to bring it in for the next class to talk about and share.


Positive Ingredients questionnaire

Published by Improve My Well-being

Laura is an experienced mentor and teacher, with a MSc Applied Positive Psychology (Distinction). She enjoys living and working in multicultural environments and is passionate about promoting social well-being. Blogging is her outlet to share and explore well-being initiatives and practices with as many people as possible.

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