Optimistic Thinking

Classroom Guidance

Grades 2nd-3rd




Students will develop a positive attitude toward work and learning.

Questions Before you Begin


  • Everyone can learn new things. Agree or Disagree? What makes you choose that answer? 
  • Some kids are born smarter than others. Agree or Disagree? What makes you choose that answer?
  • We can change how smart we are. Agree or Disagree? What makes you choose that answer?
  • What are some things you know that you did not know as a kindergartener? 

Building Background


The reason this lesson is important is because when you are an adult someday, you are going to do things that are difficult for you. But what I want you to remember is that if something is difficult or hard for you, you will be able to overcome that difficulty if you stay positive and keep trying.

Watch the "Growth Mindset-Neuroplasticity" Song



Watch You Fantastic Elastic Brain



String Neuron Map


Materials needed: Roll of yarn


Game Expectations:

Students sit in a circle and think of something they are not good at, yet. As they say what they are not good at yet, they toss the ball of string to the next  person. When each person has had a turn, have them carefully stand with their brain map. Point out that these are “not yet” connections and when they  find  support, balance, time, courage, resiliency, strategy, a path, practice, etc., then the connections will get  stronger. 



The Coin Flip Challenge


Materials needed: Penny for each student, Space

Game Expectations:

Each student will need a penny and space to flip it. The student places a penny on their forearm and flips it into the palm of their hand.  You may want to tell students they have a limited amount of time and set a timer (5-10 minutes is more than enough time). Once they have finished the challenge, come together to discuss the following:

  • What did you learn from today’s challenge?
  • How did you keep going when you struggled?
  • What steps did you take to make you successful today?
  • What are some different strategies you could have used?
  • If you had more time or a hint, do you think you would have been more successful?

Watch " The Coin Flip!" Challenge