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Positive Psychology Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping teachers instruct students about positive psychology. Student will learn how optimism leads to sell-efficacy and greater happiness.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on positive psychology, students will be able to:

  • Ask and answer questions about positive psychology.
  • Summarize the concepts associated with positive psychology, including optimism, self-efficacy, and happiness.
  • Define content-related vocabulary.

Length

90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).

Vocabulary

  • adversity
  • confident
  • cope
  • depressed
  • external
  • genetic
  • happiness
  • hopefulness
  • optimism
  • pessimism
  • positive
  • self-efficacy
  • self-talk
  • social support network
  • stress
  • therapy

Materials

  • Copies of quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • Chart Paper
  • Markers
  • Pencils/pens
  • Paper

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary with students prior to watching the lesson.
  • Watch Positive Psychology as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • What is optimism?
    • Turn and talk: Do you think you are an optimist or a pessimist?
    • How does an optimist respond to being laid off a job?
    • How does a pessimist respond?
    • What does Martin Seligman believe about optimism?
    • What is self-efficacy?
    • What are some characteristics of people with high levels of self-efficacy?
    • What are the three layers of happiness?
    • What determines happiness?
    • What did Dan Gilbert discover about happiness?
    • Turn and talk: What is something you can do to improve your level of happiness?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
  • Check the answers as a class.

Activities

Positive Psychology Diagram

Materials needed: copies of lesson, chart paper, markers

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