The Affirmation Tree-A SEL VTR

All of us need positive reinforcement from time to time. Affirmations can be understood as true statements, and positive affirmations are the uplifting phrases that assist us in dispelling negativity. As we traverse the challenges life puts before us, we must give ourselves these affirmations frequently and encourage our students to do the same.

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This VTR can be used to reflect on what we believe to be our positive traits and the impressions that we receive from others. It can also allow young learners to create an action plan on how they want to ‘grow’ as people.

Steps for the VTR-

1. Ask your students to draw a tree. It needs to have roots and leaves big enough to contain words.

2. Learners need to reflect on the labels that have been placed on them by their peers, elders, and social circles. These words should be positioned within the leaves. 

3. Children then need to introspect on the labels they have given themselves over the years. These words could be positive or negative, but they must be honest and come from the heart. These words need to be placed near the roots.

The tree will be unique for each child. An example has been given below-

4. Learners should begin reflecting on the connections between the ‘root thoughts’ have with the ‘leaf thoughts’. They can answer the following guiding questions-

  • Are there words that are repeated in both the roots and the leaves?
  • Are any of the words untrue? 
  • Do people see me in a way that I do not see myself? Do I disagree with any of the leaf thoughts?

5. Ask your students to consider their root words. Then, request them to share some experiences which led them to imagine that they possess these traits. Have an open sharing session and ask students to introspect on their feelings deeply.

6. Creating an action plan- Learners must now create an emotional action plan that will help to nurture their inner spirit and self. They can answer these guiding questions-

  • Water sustains all life and helps trees to grow to their full potential. What do you need the most to grow to your full potential?
  • What is stopping you from growing? How can you fix it?
  • Is your environment helping you grow? Are you happy? If not, identify things in your environment that make you unhappy.
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Give your students opportunities to share at every stage of this VTR. Allow them to make connections that they may not have realized before. This VTR will encourage them to understand how the outside world impacts how they feel about themselves. They will also know why it is essential to remain grounded and rooted in who they are despite what others have to say about them.

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