Here is a fantastic resource you can use to get the students engaged. http://eltandhappiness.terapad.com/
Apparently, “Positive Psychology” is a new movement in psychology. Traditional psychology focuses on mental illness. Positive psychology focuses on mental health — what do happy people do?”
Here is another great resource that may be useful in the classroom. I read about this blog in a Family Circle magazine while I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for my son. http://www.happiness-project.com/ Although it isn’t exactly a teaching site, there are a lot of ideas that can be gleaned in order to make it work in your classroom.
Create a Happiness Project with your class
The “happiness project” is more than a fun thematic approach, its a movement.
Just off the top of my head, you could:
- Do a happiness challenge for the duration of the semester. The students could keep a happiness journal and then share it with the class.
- Every week choose a different happiness theme based on the video of the week or cruise through the archives.
- Create conversational questions that are relevant to cultivating happiness
- View the weekly video with the class. Transcribe it, create cloze worksheets, anticipation questions, vocabulary worksheets, and create conversational questions based on the information presented in the video and then quiz them!
- Encourage the students to rate their happiness when they enter the room or in their journal
- Have a contest and/or have the students create a poster where they have to create their own personal/unique emoticon.
- Have the students create their own emotion flashcards and then have them pick one that represents how they are feeling at that moment and have them place it on the desk and then create a conversation game out of it. http://www.feelingfacescards.com/Something along the lines of, “How are you feeling today?” I feel…” “Why do you feel…” “I feel….because…”
http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/ Create variations of the happiness tool box. Focus on one thing each week or make it into an ongoing project:
- commit to resolutions http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/resolutions.html
- identify principles to guide life choices http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/personal_commandments.html
- keep an inspiration journal http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/inspiration_boards.html there are lots of good opportunities for discussion on this topic.
- keep a list http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/lists.html
- one sentence journal http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/one_sentence_journal.html
- keep some sort of record, whether it be a written journal/log or as a recorded message to themselves of all the stuff they have learned. http://www.happinessprojecttoolbox.com/secrets_of_adulthood.html
Just for the record – this happiness angle is just another creative tool that you can use in the classroom to get the students speaking and thinking on their feet. It isn’t meant to be a psych course.