In this activity, students will be able to reflect on what types of statements energize and motivate them, create their own motivational self-talk statements and make into a book, and share and discuss their statements with classmates.


Students will be able to:

  1. Reflect on what types of statements energize and motivate them
  2. Create their own motivational self-talk statements and make into a book
  3. Share and discuss their statements with classmates


Blank paper; construction paper or oak tag paper; staples; markers, pens, stickers, glitter, magazines, etc. Optional: create your own motivational self-talk book in advance of the lesson to show as an example.

Emotional Intelligence Tip

Self-talk is an emotion regulation strategy that involves silently repeating a statement in one’s head.


Time Activity Notes
2 min

Introduction: Introduce the class by explaining that self-talk is when we talk ourselves through situations. Research shows that self-talk can help us to manage our thoughts, feelings, and energy and motivate us to perform well in whatever we’re doing.

Motivational self-talk is any positive phrase you can say to you yourself that boosts your energy, helps you to focus on achieving a goal, or encourages you to work through obstacles. Some examples are: “I got this” or “let’s go.” Today we will develop our own motivational self-talk statements.

Reach out to school social workers or counselors to see if they have any resources or strategies to share with the class.
3 min

Give students a few minutes of silent and independent time to journal about the following:

  • What types of thoughts or statements motivate you or might motivate you?
  • What types of words have you read or heard that have motivated you in the past?
You may want to play music during this time.
10 min
Writing Motivational Statements

Give students 5 to 10 minutes to write at least 5 self-talk statements that they believe will energize and motivate them.

If students are struggling, you could suggest they look on the internet for quotations that may motivate them.
20 min
Making Booklets

Depending on the resources you have available, tell students you have materials for them to make small booklets with their self-talk statements that they can carry with them. They can make booklets using construction paper and bind them with hole punches and yarn or string or just staples.

Encourage students to illustrate a front cover with motivating ideas and images and then to include their self-talk from journaling on the inside pages.

You can give students a day in advance to bring in their own art supplies.

You can create your own booklet in advance to use as a model for construction as well as what and how to write on the inside.

You may want to play upbeat music during this time.

5 min
Share Out and Discussion

Ask students to volunteer sharing their examples and a short relevant story of how they have used or could have used motivational self-talk. Have students discuss the similarities and differences in each other’s motivational self-talk.

Connections to Other Emotions

Sharing and discussing each other’s ideas for self-talk can help students feel respected and valued as well as build feelings of connection and support.

Criteria for Success/Formative Assessment

  • Students have an understanding of motivational self-talk statements.
  • Students create a booklet of motivational self -talk statements that are relevant to them.
  • Students share their motivational self-talk with their classmates.