Students journal about their concerns, successes, and hopes and come up with strategies to move forward.


  1. Cognitive: Students will be able to identify positive moments and areas of support.
  2. Affective: Students will feel encouraged to identify positives and seek resources


journals, writing utensils


Time Activity Notes
1 min Define terms for the activity:

a. Rose = something positive that happened this past week

b. Bud= something you are looking forward to next week (alternatively you can use “blossom” instead of “bud”).

c. Thorn= something you need help with within the next week

Encourage students to consider ‘small wins’


5 min Give students 2 minutes to journal silently about their rose, bud, and thorn.

Share your own rose, bud, and thorn, and then go around the room asking each student share their rose, bud, and thorn OR share how the activity felt for them.

Encourage students to state comments in the positive.

Reframe situations as opportunities.

9 min
  • Have students work in pairs to write down a strategy for turning their thorns into roses.
  1. Optional: Color code rose/bud/thorn with specific color sticky notes.
  2. Option for larger classes: turn and talk, share several with the larger group
  3. Optional: Offer time for students to gather thoughts. Ask students to share observations (in pairs, small group, whole group).
Ask: What did you notice about your energy level before and after the activity? When might it be helpful to turn a thorn into a bud?

Teacher Reflection

How did you feel after the activity? Did students participate
and seem engaged? Remember to ask the students to share their feedback on the activity: What went well? What suggestions do they have for making the activity better? Think about what you might do differently next time.

Emotional Intelligence Tips

  • Offer support for students in brainstorming new ideas
  • Encourage students to be patient, respectful, open, and reserve judgment
  • Ensure that each student feels empowered to use resources available to seek support (knows how to turn a “thorn” into a “bud”)