After a quick review of our rules and goal-setting (points), we begin our fourth session. After a quick review of our rules and goal-setting (points), we begin our fifth session. I know I say this all the time, but Pixar is one of the best resources for school counselors. La Luna is a beautiful story about a young boy learning "the family business." Both his father and grandfather try to push their views, but the boy learns to find his own way.
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I have students work on an activity from Colorful Counseling (whichever one I think best meets the group's needs).
The focus of this lesson is learning how to boost our own self-esteem by helping others boost their's. The first lesson involves students picking which confetti pieces (different shapes) that describe their positive qualities. Students can learn about self-esteem through Cupcake, having to list things that they like about themselves. You can have students in your group pick objects that symbolize various feelings or situations they experience at school.
Louis Center for Play Therapy Training blog offers a lot of great information on play therapy techniques and credentialing. After viewing the video, we discuss how the sheep felt and how the jackalope was a good friend.
However, within this sugary sweet world lives a gloomier cloud who likes to create more unique and, at times, unappreciated gifts, such as sharks, crocodiles, and porcupines.


I remind students about our rules and let students know that if they have more points in the happy cup, they not only get their regular rewards, they also get to pick a prize from my prize box. Materials needed: plastic buckets, paper to write on, pencils*I adapted this lesson from School Counselor Blog.
As students work, I use food coloring to dye everyone's water in their bottle (color based on student preference). We play Whoonu again to see how much we have learned about one another since the group began. This particular video shows an animal projection technique that can be used in small groups or during a classroom lesson (dividing the class into groups). Students may need help reading the cards, so I always jump in and help so that no student feels uncomfortable.
I write down their responses for my records and put the confetti into empty water bottles, labeling the top of each one with the students' initials.
The purpose of the activity is to help students identify their thoughts and behaviors and to reflect on how they interact with others.
One day, the storm cloud's stork friend flies to a neighboring cloud - when old gloomy sees this, his thundering anger builds and his rain tears fall.
When all the bottles are finished, labels and all, we shake them up as reminders of our positive qualities. If time allows, we stand in a circle and toss a beach ball to each other, sharing something we appreciated or learned about during the group. We typically play Jungle Fun again to see how much we have learned about one another since the group began.
Then, I ask for the receiver to say how they feel after hearing the positive feedback - I record their response at the bottom of the paper.


The weakened stork returns with a bundle of his own: a helmet and shoulder pads to help make the journeys easier. I make copies of the projects for my own documentation, but let the students keep their originals, which serve as a reminder of how valued they are.
The video is also great with individual students who may focus on the negative aspects of their life or have anxiety about the bad things that could happen. The jackalope shows the sheep that bad things happen and sometimes, you just need to keep moving forward until you feel better again; you can't let every little thing get you down.
The storm cloud has a hard time expressing his feelings, so this movie could spark discussion on how to positively manage strong emotions. Sometimes students who are outside the mainstream are confused why the general population doesn't reach out to be their friend. I think "Partly Cloudy" could help these students reflect on the importance of the quality of their friends vs. Being unique is great, but it can also make it more challenging to find great friend matches. It's hard being friends with someone you don't have anything in common with, so naturally, if you think and act outside the box, then you'll have fewer great friends at your disposal.
I created two workpages (below) that could help students organize their thoughts and create a plan of action for finding and developing positive friendships.



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