Time icon
Frequency icon
Material icon


5-10 minutes




Writing tools, cue cards, personal devices


To help students identify a short statement that encourages them to persevere when faced with challenges

  • Ask students to think of or search for a short song lyric or saying that they find inspirational and can help motivate them to keep trying when facing an obstacle.
  • Share examples of positive sayings as a starting point for the class.
  • Ask students to capture their positive sentence in a print (e.g., cue card) or online format (e.g., design/paint app).
  • Encourage students to refer to their selected lyric or sentence when they need to motivate themselves to persevere.

Create, as a class or individually, positive and inspirational posters for the classroom.

Wong (2015) defines encouragement as “the expression of affirmations through language or other symbolic representations to instill courage, perseverance, confidence, inspiration, or hope in a person(s) within the context of addressing a challenging situation or realizing a potential”. Research in the field of positive psychology supports the notion that hearing encouraging messages, whether from oneself or others, helps people to feel more capable and efficacious which bolsters both perseverance and resilience (Pajares, 2001). Pajares (2001) also reported that positive encouragement is linked to academic success amongst adolescents.

Pajares, F. (2005). Self-efficacy during childhood and adolescence: Implications for teachers and parents. In Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents, 339–367. Information Age Publishing.

Wong, Y. (2015). The psychology of encouragement: Theory, research, and applications Ψ. The Counseling Psychologist, 43(2), 178-216. doi:10.1177/0011000014545091