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POSITIVE SELF TALK: Inner Coach vs. Inner Critic SEL Growth Mindset Lesson for Kids



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Teachers and school counselors love using our no prep, interactive growth mindset lesson to teach kids about positive self-talk.  Students learn the difference between their Inner Coach versus Inner Critic. As well as practice how to re-frame negative, shame-based self-perceptions.  And rather, focus on what their Inner Coach would say instead.

This social emotional learning lesson comes in multiple formats, making it suitable for differentiated instruction.  Choose between a pre-narrated 6 minute video, Boom Learning™, or google slides™ social narrative lesson. Then have students practice turning negative self-talk into positive self talk by using the interactive task cards and or worksheets, that come in digital and printable files. Perfect for both in-person and distance learning.


Why Teach Kids About Their Inner Coach versus Inner Critic?

Research tells us that when students speak to themselves in a more kind way, it helps them to develop an internal locus of control.  This in turn, supports young people to build growth mindset.  Moreover, positive self-talk is a healthy coping tool, in addition to cultivating resilience: both of which are protective factors for when times get tough.  

Kids learn that when you “speak to yourself” like you would to someone you love and care about, you are tapping into your Inner Coach.  Moreover, that positive self-talk sounds encouraging, supportive, and compassionate.   Conversely, this SEL lesson teaches that your Inner Critic sounds judgmental, blaming, and discouraging.  In other words, when you “speak to yourself” in an unhelpful and hurtful way. 


Be sure to check out our FREE Healthy Self-Talk Poster hereAnd if you like using pre-narrated video lessons, you might love The Brain and Stress Responsive SEL lesson, too!

Additional information

Product Categories

Self-Efficacy + Self-Esteem, Lessons

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  • 6 minute Pre-Recorded with Narration Animated Video Lesson “Positive Self-Talk” with and without music in the background (Included in google slides™ format and separate mp4 files)
  • Same animated lesson as above, WITHOUT Pre-Recorded Narration (so you can record your own voice)
  •  If you choose to not to use the animated video, the same lesson is offered on Google Slides™ and Boom Learning™
  • Interactive lesson on Google Slides™ and Boom Learning™


  • Printable Positive Self-Talk Poster (color & black/white)
  • Printable Positive Self-Talk Cards in 2 formats (color & black/white)
  • Printable Worksheets

More About Boom Learning™

To use Boom Cards, you must be connected to the Internet. Boom Cards play on modern browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge). Apps are available for Android, iPads, iPhones, and Kindle Fires. For security and privacy, adults must have a Boom Learning account to use and assign Boom Cards. You will be able to assign the Boom Cards you are buying with “Fast Pins,” (play provides instant feedback for self-grading Boom Cards). Fast Play is always a free way for students to engage with Boom Cards decks. For additional assignment options you’ll need a premium account. If you are new to Boom Learning, you will be offered a free trial of our premium account. Read here for details:


This is an AMAZING resource!! I cannot wait to use the Boom Cards with my students, whether we are in person or digital. I especially love that Anita took the time to dictate all slides and text. This is so important for students to be able to access the information. This resource provides comprehensive instruction regarding self-talk, our inner critic, and inner coach. In addition, there are many fun sorting activities and interactive slides for students to check their understanding. Thank you, Anita, for another great resource!

-Steph L. (TPT Seller)

July 22, 2020, TPT Review 



Awesome resource! I like that it is written like a social narrative. Great activities to accompany the lesson and my students liked that they could click and listen to a different voice read.

-Donley E.

March 15, 2021, TPT Review



I am using the Google Slides version (without narration) with my SEL classes over Zoom (grades 3-5). It’s a very comprehensive lesson with a ton of great info and slides to practice recognizing negative and positive self talk and practicing turning negative self-talk statements into positive self-talk statements. Thanks for an engaging lesson!
UPDATE: I also used in-person with 2nd graders and the lesson sparked such great discussions. I was amazed to find how much negative self-talk happens at such a young age (including body shaming!) 🙁 I have to also say that this lesson has been one of THE MOST engaging lessons I have taught this year across grades 2-5. It has by far sparked the most conversation and sharing. The kids really seem to resonate with the characters depicted on the slides and this topic is so pertinent and relatable. Thank you for a really great lesson!!! I would love to see one like this on anxiety (another really common issue) that all my kiddos deal with.

-Maria C.

February 4, 2021, TPT Review



Loved the video. I used it with an anxiety group after we discussed self-talk. I liked the supplemental activities as well which we used as a discussion.

-Colleen R.

March 21, 2021, TPT Review



This resource exceeded my expectations. The drawings are great for older students, but the language and work choice is accessible to students with disabilities.

-Elizabeth T.

March 10, 2021, TPT Review

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