Spatial Requirements: Regular classroom setup: little or no space required
Activity Type: Group
Grades: 4-12
Group Size: 2 or more
Time: 10 minutes

Introduction: We have all heard the expressions; “Every cloud has a silver lining,” or “Look on the bright side.” The message of these is to see the positive possibilities in seemingly negative situations. When channeling energy into overcoming challenges, seeing the potential benefits on the other side of the dam is essential. This activity is designed to help students find the silver lining in challenging situations.


  • Blackboard or whiteboard


Write on the board, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Discuss with students what this means. Explain that they are going to practice looking for the silver lining in difficult or unpleasant situations. Give students an example such as, “It’s a rainy, damp, and cold day, and now I can’t go for a walk.”  Have students brainstorm the positive scenarios that can emerge from this situation. Next, write on the board, “I hate it when….” and give students time to give several answers to finish that sentence. Write down responses on the board as students give them, then go back through each response and have students list positive outcomes that could come from each experience.

Processing the Experience:

  • How difficult was it to finish the phrase, “I hate it when…”?
  • How difficult was it to think of positive scenarios?
  • What does the expression, “Every cloud has a silver lining” mean?
  • When facing a challenge, how can looking for the silver lining be beneficial?
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