A Mindful Way to Reflect: Rose, Thorn, and Bud

The end of the school year gives plenty of opportunities to help students reflect. Use this Rose, Thorn, Bud activity to help your students think about the successes and challenges they encountered this year and to consider new ideas they’ve had or things they look forward to learning or experiencing.


STEP 1: Define terms for the activity

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Rose = A highlight, success, small win, or something positive that happened.

Thorn = A challenge you experienced or something you can use more support with.

Bud = New ideas that have blossomed or something you are looking forward to knowing more about or experiencing.

STEP 2: Brainstorm

Give students 30 seconds to a few minutes to sit silently and reflect on their their rose, bud, and thorn. Then give students 5-10 minutes to jot down ideas on a piece of paper or print out the graphic organizer provided here.

STEP 3: Debrief

Share your own rose, bud, and thorn, and then go around the room asking students to share their rose, bud, or thorn or reflect on the activity itself.

STEP 4: Reflection

Check in after completing the activity and ask students to notice their energy level and thoughts before and after the activity.

A possible extension for this activity is to brainstorm strategies for turning thorns into roses or to describe ways thorns might support learning and growing.

Share with your community!

Lead your students through this Rose, Thorn, Bud activity and ask them how they liked it. What success, challenges, and opportunities did your students share? Share with fellow teachers in your school or on social media with #mindfulschools.

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