Posted in Classroom Guidance Lessons

The Bad Seed

I hear a lot of my students talk about “bad” kids or “bad” people. I hate to think that any of my students think that they are “bad” if they make bad choices or have bad behavior. This is a great lesson to discuss the topic of good and bad choices and how it can affect who you are as a person. I emphasized that you can decide to turn your day/week/year around and start making good choices. I also wanted to explore the idea that people are mostly “good” to foster hope. I hope this helps your students make the transition to talking about good people and bad choices!

Lesson Title: Bad Seed

Grade(s): K-5

ASCA Standards:

  • PS:A1.1 Develop positive attitudes toward self as a unique and worthy person
  • A:A1.5 Identify attitudes and behaviors that lead to successful learning

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will be able to explain that there is no such thing as a bad person, only people who make poor choices
  • Students will be able to provide at least one example of how some bad things can also serve a good purpose or turn into something positive



Consider drawing a picture or showing a picture of a healthy plant and an unhealthy plant. Opening Discussion:

  • What does it take for a plant to be healthy?
    • Water, sunshine, nutrients (fertilizer)

“That’s right! So this unhealthy, sad looking plant here is lacking all of those things. This is very similar to people too! Happy, healthy people need certain things too, like kindness, encouragement, love, family, friendships, and more! When they don’t have those things, their inside looks kind of like this unhealthy plant here. We are going to read a book that explores the life of a seed who had some tough stuff happen to him and made him look pretty unhealthy and sad on the inside.”

Read or play the book The Bad Seed


  • What was the seed like at the beginning of the book?
  • What bad things happened to the seed to make him “bad”?
  • Was the bad seed really “bad”?
  • Do you think there is such a thing as a bad person or just good people who make bad/poor choices?

Split students up into groups. Introduce the next activity: “Now we are going to do a fun activity. Start by drawing a line down the middle of your whiteboard. Now, I am going to give each group 3 minutes to make a list of bad things to go on one side of the line. For example, on my board I included thunderstorms, tests, bullies, and bees on this side of the line. Leave the other side of the line blank for now. Ready, set, go!”

After several minutes explain: “Now I am going to switch up your boards so you are now using another group’s board. On the other side of the line, you are going to try to find something that is good or something positive that could happen because of this “bad” thing. For example, on the others side of thunderstorms, I wrote that the rain that comes from these storms waters plants. The good thing about tests is that it helps measure how much we know and what we can work on learning. A good thing that could come from bullying is that kids learn to stand up for themselves, it gives other kids the chance to stand up for their classmates, and the bully might learn a lesson about kindness. The good thing about bees is that it helps pollinate our plants! See if you can find something good about each bad thing. Ready, set, go!”

At the end of class, allow each group to share a couple of the bad things and the good that they found in the bad things. Explain that no matter how bad something is, something positive can always come from it!


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