teaching resource

Things I Can and Cannot Control - Sorting Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
PDF | 4 pages | Years: 3 - 6

Help students identify things in life they can and cannot control with this interactive sorting activity.

Why Worry About What You Cannot Control?

Have you ever spent days, weeks or even months worrying that something bad may happen in the future… but the event never happens?

Or perhaps you have spent many an hour worrying about whether a work colleague likes you… a decision that is completely out of your hands?

Worry is a pointless and wasted emotion. It is unproductive, and it uses precious energy for no positive reward. This can lead to high levels of overwhelm, anxiety and stress. 

Just as adults worry, our students worry, too. One way of alleviating unnecessary worry is to understand what things we can and cannot control. This process can keep our worries in check, therefore having a positive effect on our mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. 

How To Use This What Can I Control? Sorting Activity 

Prepare the resource by printing on thick card for increased longevity and durability, then cut and distribute to your students.

Students must sort the statements according to whether the situations are within their control or not.

The things we have the power to control include:

  • How I treat people
  • How I respond to challenges
  • How I spend my time
  • The words I use
  • The amount of effort I give
  • How I take care of myself
  • My behaviour choices
  • My thoughts

The things we do not have the power to control include:

  • What other people say
  • Events from the past
  • The weather
  • Being unwell
  • If someone wants to be your friend
  • How other people feel
  • Other people’s likes and dislikes

Before You Download

This resource prints as a full colour and a black and white PDF. Please use the dropdown menu to choose between these versions.

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  • Stephanie (Teach Starter)

    Hi there Fiona. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I'm very familiar with all the concepts you've mentioned here! It's certainly true that once our little ones have reached a point of heightened emotion, the 'choice' element walks out the door, along with any ability to make reasoned decisions! I would be very interested to hear your ideas about how you think this particular resource could be adapted to take these issues into consideration (if you are willing to share them)!