Lesson plan

Creating an Emotions Journal

When emotions take over, drawing or writing in a journal can help to process them. In this lesson, students will identify different emotions and design a journal to use when they feel strong emotions.
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Students will be able to define the word "emotions" and create an emotions journal to use when they are feeling different emotions.

(10 minutes)
Mindfulness: Guide to Feelings Cards
  • Bring students together in a circle, either seated or standing.
  • Project the Mindfulness: Guide to Feelings Cards worksheet on the board, covering the emotions words in each picture. (Note: You may wish to pick a few images to focus on ahead of time).
  • Ask students what each person in the picture may be feeling as they see each image.
  • Write "emotions" on the board, as well as all the emotions the class lists from the images.
  • Explain that EmotionsAre different feelings that everyone experiences, but they do not last forever. Writing and drawing can help us process our feelings and allow emotions to come and go on their own.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that drawing can be a great thing to do when they feel sad, confused, happy, angry, or any other emotion.
  • Explain to the class that in a moment, they will draw a picture of an emotion, and you will model for them what to do first.
  • Write the word "anger" on the board.
  • Explain that there are times when you may feel angry but you don't want to take your anger out on someone else, so you decide to draw instead.
  • Draw a picture of something that looks like "anger" or "angry" to you (e.g., a red angry face or a fire).
  • Pass out small whiteboards to each student.
  • Point to one emotion on the board and ask the students to draw a picture of something that they think of when they hear of this emotion.
  • Ask for one example of what you could draw from the class.
  • Give the class 2–3 minutes to draw 2–3 different emotions, one at a time.
  • Walk around the room to see if any students need support.
  • Ask students to hold up their boards after the 2–3 minutes to show you their drawings.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to the class that they will be designing their own emotions journals to use to help them with their feelings.
  • Pass out the Emotions Journal worksheet, and model how to colour the journal cover and cut it out to paste on their notebook.
  • Model how to complete the first journal entry to be pasted in their journal. Explain that future journal entries can be completed in the journal itself.
  • Ask if anyone has any questions.
  • Pass out materials.
(15 minutes)
  • Dismiss students back to their seats to work on their emotions journal. Circle around the room, checking in with as many students as possible to see if they understand the directions and if they have any questions or need support.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to write about a time they felt a strong emotion.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students to support their understanding and expression of different emotions.

(5 minutes)
  • During independent work, walk around the room and check for student comprehension of emotions and how drawing emotions can help them to be more aware of what they feel.
(5 minutes)
  • Bring students back together in a circle.
  • Ask them to bring their emotion journals with them.
  • Ask students to turn to a partner and show them the front cover design of their journal.
  • Ask the class to go around the room and share one thing that they learned from the lesson today.
  • Ask, "When is a good time to use your emotions journal?"

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