Lesson plan

Exploring Emotions

Emotions are natural and temporary, just like passing clouds, rain, or the shining sun. In this lesson, students learn how to be mindful of their emotions and discuss how emotions change, just like the weather.
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Students will be able to practise mindfulness of emotions techniques and discuss how emotions change.

(10 minutes)
  • Join students together in a circle.
  • Ask students, "What is the weather today?"
  • Take 3–4 student responses.
  • Ask, "Is weather a natural thing?"
  • Say, "Yes, it is, just like emotions are natural."
  • Ask, "What are emotions? Can you name any?"
  • Write their responses on the board.
  • Ask, "If 'happy' was the weather, what would it be?"
  • Draw a picture of the sun next to the word "happy" on the board.
  • Ask, "If 'anger' was the weather, what would it be?"
  • Draw a picture of a thundercloud next to the word "anger" on the board.
  • Explain that all of these different emotions we may feel in our "inner weather" are totally normal, just like changing clouds, passing rain, or shining sun.
(15 minutes)
  • Show students the book Exploring Emotions: A Mindfulness Guide to Understanding Feelings.
  • Ask, "What do you think this book will be about? What do you notice on the front cover?"
  • Read the book aloud to the class.
  • Pause and ask comprehension questions throughout the story to check for understanding.
  • Ask, "What stood out for you in the book? Since we can't change our emotions, what can we do?"
  • Explain that we can accept them just as they are.
  • Ask students to take a pause and to notice their inner weather.
  • Ask them to close their eyes or look down and to notice any emotions in their body.
  • Ask the class to keep their eyes lowered and to raise their hand if they are feeling sunny or happy. Then ask students to raise their hand if they feel cloudy or down.
  • Ask the class to name their emotion in their mind.
  • Ask the class to take a few deep breaths and to open their eyes when they are ready.
(10 minutes)
  • Review and model your answers to the Emotions Are Like the Weather worksheet for the class.
  • Show students how they may use cotton balls for clouds and sparkles for a sunny day.
  • Pass out the worksheet and materials to students.
(15 minutes)
  • Dismiss students back to their seats to work on their Emotions Are Like the Weather worksheet.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to make a poster for the class with emotions and weather patterns.

Support: Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students and provide support with the Emotions Are Like the Weather worksheet.

(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room and check student comprehension during independent work.
  • As you circle around the room, check in with as many students as possible.
  • Answer any questions and provide support for any students who may be struggling.
(5 minutes)
  • Bring students back together in a circle (ask them to bring their completed worksheets).
  • Ask students to present their drawings and emotions to a partner.
  • Ask the class to come back together.
  • Ask, "Would anyone like to tell us about and show their picture to the class?"
  • Take 2–3 student volunteers.
  • Explain that their worksheets will be posted in the room as a reminder that emotions are always changing and are normal and natural.
  • Ask, "What can we do if we feel an emotion?"
  • Explain that you will be doing an internal weather check-in each day to see how they are feeling.
  • Congratulate them on a job well done and for their openness in exploring emotions.

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