Lesson plan

Expressing Our Feelings

In this lesson, students will identify and practise different ways emotions can be expressed through faces, gestures, and movements. They'll also learn how to practise mindful breathing to manage strong emotions and self-regulate.
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Students will be able to practise mindfulness of emotions and the squeeze-ball breathing technique to promote calmness.

(15 minutes)
Stress Ball Balloons
  • Join the class together in a circle, either seated or standing.
  • Ask them how they are feeling right now.
  • Take 2–3 responses.
  • Ask, "What are some other feelings that we may have?"
  • Write "feelings" on the board, and record student responses beneath it.
  • Ask, "Does everyone have feelings?"
  • Play the "Feelings" video and song.
  • Afterwards, ask what some other feelings were that came up in the video.
  • Write student responses of these feeling words on the board.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that there are many ways we can express our feelings, such as through facial gestures, hand movements, and words.
  • Ask, "What are gestures?"
  • Share the following definition of Gesture: a movement of a part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning.
  • Model a loving gesture by placing a hand on your heart with a calm face.
  • Ask the class, "What emotion do you think I feel right now?" Share that you are feeling love and happiness.
  • Ask for student volunteers to come up and gesture different emotions with their hands.
  • Ask the class what emotion each student volunteer may be feeling.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that it is always okay to be feeling what we are feeling, but it is not okay to hit or yell at others when we feel strong emotions.
  • Ask, "What can help us if we are feeling a strong emotion?" Take some students' answers, then share that feeling our breath can help us when experiencing strong emotions.
  • Guide the class to sit up nice and tall.
  • Invite them to become as still as they can.
  • Ask them to place their hands on their bellies and to feel their bellies "puff out" as they breathe in.
  • Continue guiding them to breathe into their bellies and count ten breaths, modeling how to count each breath for the class.
  • Tell the students to put their hands down again.
  • Ask what they notice and how they feel.
  • Take 3–4 responses.
  • Explain that stress balls, or squeeze balls, are another great way to make us feel more calm. We can squeeze stress balls when we are upset to release tension and stress.
  • Show them your model stress ball balloons.
(20 minutes)
  • Introduce the class to the Stress Ball Balloons worksheet, and read through its instructions.
  • Pass out balloons and play dough.
  • Go through each step with the students to guide them to make their own stress ball.

Enrichment:Ask advanced students to create multiple stress balls.

Support:Work one-on-one or in small groups with some students when creating their stress balls.

(5 minutes)
  • During the independent working time, walk around the room and connect with students to assess their comprehension of how to manage strong emotions.
(5 minutes)
  • Bring the class back together in a circle, and ask them to bring their stress balls with them.
  • Ask, "Where can you keep you stress ball? When is a good time to use your ball?" Share that they can use their ball when feeling strong emotions to release tension.
  • Ask, "What are other tools we may use when we feel strong feelings and emotions?" Offer some suggestions, such as mindful breathing.

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