June 19, 2019
By Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

Welcoming All Feelings

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Students will be able to reflect on different emotions they feel at different times of the day.

(20 minutes)
  • Ask students to come into a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor.
  • Explain that today we will be discussing emotions and mindfulness of emotions.
  • Ask, "What are some emotions that you have experienced?"
  • Explain to students that they will be guided to reflect on their day and to notice different emotions that came up for them.
  • Guide students in a mindful breathing session.
  • Ask them to sit upright comfortably and come to stillness (as much as they can) with quiet bodies.
  • Ask students to close their eyes or lower their gaze, and to take a few deep breaths while they feel their belly slowly rise and fall.
  • Tell students to imagine the beginning of their day (when they woke up). Ask what they notice and and how they feel. Tired? Happy?
  • When they got to school, what do they remember feeling? Resistance? Excitement?
  • What did they feel when they were asked to move into a circle a few minutes ago? Apprehension? Happiness? Boredom?
  • Ask them to take a few deep, slow breaths while keeping their eyes closed. Then, tell them to open their eyes.
  • Ask, "What did you notice?" and "What were some emotions that you felt today so far?"
  • Ask students to stand and form a line in the middle of the room. Explain that you will ask them questions, which they will answer by moving to different sides of the room. Their left side of the room is the answer "Yes" and their right is the answer "No." Staying where they are in line means that they are not sure.
  • Relay a statement and ask students to move to a side of the room. Example statements include: "Today I have felt boredom." "Today I have felt giddy." "Today I have felt embarrassed, annoyed, etc."
  • Ask students to return to the circle.
  • Ask what they noticed from this activity.
  • Pass out the poem "The Guest House", by Rumi.
  • Go around the circle, and ask each student to read a line of the poem out loud (students may pass if they do not wish to read).
  • Ask them how this poem relates to the activity that was just completed. What word or phrase stands out for them in the poem?
  • Show students the book Visiting Feelings. Ask them how they think the book may relate to the activity and poem. What do they think the book will be about?
(5 minutes)
  • Read through the book Visiting Feelings, pausing periodically after each page to ask how the book relates to mindfulness of emotions.
  • At the end of the story, ask the students about the ways emotions are described in the book.
  • Ask students what we can learn from this book.
  • Remind students that emotions may feel different on different days, and that they can be fleeting (they won't last forever).
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students they that will be going back to their seats to write their own haiku poem based on emotions, changing emotions, and mindfulness of emotions.
  • Tell them that haiku poems are from Japan and are typically written about nature, but they can be written about anything.
  • Explain to students the structure of a traditional haiku: There are three lines, totaling 17 syllables. The first and third lines each have five syllables, and the second line has seven.
  • Use the haiku structure to model a haiku poem on emotions.
  • You can also remind students of "The Guest House" poem and give them the option to write something similar to that.
  • Ask students if they have questions.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will now create their own haiku poem, or a poem similar to "The Guest House" by Rumi.
  • Students will go back to their seat and complete the Emotions Haiku worksheet independently.

Enrichment:Students may write their own story similar to Visiting Feelings, comparing emotions to different types of weather, parts of nature, etc.

Support:Some students may recieve haiku poem templates that have another example poem, have been partially completed, or that include vocabulary that they may use.

(5 minutes)
  • Observe students at their seats during the independent working time. You may also collect their worksheets to check for understanding of mindfulness of emotions.
(5 minutes)
  • After all students have completed their poem, ask if they have any questions.
  • Ask students if anyone would like to share their poem.
  • Student poems may be compiled into a class book on changing emotions. The class can vote on the title of their book of poems.
  • Ask students, "What are some takeaways from today's lesson?"

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