Access the student reflection APP which provides an opportunity for students and teachers to reflect and respond to topic-specific prompts.
The purpose of this lesson is to help students identify and understand their emotions, be aware of their emotions’ influence on actions, and have strategies to regulate them in healthy and productive ways.
Identifying emotions is a process that involves paying attention to how you are feeling and identifying what you feel. By giving yourself permission to experience an emotion, you take the first step to understanding, processing, and regulating your emotions. Once you identify what you are feeling, you can make a plan to manage what you are feeling appropriately.
The 8 basic emotions include happiness, sadness, anger, anticipation, fear, loneliness, jealousy, and disgust.
Emotional Intelligence is being able to observe and identify emotions in others. We can observe the emotions of others by paying attention to facial expressions, non-verbal clues, and body language.
“We need the ability to experience and express all emotions… in order to achieve greater well-being, make the most informed decisions, build and maintain meaningful relationships, and realize our potential.” (Brackett, p. 20)
Teachers and students must understand that “emotions are information.” (Brackett, 22). Our emotions determine our actions, perceptions, what we remember, what we learn, and how we relate to others. They also impact our health, creativity, and performance. (Brackett, 27)
NOTE: The following activities have been designed specifically for Younger High School Students (Grade 9- Essential Foundational Activities) and Older High School Students (Grade 10- Extended Deeper Activities).
Invite students to use the Reflection APP and respond to the prompts for this lesson.
Activity 1: (15 minutes) MOOD METER & QUOTE
How are you feeling? Using the Mood Meter, find 2 words that best describe how you are feeling right now. Choices do not have to be in the same quadrant. Recognizing emotions is the first step in managing those emotions. (This activity should be repeated regularly so that students can begin to specifically label their emotions.)
Have a discussion about the following quote:
“Self-regulation is the ability to manage your emotions and behavior in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes being able to resist highly emotional reactions to upsetting stimuli, to calm yourself down when you get upset, to adjust to a change in expectations, and to handle frustration without an outburst.” – Marc Brackett
Activity 2: (15 minutes) NEW EMOTIONAL WORDS
Divide the class into 5 groups. It has been suggested that there are 8 basic emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, anticipation, fear, loneliness, jealousy, and disgust). Invite each group to write down as many synonyms as they can for their emotion.
What are some of your favorite strategies for identifying and regulating your emotions? Divide the class into 4 groups and give them each one of the basic emotions to explore (synonyms, origin, root, etc.). Invite each group to create a poster for their emotion.
Self-Assessment: Emotion Scientist or Emotion Judge? How do you see yourself?
An Emotion Scientist.
An Emotion Judge…
Introduce students to the STOP Technique:
S = Stop. Stop what you’re doing and put things down for a moment.
T = Take. Take 2–3 nice, deep breaths.
O = Observe. Observe how you are feeling. Note what thoughts, feelings, or emotions are running through your mind. Realize that thoughts are not permanent—they come and they go. Research shows that the simple act of naming your emotions can turn the volume down on the fear circuits in the brain, resulting in a feeling of calm. Notice your body and how you are standing or sitting. Notice your posture or if you have any aches and pains.
P = Pull back, get perspective, proceed with what works. Proceed with something that can support you in the moment. See your best self and what you would do. Call a friend, take a walk. Try this the next time you feel anxious. Notice how stopping and tuning into how you are feeling can change your perspective.
What would it be like in the days, weeks, and months ahead if you started stopping more often?
Activity 4: (15 minutes) VIDEO & DISCUSSION
As a class, watch The history of human emotions | Tiffany Watt Smith – YouTube. Then discuss the following prompts:
Activity 5: (20 Minutes) – Video and Discussion
Watch the video “Permission to Feel” by Mark Brakett, founder and director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. Have a discussion:
Activity 6: (10 Minutes) MEDITATION MOMENT
Choose a meditation routine from your handout to read about and try for the next 10 minutes. (See Letting Go of My Story Handout, Things I am Grateful for Handout, and Meditation Moments Handout).
Have a discussion:
Activity 7: (10 Minutes) – Meditation Vision Board or Inspiration
Create a meditation vision board, PPT, playlist, etc.