Emotional Awareness Program


Using “When I’m Feeling Happy” by Tracy Moroney

1. Laughter Yoga

2. Read “When I’m Feeling Happy” – when are times you are feel really happy? Hopefully one student mentions birthdays.

3. Let’s play. Students quickly form a circle.

4. Izzie’s Birthday (from Mem Fox)

– Intro Izzie Elf as your fairyland friend. Say you have an invitation from her – everyone does check underneath them. All open imaginary envelopes, throw out rubbish. Read your invitation out to students: “Dear Mrs M, I would love for you to come to Fairyland and help celebrate my birthday”

– Other students share their invitations

– Close eyes and hold themselves tight: “Hocus Pocus rattle tum tee, Hold on tight and come with me, Hocus Pocus rattle tum tar, open your eyes and here we are”

– In front of each child is an imaginary present. Let’s feel the size of the box. Open up your present. Mime it for the children – it’s perfume.

– Each child mimes opening and guessing for the people next to them.

– Put rubbish away and when they return there is cake! Describe your cake to the students.

– Each child describes their cake to their neighbour.

– Then have kids repeat:

“Today I have a birthday……I’m four years old you see…….And her I have a birthday cake…….Which you may share with me………First we count the candles……..Count them, every one…….One, two, three, four…….The counting now is done……Let’s blow out the candles…..Out each flame will go…..as one by one we blow.”

– Blow, cut and share cakes.

– Back home (do chant)

– Do a living circle of “I feel happy when…..”

– All students find there own spot and show a happy dance (to appropriate music).

Reflection and debrief. Refer back to book and experience.

Another great group activity to follow on from reading this book, is to create scenes that change based on number. With a Grade 2 class I would give them a clipboard, pencil and paper so they can brainstorm ideas.

With this performance, one student starts on stage and says “I feel happy when…..” and then acts out their thing that should be an individual actvity. They are allowed to talk if appropriate.

The second student enters stage and says “I feel happy when….” and the two performers then do that thing together (an appropriate paired activity).

This continues with 3, 4 and 5 (if there is a 5th member). With each new performer the activity should reflect the number on stage. You don’t want 5 kids sitting on their own reading a book.

Once all are on stage, the teacher calls the numbers backwards and students leave with the last on to leave first saying “Goodbye, everyone!”

Until there is one left on stage.

This is a great activity to teach structure, allow each child an opportunity to speak and provide a chance for problem solving.

Alternative – Students get into groups of 4 or 5. Call out these typically happy occasions:

  • birthday party, playing with friends, camping,

Kids create frozen pictures with their group showing these.

Then into a circle – each child steps in and Makes and Offer of a happy moment. They show it and freeze – add to living picture. You’ll get simple, lovely, surprising moments.


When I’m Feeling Sad……

– Remind them about last lesson ‘happy’ theme.

– Play a piece of sad instrumental music. Ask students to listen and then gather responses as to what emotion it best fits.

– Once sad is mentioned, discuss style of music, eliciting descriptive words…..flowy, slow, low tone etc.

– Students then pair up and after modelling mirror mime (with a volunteer student), all have a go at leading and then being a mirror using movement that is inspired by the music.

– Have a few pairs present to the class.

– Read “When I’m Feeling Sad’…to the class…

– Form a circle, then create a living picture for “When I’m Feeling sad….”


When I’m Feeling Angry…..

– Recap Happy, sad lessons

– Teach a new song, and resing it using happy, sad and angry emotion

– Make a living picture called “I get angry when…..’ be sure to model first.

– Read “Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible No Good Very Bad Day”

– Brainstorm the things that went wrong for Alexander and why he got angry – allow kids to share their own experiences.

– Students to create a “Comic Strip” Performance where they recreate scenes from the book (being people or environment) and then adding a couple of frames of their own (incidents that would make them angry)

– Perform and have audience give feedback.

– Talk about techniques we can use to calm down when angry and then incorporate them in the song “If you’re  Angry and you know it….” (stomp, say “I’m angry”, breathe deeply, count to ten, walk away)

– End with reading “When I’m Feeling Angry……”


When I’m Feeling Loved

  • Kids come in and lay down in a comfy spot, with gentle music playing. Have them focus on their breathing. Guided visualization based on 5 love languages. Have them think about hoe they like being loved: by getting presents, by getting cuddles, when someone does’t something special for them, when someone says kind words to them or when someone spends time with them. Which one is most important? To them? No wrong answer

Kids then take a few minutes to draw what that may look like  – their favourite way to be shown love.

– Recap past lessons

– Interactive reading of  “The Feel Good Book’ – kids participate by saying “feels good!” for each page.

– Students then form groups and each to come up with one thing that makes them loved and present a living poem called “I Feel Loved when….’ or “I show love when”

– Present and reflect

– Teach kids “Skidamarink” song with actions

– End with “When I’m feeling loved…..

  • Can also show Berenstain Bears “The Birthday Boy which highlights sibling love.
  • I like to show them, explaining that afterwards I’ll ask for volunteers to tell me why i would have chosen to show them this video for this session. I’m looking for: the sister shows love by making a video about her brother (and giving it as a gift), the mum makes a cake, Dad gives him a basketball, friends gathered for his birthday, the brother saying kind words to the sister ( this also relates back to the “Languages of Love”)


When I’m Feeling Kind…...

– Teach “Five Little Ice-cream Cones” song

“Five little iceream comes standing in a row

Each has a scoop in an ice-cream cone

Out came the sun and it shone all day

And one little ice-cream cone melted away…”

– Kids sing the song down to one, changing emotion each time : happy, sad, angry, scared, kind.

Read “When I’m Feeling Kind….”

Brainstorm with the kids kind words you can say to someone to show kindness – write on board.

E.g: “Are you okay?”

“Do you need some help?”

“Would you like to come play with me?”

“You did a really great job!”

– Students are then put into groups of 3 (a couple of pairs is fine) and they come up with a short scene to show a situation, which leads to one of them using kind words.

– Present scenes to the class and discuss.


“When I’m Feeling Jealous”

For all these lessons, I like there to be a pattern, but I do approach each emotion differently. Jealous is interesting as it could be a misunderstood word. I begin this lesson by pairing kids up, with some coloured pencils and paper/clipboard. And I ask when do you feel jealous? This actually lets me know very quickly if they understand what that means. Often they say, when someone takes my things or when mum shouts at me. So then, I explain that it is actually when someone can do something you wish you could, or has something you would like. It can sometimes look like sadness and anger.

I then have them draw something that makes them jealous (perhaps they feel it all the time) or something that has made them feel jealous recently. A few minutes and then they share (either to the class) or with each other.

I then read to them “When I’m Feeling Jealous”  – and create a living picture of all the things that make them jealous. We then re-do it, with strategies they could use to make themselves feel better – mainly focus on the good stuff, or how they can help someone else.

I like to complement this with showing the kids “The Green Eyed Monster” short episode of the Berenstain Bears. It is a perfect, clear example of jealousy in a way the kids can relate. I then follow up by breaking the class up in small groups and giving each group a part of the story that highlights when a character was jealous or when a strategy was used. The kids show their one part as a tableau – playing the characters or objects necessary in the scene. I position kids in groups, around the classroom so I can get them to do it as a carousel. Eyes closed – Eyes open.


A teacher-in-role where students pretend they are going on a Hot Air Balloon Trip. The teacher begin as a passenger, waiting in line, very nervous about what is ahead. They talk to each child, explaining why they are scared and try to get some emotions from the students about how they are feeling. Before hand, as teacher, explain tot he students that a passenger will be arriving who is very scared about the trip ahead. Encourage them to help her feel about the situation. What could they say?

After interacting with the students, the teacher separates from the group, changing the trigger (costume/prop) coming back as the Hot Air Balloon Driver. They welcome everyone and ask them to put on sunscreen and check they have their hat on. He/she asks a few of them how they are there today “It was a present”, “I’m on a holiday.”

A space is created as the gondola (basket) possibly with fabric. Have a chair/box placed in the centre. Ask students to climb on board one at a time and sit facing out so they will be able to see the scenery. Once the driver is in place the trip begins. Ask students to close their eyes and picture in their mind’s eye what they see as scenery – students offer that picture. Share feelings. Comfort those who feel scared.

The driver suddenly doesn’t feel so well and asks someone to take over. Have the student sit in your spot as you direct them how to control the gondola.

Eventually, the Hot Air Balloon safely lands. Students exit, sharing how they feel about the situation/trip they just experienced.

This can then lead into the times students may have felt scared (feeling scared on heights is common – what other fears do people have?).

A good socio-metric activity is to have kids spread out around the room. The teacher then states “I feel scared when I hear thunder”. If students feel they same they move to the teacher. Teacher then calls out “Spread”. Students then have the opportunity to call out “I feel scared” statements and have students move to them. This gives kids the security that others feel the same about some things.

Move into reading the book and doing a living picture of things that make them scared.







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