Dealing With Big Emotions

This week we are focusing on what we can do to help us deal with big emotions that we may feel. The first thing we did for this lesson is we listened to a mindful video to help us with our belly breathing. The day before this lesson the mindfulness guru Trina Markusson visited our school and talked to our students about the importance and strategies of being mindful and in the present moment. I felt that this video would be a great reminder of Trina’s message and would help to calm our bodies and allow us to be in the present moment ready to learn.

Below is the video we watched which is titled Bring It Down.

Following watching this video we did a quick recap of Trina Markussons presentation. We discussed what she shared about mindfulness and how mindfulness means to be in the present moment and not worrying about the past as well as not focussing on or worrying about the future. She taught us about the importance of focussing on the exact present moment and how we are feeling at that moment.

We watched the video Kinds Explain Mindfulness. This is a great video in which kids explain their emotions and how mindfulness helps them deal with these emotions. The video suggests to students to use the strategy PBS which means to pause, breath, and smile. This was another strategy that students can use when they are feeling big emotions!

We then read Trina’s book “Good Morning, Sunshine!” This book is a great resource for teachers, parents, and students as it is a storybook about a mother talking to her son about his feelings and the six strategies he can use to help him deal with his emotions and work at being in the present moment. The six strategies that Trina suggests are:

  1. Opening your five senses to what you are doing right now at this moment.
  2. Do some deep belly breaths.
  3. Shake a mindful jar and watch the sparkles settle to the bottom.
  4. Take care of our feelings by finding them in our bodies.
  5. Say three things that you are grateful for.
  6. Send some kind and caring thoughts to yourself or someone you care about.

We had a class discussion around how mindfulness can help us in dealing with big emotions. I shared a story about myself and a time when I was feeling upset and mad. During this discussion, I talked about the wolves video from a previous lesson. I shared with them how I kept on playing the negative situation over and over in my mind. While replaying this situation I was actually continuing to feed the angry wolf in my mind. What continued to happen was the anger continued to grow because I was feeding that angry wolf by playing over the what happened and adding in what ifs. I shared with them my thought process and how I started to realize that I was actually feeding the angry wolf and by doing so I was getting angrier. I shared how I finally stopped for a second to think about and identify the feelings that I was feeling and how I began to take deep breaths to calm my mind. I started focusing on the present moment, which allowed me to quit with replaying the negative situation in my mind and helped me to stop adding more what ifs. I was able to calm the angry wolf and the problem started to become much smaller.

Students then had the opportunity to reflect on the mindfulness strategies by creating mindfulness wheels for their happiness journals. They created a wheel that had all six of Trina’s suggestions for mindfulness on their wheel. Below is a picture of the example I created for the students to follow.

You can find the wheel printable here!

This was a great lesson which allowed the students to begin to look at strategies they can use to help them process those big emotions. We discussed how it is not healthy to push negative emotions away instead we need to learn how to find them in our bodies and find strategies that allow us to deal with them properly. These strategies will help them to calm their bodies and minds and learn how to find happiness again even after a big emotion takes over our bodies.

Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you have any questions about this weeks lesson!

We will meet YOU at HAPPY!


Author: cdegelman

Grade 3/4 teacher at Douglas Park School in Regina, Saskatchewan

2 thoughts on “Dealing With Big Emotions”

  1. This sounds like an awesome lesson!! What a great life-long skill your students are learning about. How to handle your emotions and being grateful for what you have is so important these days. In my own classroom I have incorporated “Mindful Mondays” into our schedule but I know I should be doing more with my students. Thanks for inspiring me!!


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