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Handling Strong Emotions - Intermediate Mid

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. recognize and label emotions.
  2. track emotions for one week.

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. listen for and identify the main idea.
  2. learn vocabulary necessary to express emotion.
  3. communicate in simple conversations.

Materials Needed


Ask the following questions: 

  • What are some examples of emotions? Make a list on the board
  • Can you feel more than one emotion at the same time? 
  • What emotions have you felt at the same time? (Ex: I was sad when I left home, but I was excited to come to the United States).
  • How do you deal with your emotions?

Activate Background Knowledge

Speaking prompt: Give students one minute to think and prepare and one minute each to speak about this with a partner. 

Think about a time when you were very angry.  

  • How did you handle it? Describe your reaction and behaviors.
  • How would you like to process anger in the future?
  • What are some healthy ways you manage your anger?   (Ideas may include: breathe deeply, take a break, go for a walk, think before speaking, take a shower, write about it, etc.)

After students have had a chance to speak for one minute on this topic with a partner, ask some students to share with the class what their partner said.  

Activity 1: Listening

  • Give students the following questions before watching the following video:
    • How do emotions help us? 
    • How do we change our emotions? 
    • How can emotions hurt us?

Alfred & Shadow - A short story about emotions (education psychology health animation)  

Activity 2: Vocabulary

Give each student a copy of the emotion wheel or have one available for them to refer to The Gottman Institute The Feeling Wheel.

Discuss the emotion wheel as a class. 

Have each student identify 3 words on the emotion wheel that are unfamiliar to them and write the words on a notecard or in their notebook.  

Give students time to look up the words on the internet or in a dictionary and become familiar with their meaning and usage.  Have students write a definition and example sentence for each of the 3 words they selected.

Activity 3: Speaking 

In groups of 3, have students explain their words from activity 2. 

Students should take notes about new words they learn as they listen to their group members

Activity 4: Listening

Watch a clip from the video “Name it to Tame it: How to Process Emotions.” (stop at 7:27)

Name It to Tame It: How to Process Emotions 1/30 

Create 5 “I feel…” sentences.  (You could use The Feeling Wheel to give students examples of emotion words.) Add an explanation to the sentence by saying why or when this feeling is present. For example, “I feel frustrated when my brother interrupts me while I am talking”, or “I feel excited because I have a fun weekend planned.”

Here are three things to remember when using I feel statements.  

  1.  For example, you could say, “I feel frustrated”, or “I feel excited.”  Do not use like or that after feel such as, I feel like everyone is against me, or I feel that everyone here is smarter than I am.  Like and that are not words that describe an emotionThe words on The Feeling Wheel are good examples of emotion words. 
  2. Be as specific as possible.  The more specific we are, the more power we have to resolve the emotions. The farther out you can go on The Feeling Wheel the better!
  3. Do not turn an emotion into your identity by saying, “I am…”   Remember, feelings are temporary and change (like the weather).  Feelings do not determine who we are.  

Discuss as a class the advantages of naming our emotions.   

Activity 5: Meditation

Have students listen and follow along to this meditation video:

The STOP Practice 


Record emotions every day at a preferred time for a week using the emotion tracker worksheet.

Emotion Tracker


Watch the following video (stop at 3:00).

STOP being afraid of emotions: 3 STEPS ON HOW NOT TO BE AFRAID OF FEELINGS

  • Listen for the three ways given in the video to help manage emotions. 
  • Discuss with a partner three practices that can be used to help manage emotions.


Identifying and labeling emotions interactive video

Emotions Emoji - English ESL video lesson 


Discuss the emotions you recorded for homework on Monday with a  partner. 

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