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Handling Strong Emotions - Novice High

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 novice-level conversations on topics such as expressing emotion.

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).

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.  

  • What did you do?
  • What can you do in the future? (Ideas may include: breathe deeply, take a break, go for a walk, think before speaking, take a shower, write about it, etc.)

Share with the class. 

Activity 1: Listening

Watch video the following video titled “How Mindfulness Helps to Manage Emotions”.  

  • The first time you watch the video,  have students listen for the main idea.  
  • The second time you watch, have students complete the cloze activity (use a lower speed as needed).

Handling Strong Emotion Cloze Activity

    • Compare answers with a partner.  
    • Review answers as a class. 
    • Emphasize that thinking, writing, and talking about “emotional weather” helps us better understand how we are feeling, where those feelings come from, and how we can handle them

How mindfulness helps to manage emotions 

Activity 2: Vocabulary

Give each student a copy of the emotion wheel or have one available for them to refer to. 

  • Discuss the emotion wheel as a class. 
  • Have each student identify 3 words on the emotion wheel that they don’t know
  • Give students time to look up the words, and write an example sentence for each

The Gottman Institute The Feeling Wheel

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/Writing

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

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.”

Discuss as a class the advantages of naming our emotions.  

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

Activity 5: Meditation

Have students listen and follow along to this meditation video:

The STOP Practice 


Record emotions for a week using the emotion tracker worksheet.

Emotion Tracker



Watch the video (stop at 3:00)

  • 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. 

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


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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