The Feelings That Drive Us

Lesson powerpoint here

    1. Tuning in. Play a game to help students have a nice, strong emotional experience. Play Jenga/Connect 4 in small groups (sets in WB classroom) or play the game ‘name six’ together. Sit students in a circle, with one person blindfolded in the middle. Students round the outside pass an object as quickly as they can to each other. The person in the middle then says ‘stop’: the person holding the object at that moment hands it to the person in the middle who gives that person a letter and returns the object. The object is then passed around the circle as quickly as possible and in that time, the person who was given the letter has to call out 6 nouns starting with the letter they were given, before the object comes back to them.
    2. Emotions zones. Put the ‘emotions zones’ slide up (on lesson powerpoint). Discuss with the students what emotions they experienced whilst playing the game(s), including any not on the slide. Did they all experience the same emotions? Why/why not? Try to broaden the discussion out to the students’ general experience of mood and emotions. Also, take examples of the emotions that students ‘discovered’ for their prep.
    3. The role of the emotions. Look at quotes/pictures about emotions (on slides). Discuss what the students think about what some have said about emotions and discuss why students think emotions evolved in humans: what job(s) do the emotions do and why is it considered mental illness to be emotion-less?
    4. How the emotions work. There is a short video here which briefly explains how the emotions work.
    5. What first? In same groups of 3 or 4, run through the series of scenarios on the slides and ask students to name and discuss what initial emotional response they would have to each event. What does this emotion feel like? What happens in the body?
    6. Use the cards. There are packs of small laminated cards in the WB room. The red cards are the primary emotional response; the blue cards are things we can do to manage our primary emotional response. Ask students to discuss if they would stick to their initial emotional response to the scenarios on the slides or whether they would try to change it. Using the blue cards for ideas and using their own ideas too, ask the students how they would go about changing their emotional response for each situation. The master copy of these cards is here.
    7. Evaluate. Discuss with students what strategies they think work best for managing their emotions and for making deliberate moves between the 4 emotions zones.

Plenary and prep. Discuss the idea with students that secondary emotions/mood can be changed to help us get better outcomes in challenging situations. Over the next 2 weeks ask students to try out and write about strategies for changing secondary emotional responses.