Lesson plan

I Feel Happy When

In this social skills lesson, students will get to practice identifying their feelings while thinking about what makes them feel happy. Identifying feelings is an important social skill for kindergarten students to master as they begin to navigate a new social structure, school!
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to connect a feeling with a matching picture.

(5 minutes)
  • Gather the class together for a read aloud.
  • Ask the students, “What are feelings?” Get a few responses, and clarify if needed by saying, “Feelings are what we call the different ways that we feel. There are many different kinds of feelings including happy, sad, angry, excited, scared, worried, and joyful. Today we are going to learn more about our feelings.”
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the book Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy by Scott Menchin
  • Pause as you read to notice the different things that make the characters happy.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask the students to close their eyes and think about a time when they felt sad. Say, “What does your body look like when you are feeling sad?”
  • Have everyone stand up and on the count of three ask everyone to show how their body looks when it is sad.
  • Tell the students to sit down. Ask them to think about what makes them feel better when they are sad. Generate a list of ideas on the board as students share (e.g., petting a dog, eating ice cream, getting a hug).
  • Ask the students to imagine how their bodies feel when they are happy. Repeat the above activity by having the students stand up and show how their bodies look when happy on the count of three.
  • Explain that we all experience many different feelings. Write a list of feelings on the board with student input.
  • Have the students turn and talk to a partner to share a feeling that they felt today.
(20 minutes)
  • Explain that students are going to do an activity where they get to think about what makes them feel happy and then create a piece of art.
  • Demonstrate writing the sentence, “I feel happy when ____.” on the board (leave for reference). Model thinking aloud a time when you feel happy. For example, "I feel happy when I see a friend." Show students a quick drawing or pre-created piece of art of two friends together.
  • Explain that students should think about what makes them feel happy. They will then write their sentence (using the sentence frame on the board to help them) and create a drawing to go with the sentence.
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud the book Taking a Bath with the Dog and Other Things That Make Me Happy by Scott Menchin


  • Provide additional support to students by helping them write what makes them happy on an index card for them to copy.


  • Encourage students to write an additional sentence using invented spelling to describe what makes them happy.
(5 minutes)
  • As students work, assess whether they are able to connect what makes them feel happy with a matching drawing.
(5 minutes)
  • Gather students together and ask several to share their sentences and drawings with the class.
  • Close by saying, “When we can identify what makes us and our classmates happy, we can help to cheer them up if we notice they are sad.”

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