Lesson plan

Mad, Sad, Happy, Glad: Character Feelings

Your students will have loads of fun discovering new words and using them describe the feelings of different characters. Featuring No, David! by David Shannon, this lesson will help kids practice reading and writing.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Emotion Charades pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Emotion Charades pre-lesson.

Children learn to use adjectives to describe a variety of feelings in this reading and writing lesson plan designed for first and second grade learners. Using the words mad, sad, happy, glad as a jumping off point, learners will brainstorm a list of other words that can be used to describe character feelings. Then, using their list of words and sentence strips, children will practice describing how the character David felt at different points in the story No, David! by David Shannon, as well as how they have felt in various situations.

Students will be able to identify feelings using a variety of words.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Gather the students in the reading circle.
  • Tell them today, they will learn about how characters feel (their character traits), act, or look to help them understand a story more clearly.
  • Read aloud the story No, David!
(10 minutes)
  • Divide a sheet of chart paper into three sections.
  • Write each of these words in one section: glad/happy, sad, mad.
  • Explain to the students that together, you will brainstorm more words to describe feelings besides the words listed on the chart. For example: angry, excited, and unhappy.
  • After brainstorming, read the lists to the students.
(10 minutes)
  • Write this prompt on chart paper: David felt ___ when he ___.
  • Encourage students to tell you how David felt in a certain situation.
  • Fill in the blanks on the chart paper.
  • Continue with at least three more fill-in-the-blanks. Remind the students to choose a word from the word list.
  • Go back and read the sentences with the students.
(10 minutes)
  • Send the students back to their seat with sentence strips.
  • Write this prompt on a sheet of chart paper: I felt ___ when I ___.
  • Let the students copy the prompt onto their sentence strips. Circulate the room to make sure the students have their blanks in the appropriate places.
  • Tell the students to think of a time and how they felt at that time. Have them use words from the brainstormed list to fill in the blanks.

Enrichment: Advanced students can copy the prompt in their language journals and write a short story of the incident and the feelings they had.

Support: Struggling students can dictate their sentences to you. Write each one on a sticky note and let them copy it.

(10 minutes)
  • Let the students read their sentences. Highlight the alternative words they chose to use.
  • Check to be sure the words they chose reflect the appropriate feelings.
  • Leave the brainstorm sheet up for those students who need additional help.
(5 minutes)
  • Go back to the sentences on the chart paper. Read them.
  • Read the brainstorm word list.

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