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.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Emotion Charades pre-lesson.
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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.

Learning Objectives

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)
Understanding Feelings
  • 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!

Beginning: Model using pictures to help identify how David is feeling. For example, when David is sent to his room, pause and say, "I'm looking at David's face, and I can tell he looks angry because his eyebrows are slanted down. I think David feels angry because he has to go to his room."


  • Pass out sticky notes to the students.
  • Write the following sentence stem on the board:
    • In the beginning, David feels ________.
    • At the end, David feels ________.
  • Ask students to write down the sentence stem on their sticky note and record the emotions David is feeling in the blank as the story is read aloud.