Lesson plan

My Many Colored Days

In this lesson, students will read the story *My Many Colored Days* by Dr. Seuss, and reflect on the many different feelings we may experience. They will use body maps to color in where they may feel different emotions in their body.
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  • Students will be able to use a variety of feeling words.
  • Students will be able to articulate how they feel when they experience certain emotions.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring students into a circle, either seated in chairs or on the floor.
  • Guide students in a mindful breathing session.
  • Ask them to sit upright comfortably and come to stillness (as much as they can) with quiet bodies.
  • Ask students to close their eyes or look down at the floor and take a few deep breaths to feel their belly slowly rise and fall.
  • If their minds wander, ask them to gently bring their attention back to the feeling of their breath or belly.
  • Ask students what they noticed and how they feel.
  • Review the definition of mindfulness:
    • Mindfulness is paying attention to what is happening in the present moment with gentleness, kindness, and curiosity.
  • Ask students what they paid kind attention to during the practice session.
  • Explain to students that we will be talking about how we can bring kind attention to emotions and how emotions are always changing.
  • Explain that we will also be exploring where emotions are felt in the body.
(5 minutes)
  • Show students the book, My Many Colored Days.
  • Ask them to make predictions, then ask how they think this book might connect to emotions.
  • Read through the book, My Many Colored Days, pausing periodically after each animal. Ask students to describe a time that they felt the emotion or mood.
  • At the end of the story, ask the students about how the different colors relate to moods and feelings.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain to students that there is no "good" or "bad" emotion.
  • Emotions come and go. When we can notice them in our bodies, we are able to allow them to pass through.
  • Ask students to close their eyes, or to hold a soft gaze, and to take a few deep breaths into their belly again.
  • Guide them to think of something or someone they are grateful for (their pet, favorite stuffed animal, best friend, etc.). Ask them to imagine that this person or object is with them right now and to bring up as much thankfulness as they can for them.
  • Ask them to notice where they may feel gratitude in their body (pause for one minute) and to label the emotion in their mind as "thankfulness."
  • Ask them to take a full breath in and to open their eyes when they are ready.
  • Ask students where they felt thankfulness or gratitude in their body (e.g. their heart).
  • Ask them what color may connect with this emotion.
  • Ask the class to vote on a color which they associate with the emotion of gratitude (e.g. green).
  • Next to "Gratitude" on the Emotions Body Map key on the board, shade in the color the class voted on for that emotion.
  • At the heart area (associated with gratitude or thankfulness) on the Emotions Body Map, shade in the color the class voted on to represent gratitude.
  • Guide students to think of a time when they were angry (on a scale from one to ten, a time when they experienced anger as a five). Ask where they felt it in their body and to label this feeling as the emotion of "anger" in their mind. Then, ask them to shade in the key for anger and color in the associated place on the Emotions Body Map.
  • Guide students through this same sequence with the emotions of fear and love.
  • Explain to them that labeling emotions can help bring kind attention to the emotion and will allow the emotion to take its natural course through their bodies.
  • Ask students when they can use labeling emotions on their own.
  • Ask students if anyone has questions.
(25 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will now create their own Emotions Body Map at their seats.
  • Students will go back to their seat and complete the Emotions Body Map handout independently. They will shade in regions according to the specific colors they associate with emotions and the parts of their bodies where they feel these emotions.

Enrichment: For students who finish their worksheet early, ask them to write about about a time they used tools of mindfulness (breath, movement, etc.) to stay cool and calm.

Support: Teacher may work with a small group of students who have difficulty identifying and regulating emotions.

(5 minutes)
  • Observe students while working at their seats during the Independent Work time. You can also collect their handouts to check for understanding.
(5 minutes)
  • After all students have completed the Emotions Body Map worksheet, ask students if they have any questions.
  • Ask students what they may do when they notice an emotion in their body (i.e. labeling emotions with kindness and curioisty, feeling their breath, reminding themselves that it will not last forever as emotions are always changing).
  • Explain to them that all of us experience different emotions every day and that emotions are always changing.
  • Remind them to review the Emotions Body Map any time during the day to remind them that each day and/or moment can be colored with different emotions.
  • They can also use the Emotions Body Map to check in with how they may be feeling and remind themselves that it is always okay to be feeling what they are feeling.
  • Explain to them that as a class we will practice saying, "I feel anger" or "I feel happiness," instead of, "I am angry" or "I am happy." This shows that we are not neccessarily the emotions we feel.

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