I can only take credit for 3/8ths of this idea. The other 5/8ths belong to Marissa at Elementary School Counseling.
I used this lesson for Kinders, 1st, and 2nd graders (pretty versatile). The Kinders got the second part during their small group Social Skills lessons, while 1st and 2nd graders got it during their bi-monthly guidance lesson.
Topics Covered: Caring, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Responsible Behavior, Problem Solving
(This would be the 3/5ths I actually came up with)
I clearly needed to divide this into two parts so you knew which part to exclude for Kinders!
I can’t recall if I have ever mention this book, but . . . oh there it is yes, yes I have. In fact, I mentioned this book in my lesson I Really Am A Star, which I actually did with the Kindergarten classes. Thinking out loud here, but this is exactly why the Kindergarteners only received the second part of this lesson. I knew there was a method to my madness!
Anyways, I started the lesson by reading the boys The Way I Feel by Janan Cain.
This book helps children find words to name their feelings and helps them to understand that feelings are neither good nor bad. I really enjoy this book because it allows the boys the opportunity to open up about their lives as they look at the pictures, view the characters’ faces, and hear the words identifying each feeling.
Once we had finished reading, I had asked the boys to help identify the feelings in the book that would make us feel good. Happy, Silly (I always have to stop here and explain that it’s fun to be silly, but being silly at bad times might get us in trouble. It’s usually wise to name places where being silly is appropriate), Proud, Excited, and Thankful. For each feeling, I had printed off a picture of a face to help them identify facial expression as well.
(Thank you Marissa)
I introduce the Pixar clip Boundin’.
I explain to the boys that in this clip we are going to see a lot of feelings that would make us feel good and some feelings that would make us feel not so good. I also like to give them some background on the clip, otherwise the entire video all you will hear are little boys trying to figure out what in the world the Jackalope is. So anyways here how it kind of sounded:
“We are going to watch a short movie about a little lamb that is very proud of his wool. In fact, he is so proud that he dances around. His happiness makes all the other animals want to be happy, too. Except one day, something happens to the lamb that makes him feel sad and embarrassed. Until a Jackalope (insert explanation here) comes by one day. He sees how upset the lamb is and he says some things to the lamb that make him feel better. I want you to pay attention to how the Jackalope makes the lamb feel proud and happy again.”
Okay, so now you show the video, which is so adorable, and which would explain why I couldn’t just use this lesson for one grade level. Instead, I HAD to see it 10 times (and I’m not exaggerating).
At the end, you talk about what the Jackalope said to the lamb to make him feel better. We talk about the power of a compliment and how it always feels good to hear good things about yourself.
At this point, I pass out a Boundin’ activity sheet to each boy. Where is says, “Say something nice about _______.” I inputted all the boys names here already. In the blank space, the boys are to write down something nice about the person I have assigned them, then (true to form) they draw a NICE picture. Kind of like the last two activities, Trees of Thanks and Thanking Friends, this whole activity was also done anonymously.
At the end of the activity, I gathered all of the pictures and passed them out to the correct people so they could read what their friend had written about them. At the very bottom of the sheet, they picked one of our new feeling words to express how their friend had made them feel.
And because I loved the activity so much and the boys had written really cute things about each other, I made the sheets into Class Books and placed them outside of my door to share with the other teachers, students, and parents.
And you know me, I LOVE my class books!