Lesson One - You Are Unique

Lower Primary 


Identifying and Recognising Emotions



SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL COMPETENCY: Self-Awareness, Social Awareness




Students will:

  • Identify personal qualities

  • Appreciate diversity

  • Recognise similarities and differences between themselves and others

  • Identify emotions in themselves and others

  • Recognise the body’s reaction to feelings: body cues

  • Understand how and when to assist others (empathy development)


KEY VOCABULARY: Similarities, differences, empathy, feelings, warning signs, body clues, happy, sad, worried, angry.



Background Information


The first lesson in the program focuses on developing self-awareness.  Students are encouraged to appreciate diversity by recognising personal qualities and similarities and differences between peers and familiar people.  Recognising similarities and differences leads into the discussion about how we all experience feelings and emotions.  By normalising feelings children understand that all feelings they experience are normal and OK.  It is important to teach children to not be ashamed of their feelings – good or bad.  


Children need to learn how to recognise their feelings in order to learn how to manage them.  These skills need to be explicitly taught just like learning to read and write.  Children who are explicitly taught social and emotional skills are more likely to succeed at school, develop healthy relationships and are also less likely to develop mental health problems. As children grow, their emotions become more complex. How a child responds to different feelings and emotions will have a significant impact on how they cope and enjoy school life. 


The aim of this lesson is to improve self-monitoring so that children are able to recognise arousal states and raise awareness of behaviours so that they are then able to use the strategies and tools to manage their emotional responses. In Lesson One, students will also learn about how to read the body language of others so that they can try to understand how those around them are feeling and respond emphatically.  Students are made aware that other people have feelings and thoughts that are different to their own. 


Lesson Plan

 1. Introductory Discussion

 Welcome to Get GRIT.  Are you ready to Get GRIT?

 Write the word GRIT on the board.


Do you know what it means to get GRIT? Allow time for children to respond.

GRIT is an acronym for Getting Along, Building Resilience, Identify Emotions and Taking Responsibility.  Each time we meet, we are going to learn really important skills. These skills will help you each and every day throughout your life.  These skills will help you to enjoy your day, learn new things, get along with your friends and be resilient. We will be learning all these important skills while playing games and having fun.  So, who is ready to Get GRIT?

Today we are going to talk about the ‘I’ in GRIT which is about identifying feelings.  We will be learning about the different feelings we have and what happens to our bodies when we have those feelings.  But first let’s start with a game.

2. Warm-up Activities: Getting To Know You (5 minutes)

 Getting to Know You Circle.

 Ask the students to form a circle and to sit down. Explain to the group that we are going to learn more about each other.  Model introducing yourself emphasizing the importance of eye contact and a clear and loud voice. After introducing yourself, share something personal (E.g. I have a sister, I have a dog, my favourite colour is yellow). Ask the group if anyone shares your similarity (E.g. does anyone else have a sister) then roll the ball to a student who shares a similarity.  Encourage that student to introduce themselves to the group and to also share something personal. Continue until all members of the group have introduced themselves. You may like to place stickers on the ball and invite the students to take a sticker after introducing themselves to the group.

Call Your Name Game.

Ask the students to form a circle. Invite each student to say their name aloud when the ball is rolled to them. After a few minutes, explain to the students that the rules are going to change and that they must now call out the name of the student they are rolling the ball to. Encourage students to include everyone in the class.


3.         Establishing Group Guidelines (5 minutes)

Before we begin, as a group, we are going to record a list of guidelines that are important for every member of our group to follow so that our lessons are a positive experience for everyone.  I will display our group guidelines each lesson.  What do you think it important for each member of our group to follow in order for us to learn together?

The aim of this activity is to help establish group guidelines to ensure, during each session, the group functions effectively.  Ask students, what do you think is really important for our group in order for us to learn together?  Record the students’ answers on the Group Guidelines Template. Ask each student to sign their name on the paper to show that they agree to follow the group guidelines.

Developing shared rules within any group is important as it allows ownership of how things will run as well as being used for accountability when rules are not adhered to. It is important to always have the group guidelines displayed every lesson so that at any time the teacher can reference the guidelines if a student is being disruptive or interrupting the lesson.

 You might like to include the following guidelines:

  • Only one person speaks at a time (hand up)

  • Listen when the teacher or other students are talking

  • There are no right or wrong answers

  • We all participate in every game and activity


 4.         Activity 1: You Are Unique (5 minutes)

How would you feel if all the crayons or pencils in your box were the same colour?  Or how would you feel if all your toys were exactly the same.  It wouldn’t be much fun. Having a box of different colours and playing with different toys makes things more interesting.

Just like a box of colourful crayons, people share similarities and differences.  Similarities means the same.  Imagine if we were all same, it would be very boring.  Imagine if we all had the same name or if we all looked the same, it would be confusing! 

Differences make us unique and interesting!

There is no one in the world like you! We have different interests, likes and dislikes, our families may look different, we may speak different languages, our houses may be different and our schools may look different too.

There are no two people in the world who are exactly the same. While you and I might share the same favourite colour (mines yellow) or the same favourite food (chocolate for me) we also have differences.

Pose question: What makes you unique?  



5.      Activity 2: Differences Make Life Interesting and Fun! (5 minutes)

We are going to play a game now.  The game is called, 'Would You Rather?'  I'm going to read a ‘would you rather’ question to you.  For example, 'Would you rather chocolate or lollies? If you would rather the first option you need to stand tall like a number 1.  Stretching your arms above your head.  If you rather the second option you need to stretch your two arms out like a T for the number Two. Let's practise, Would you rather chocolate (stretch your arms above your head) or lollies (stretch your arms our like a T).  Me I would rather chocolate, are we the same or are we different?

Let’s see if you we share other similarities or differences.

Would you rather questions:

  • Would you rather a sunny day or a raining day?

  • Would you rather have a magic carpet that flies or your own personal robot?

  • Would you rather ride a bike or fly a kite?

  • Would you rather go on a holiday to the beach or the snow?

  • Would you rather have three eyes or two noses?

  • Would you rather popcorn or chips? Would you rather a dog or a cat?


6.         Activity 3: Similarities and Differences: Just Like Me (5 minutes)

The game, ‘Just Like Me’, reinforces the concepts of similar and different through learning about similarities and differences between group members. Play upbeat music and encourage students to dance to the music.  When the music stops, call out a statement (same shoe size, same colour hair, same age, has a sister, has a brother, same hand size, boy or girl etc.) and students need to find someone who is similar to them.

Let’s play another game to find out who in our group shares similarities. We are going to play a game called ‘Just Like Me’.  I’m going to play a song, when the music stops I will call out a statement, such as ‘same colour eyes’.  You need to link arms or stand next to anyone who has the same colour eyes as you.  (If students don’t feel comfortable linking arms, then they can stand next to each other).

 Invite students to sit back on the mat or table.

7.        Activity 4: Mem Fox ‘Whoever You Are’ (5 minutes)

The aim of this activity is to encourage students to appreciate diversity and recognise that we share similarities and we also have differences. Read Mem Fox’s, ‘Whoever You Are’.  The story is about accepting and appreciating differences and identifying similarities between little ones all over the world.  After sharing the story, discuss the differences and similarities between the children in the story.

We are going to read a story now called 'Whoever You Are', by Mem Fox.  The story looks at similarities and differences between children all over the world. 

Read story. Pose questions:

  • What were some differences between the children in the story?

  • How are they different to you?

  • What were some similarities between the children in the story?

  • How are they the same as you?


It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from we all experience feelings.  In the story, we read how children all over the world experience feelings of happiness, sadness as well as angry and worried feelings. We may look different on the outside, but one thing that we all have in common are feelings. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, we all at times feel sad, scared, angry or happy.  All feelings are OK and normal.

Is it OK to feel angry? Yes, it is OK and normal to feel angry.  We all at times feel angry.  It’s what we do when we are angry that is important. 

Is it OK to feel sad?  Yes, it is OK and normal to feel sad.  It’s what we do when we are sad that counts.  Hurting ourselves or hurting other people because we feel sad or angry is not OK.

Is it OK to feel worried?  Yes it is OK and normal to feel worried. Worry becomes a problem when it stop us from enjoying our day and trying new things.

Did you know our body gives us clues to how we are feeling?  It is important to pay attention to the clues your body gives you.  Why do you think it is important to listen to the clues your body gives you?

When we pay attention to the clues our body gives us, we can better manage our emotions.  When we learn to manage our emotions we are more resilient and happier.  Learning to manage our emotions will help us to enjoy and make the most of every day. We experience lots of different feelings.  We are going to watch a short video clip.  Watch closely and see if you can you guess the feeling.


​8.        Activity 5: Guess the Feeling (5 minutes)


The following movie clip is a short clip from the movie Inside Out.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOkyKyVFnSs



9.         Activity 6: Body Cues: The Warning Signs (10 minutes)

The aim of this activity is to teach students to be aware of how their bodies respond when they experience different feelings.  In small groups, students draw on the template of the body the clues their body gives them when they experience different feelings. Ask one group to draw the clues their body gives them when they are happy.  Ask another group to draw the clues their body gives them when they are sad.  Ask one group to draw the clues their body gives them when they are angry.  Ask one group to draw the clues their body gives them when they are worried. Once students complete the activity, display the posters and talk about what happens to our face and body for each feeling.

Our body gives us clues to how we are feeling.  It is important to pay attention to your feelings.  We are now going to think about what happens to our face and our bodies when we are happy, angry, sad and worried. We are going to break into small groups and I will give each group a different feeling.  You need to draw on the body what happens to your face and body when you are feeling that particular feeling.

  • When we are feeling happy where on our body do we feel happy?  What happens to our face?  (Smile, eyes are wide, stand up tall)

  • When we are angry where on our body do we feel angry?  What happens to our face?  (Hands clench, stomach tightens, eyebrows frown, teeth clench, eyes narrow)

  • When we are sad where on our body do we feel sadness? What happens to our face? (Tears, eyes narrow, mouth frowns, shoulders roll)

  • When we are worried where on our body do we feel worry?  What happens to our face? (Butterflies in stomach, eyebrows frown, mouth straight, shoulders roll)



10.        Activity 7: Bear Cards Memory Game (10 minutes)

Bear Cards feature 48 bear characters showing a wide range of emotions.  The cards engage children and help them to recognize, identify and talk about feelings. You will need either 2 packs of bear cards to play Memory OR choose an even amount of angry, sad, worried and happy cards and explain to the group that the aim of the game is to match an angry bear with another angry bear etc. (they are colour coded). Once the cards are spread out on the ground.  Ask students to choose two bears and compare the two.

We are going to play a game of memory with my Bear cards.  The Bear cards are pictures of bears who are experiencing lots of different emotions.  Some bears are angry, some bears are sad, happy and worried.  While we are playing, we are going to look closely at each bear’s face and body and talk about what we think the bear is feeling.


Encourage students to look at the bear’s face and the bear’s body and look for body clues.

 Pose questions:

  • Are they different?

  • What are the bears feeling?

  • How do you know the bear is feeling sad, happy, and angry or worried?’



​11.         Activity 8: Practising Empathy – Guess my Feeling (10 minutes)

A person’s face and body can reveal a lot about how they are feeling.  If you notice someone looking unhappy, you can acknowledge how they are feeling by saying, ‘You look…’ and then you can ask how they you could help them.  When you are feeling unhappy, it’s nice to have someone show that they care about you.

 Ask for a volunteer to act out a feeling.  Students need to guess the feeling by saying, ‘You are feeling….’  Encourage the student who guess correctly to think of a way they could help that student.  By encouraging the students to answer with, ‘You are feeling sad etc.’ they are practising empathy.  This encourages the students to acknowledge how another person is feeling before asking if they are able to help them. 

 12.       Concluding Activity: Pass the Smile (5 minutes)

 Sit in a circle.  Choose one student to smile his widest, silliest smile at everyone to try and make someone giggle or laugh.  He gets a point for everyone who can’t keep a totally straight face.  Continue game ensuring all students get a turn.

 A smile is contagious, when someone smiles at you it is hard not to smile too!  Always remember how powerful a smile can be.


Close session: Thank the group for their participation throughout the session.  Encourage them to practice the new skills they learned during the week.  Share with the group an exciting activity that they will do during the next GRIT lesson.

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