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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.



The first lesson in the program will focus on developing self-awareness.  Self-awareness is the ability to tune in to your feelings, thoughts and actions.  Self-awareness is a key factor in Emotional Intelligence. Lesson one encourages students to recognise and name their strengths, challenges, likes and dislikes.  Students are encouraged to appreciate diversity by recognising personal qualities and similarities and differences between peers and familiar people. Lesson one also teaches children how to identify the clues or warning signs their body gives them when experiencing different emotions.  Children need to learn first how to recognise feelings in order to learn how to manage them. The aim of the first session is to improve and develop the children's self-monitoring skills in order 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.

Lesson Plan

Introductory Discussion

Welcome to the Get GRIT Program! I look forward to meeting you every (day and time).  You may be wondering what GRIT is all about? The lessons I will be teaching you will help you to be the best that you can be.

Write the word GRIT on the board.


GRIT is an acronym, this means that each letter stands for something. G is for Getting Along, R is for building Resilience, I is for Identifying emotions and T is taking responsibility.


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

At the end of the Get GRIT Program, you will be a kid with GRIT. 


boy sitted (3).jpg
  • Kids with GRIT have a positive attitude and a growth mindset. They believe they can do anything they set their minds to.

  • Kids with GRIT never give up.  They believe that challenges will make them smarter and they believe that mistakes are proof that they are trying.

  • Kids with GRIT are persistent and resilient.  They dream big and work hard towards making those dreams come true.

  • Kids with GRIT know that they are the boss of their thoughts and their feelings.  They manage their anger, frustrations, and worries and bounce back from difficulties.

  • Kids with GRIT catch unhelpful I Can’t thoughts that stop them from enjoying their day and change them into helpful I Can thoughts.

  • Kids with GRIT maintain friendships by sharing, taking turns, and being honest and trustworthy- they don’t play to win the game but to win friendships.

  • Finally, kids with GRIT know how to stand up for themselves and are confident, courageous, and brave.


Are you ready to get GRIT? Yes! Let's get started. 


Our Get GRIT lessons will involve games, craft activities and group discussions. At the end of today's session, I will give you your Get GRIT Journal. Your Get GRIT Journal is for you to complete at home with a journal mate. Who is a journal mate?  A journal mate is a family member or a friend who can share your Get GRIT journey with you.  Your journal mate might be your mother, father, grandmother, aunt, uncle, teacher or friend. Your journal is really important because it gives you the opportunity to practise what you learn with me. 

Let's begin today's session by getting to know one another. 



Warm-up Activities: Getting To Know You (10 minutes)

Getting to Know You Circle.

Ask the students to sit down in a circle. 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 the 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 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.

Establishing Group Guidelines (5 minutes)

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 for each lesson.  What do you believe is 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


Activity 1: Differences Make Life Interesting and Fun! (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.  Similarity 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 the question: What makes you unique?  Allow children to respond.

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 have the first option you need to stand tall like a number 1.  Stretching your arms above your head.  If you rather have the second option you need to stretch your two arms out like a T for the Number Two. Let's practise, Would you rather have chocolate (stretch your arms above your head) or lollies (stretch your arms out like a T).  Me I would rather have chocolate, are we the same or are we different?

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

Would you rather questions:

  • Would you rather have a sunny day or a rainy 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 have popcorn or chips? Would you rather have a dog or a cat?


Activity 2: 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.

Activity 3: Mem Fox ‘Whoever You Are’ (10 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 stops 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.   


Activity 4: Read Story, 'A Little Spot of Feelings' by Diana Alber (10 minutes)


We are now going to listen to a story called, 'A Little Spot of Feelings'.

You may like to mute the video so that you can read the story to the students.


Watch the video A Little Spot of Feelings - Emotion Detective By Diane Alber 

Activity 5: 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 body template the clues their body gives them when they experience different feelings. Divide the students into 4 groups and allocate each group angry, worried, sad and happy.  Once students complete the activity, display the posters and discuss their work.

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 facial movements 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 faces?  (Smile, eyes are wide, stand up tall)

When we are angry where on our body do we feel angry?  What happens to our faces?  (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 faces? (Tears, eyes narrow, mouth frowns, shoulders roll)

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


Activity 6: Practising Empathy – Guess my Feeling (5 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 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 guesses 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. 

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.

Remember, all feelings are OK, there are no wrong or right feelings. Learning to recognise the signs of different feelings will help you manage them in a positive way. A person's face and body tells you a lot about how they are feeling. Empathy is about understanding and sharing how someone else is feeling. Try to find time this week to work through the activities that we didn't complete today with your journal mate. Enjoy your week and I look forward to seeing you again next week.

Close the 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.

Additional Video

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