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Lesson One - You are Unique


Upper 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 each week will help you to be the best that you can be. GRIT is an acronym for Getting Along, Building Resilience, Identify Emotions and Taking Responsibility.  


At the end of the Get GRIT Program, you will be a kid with GRIT. What does this mean?

  • 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 Panel.

We learn something from every person we meet in our lives.  We are now going to learn more about each other by asking questions from my interview cards.

Ask the group the following questions and encourage students to share with the group.

  1. What is one word you would use to describe yourself?

  2. Where is your favourite holiday destination?

  3. What are your hobbies?

  4. Which famous person would you most like to meet?  Why?

  5. If you had a superpower what would it be?

  6. Who is your favourite musician?

  7. What was the last good book you read?

  8. What would you like to be when you are older?


Face to Face Greeting Game. 

The aim of this game is to encourage effective communication skills and for students to become familiar with one another.  Choose one student to be ‘it’.  Students walk around the room.  When ‘it’ calls ‘back to back’, all students need to quickly find a partner and stand back-to-back.  When ‘it’ calls face-to-face, students need to find a partner and introduce themselves. Encourage students to use a clear, loud voice (hi, my name is), look the person in the eyes and stand tall. During the change, ‘it’ will try and find a partner and the player left out will become ‘it’.

We are now going to play a game called ‘It’.  I will ask for a volunteer to be ‘it’. We will walk around the room until ‘it’ calls back-back or face-to-face. When ‘it’ calls ‘back to back’, you need to quickly find a partner and stand back-to-back.  When ‘it’ calls face-to-face, you need to find a partner and introduce yourself.  Remember to use a friendly voice when you introduce yourself, look the person in the eyes, smile, use a clear voice and stand confidently. After introducing yourself, the new ‘it’ will be responsible for calling ‘face-to-face’ or ‘back-to-back’. The aim of this game is to find a partner as quickly as you can to avoid becoming ‘it’.  If you don’t find a partner in time you will become it. 


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 for each lesson.  What do you think is important for each member of our group to follow 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

  • Respect the privacy of others

Activity One: Diversity Bingo (10 minutes)

There are no two people in the world who are exactly the same.  We have different hair colours and styles, different eye colour, different skin colour, different body shapes, we also have different personalities, different interests, likes and dislikes, our families may be different and we may speak different languages. While you and I might share the same favourite colour, mine is yellow, or the same favourite food, chocolate for me. We also are different in many different ways.

Hand out a bingo card to each student. 

We are going to play Diversity Bingo. Each of you will get a bingo card. The aim of the game is to see if you can find someone else who shares something in common with you.  Let's look closely at the bingo cards. The first square is eye colour. I wonder if you can find someone else in the room who has the same eye colour as you. If you can, you need to write their name in that square. The second square is favourite sport. What is your favourite sport? Can you find someone else in the room who likes the same sport as you? If you can, you need to write their name in that square. If you are the only person with brown eyes, or the only person who loves tennis.  That's okay, You will just need to leave that square empty.

Invite students to share their bingo cards with the group.

Wouldn't it be a boring world if everyone was exactly the same? If we all looked identical, dressed alike, ate the same foods, spoke the same language, the world would be pretty boring! What makes the world exciting is that we're all different. There is no one in the world like you. Differences make us unique and interesting. Diversity simply means differences. People can be different in many ways. Some of the most obvious differences we may notice are age, language, culture, appearance, disabilities, race or ethnicity, and religion.

Activity Two: Step Together (10 minutes)

We are going to play a game called 'Step Together'. The aim of this game is to see how much you have in common with someone else in our group.

Pick two people from the group and have them face each other six feet apart. Call out different characteristics.  For example; Age, country of birth, hair colour, favourite food, cat vs. dog, eye colour, school, siblings, sunny day or rainy day. If the two people have that characteristic in common, they take a step toward each other.  If the two people differ in that characteristic, they take a step away from each other.

Though the two people may differ in a lot of ways, there will always be something that they have in common.  I want you to pick a partner and face each other standing 3 metres apart. This time I'm going to call out a 'have you' question.  For example, have you got brown eyes?  If you both have the same answer, you can take a step toward each other. If you don't you need to take a step away from each other.

  • Have you got a younger sister?

  • Have you got a black dog?

  • Have you got brown hair?

  • Have you got glasses?

  • Have you got blue eyes?

  • Have you got an older brother?

  • Have you got a fish?

  • Have you ever been angry?

  • Have you felt worried before?

  • Have you been frustrated before?

  • Have you ever felt sad?

  • Have you felt happy before?


We have found something that we will have in common.

Activity Three: Feelings Cards (5 minutes)

There is one thing that we all have in common. Children and adults alike experience a wide range of emotions. We all experience feelings whether it be sad, scared, angry or happy. All feelings are OK and normal. Is it OK to feel angry? Allow time for responses. Yes, it is OK 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 to feel sad. It’s what we do when we are sad that counts. Hurting ourselves or hurting other people because we feel sad, frustrated, worried or angry is not OK.


I want you to look closely at each of my feelings cards and think of a word that best describes how the stick person is feeling. Make sure you look closely at the stick person’s face and body. I want you to write your word on a post-it note and stick it on the card. Don't worry about spelling! This is not a spelling lesson.

Allow time for students to respond to each feeling card.

Pose questions: Did everyone use the same describing word?

Feelings are not always clear and sometimes they can be hard to work out. This is called emotional intelligence. We all have our strengths. For some people, Maths comes easily, for others it's science. Some people have high emotional intelligence, which means they are especially good at recognising and managing their own emotions as well as empathising and understanding how others may be feeling. The good news is, just like learning Maths, these skills can be learned and with practice, you can improve your emotional intelligence.

It’s really important to pay attention to our feelings.

Pose the question: Why do you think it is important to pay attention to our feelings?


Yes, if we can identify our feelings we can regulate and manage them. This is especially important when we experience really strong feelings like anger, anxiety and fear.

Pose the question: Why do you think it is important to pay attention to other people’s feelings?

Yes, so we can empathise and help them in any possible way.

Activity Four: Understanding Body Clues; 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 faces and our bodies when we are happy, angry, sad and worried.  They are our 4 main feelings, I like to think of them like our primary colours. However, each of these feelings ranges in intensity and there are many words to describe these feelings.

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 experiencing that emotion.

  • 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 worried?  What happens to our faces? (Butterflies in stomach, eyebrows frown, mouth straight, shoulders roll)


Complete the body clues worksheet in pairs. Invite each pair to share their work.


Activity Five: Empathy (10 minutes)

A person’s face and body can reveal a lot about how they are feeling. There are non-verbal cues as well as verbal cues.What is the difference between a non-verbal and a verbal cue?


Verbal cues include:


  • Tone of voice

  • What they are saying


Non-verbal cues include:

  • Facial expressions

  • Body language – posture, eye contact, eye gaze, personal space, hand gestures, body movements,


Non-verbal clues are very powerful. Sometimes non-verbal clues and verbal clues don’t match. Who can think of an example of this?


Sarcasm is an example. For example, saying something nice with a mocking tone. Let’s take it in turns saying the word, ‘yeah’ as in ‘yes’ in different expressions and tones.


By listening to verbal cues and by looking for non-verbal clues you can understand and get along with people better.


If you notice someone unhappy, you can acknowledge how they are feeling by saying, ‘You look…’ and then you can ask how you could help them. This is called empathy. Empathy is a really important quality in a person. Empathy is about trying to understand how someone is feeling. Have you ever heard of the saying, ‘In someone else’s shoes? What do you think this means?


It means that we try to understand how someone else is feeling.

Pose the questions:


  • Can you think of a time when you helped someone?

  • How do you think they were feeling?

  • What did you do or say to help them?

  • How did you feel after helping them?

  • Can you think of a time someone helped you?

  • What did they say or do to help you?

  • How did you feel after they helped you?


Read ' A Little Spot of Empathy'.


Mute the recording so you can read the story to your students.

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 we didn't complete today with your journal mate. Your journal mate might be one of your parents, your grandparents or an aunt or uncle. 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.

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