Anger Management Games & Activities

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Helping students learn to cope with and deal effectively with their anger is essential for running a smooth classroom. This lesson gives ideas of games and activities you can use to teach student anger management skills for all ages.

Students and Anger

Let's face it - we all experience anger from time to time. Whether it's a short burst of frustration at a fellow driver or an all-out argument with a close friend, life provides us with many situations that can push our buttons. Children are no different. They experience the same wide range of emotions we do as adults, and it's one of our jobs as educators to help them learn to manage these emotions in an acceptable way.

When discussing emotions, especially those typically labeled as 'negative,' such as anger, it's important to explain this fact. The adults in their lives model for them a wide array of methods for dealing with emotions. It's likely they've seen adults shout, cry and, sadly, even resort to physical violence. Talk about how it makes them feel to see another person acting in this way, and make it part of the lesson that we're all responsible for how we act. Tell them that while they don't always get to choose the emotion they're having, they do get to choose how to deal with it.

Dealing with Anger

One of the most important things you can do to teach children positive behavior outcomes is to be a role model. This means that, before introducing games and activities to teach anger management, you have to make sure you show them how this looks in action. By showing them that even you have to sometimes take a breath and count to ten, they'll better understand that anger can be controlled and effectively managed.

Reinforce these conversations about anger management with some games and activities. Having resources for play and interacting helps students practice anger-management in a safe environment. This way, they'll be ready for when they begin feeling angry and have a solid plan in place.

The Angry Octopus Game

One great way to engage students is to pair lessons with mentor texts. This anger-management activity starts off with the reading of the book The Angry Octopus by Lori Lite, then hooks concepts into an all-class activity. Take a look.

Materials

  • Text The Angry Octopus by Lori Lite
  • Tissue paper
  • Rubber bands
  • Newspaper
  • Scissors
  • Markers
  • Chart paper
  • Paper and pencils

Instructions

  1. Gather students around and introduce the book. Look at the front and back covers and a few inside pages and make predictions about learning.
  2. Ask students to turn and talk to a friend about what they do when they become angry, then briefly share strategies for anger management.
  3. Now read the book aloud to students.
  4. Draw an octopus on the chart paper and label it 'Ways to Manage Anger.'
  5. Think of how the octopus in the story used anger management strategies and have students share and write ideas in each of the eight arms.
  6. Now have students return to their seats and brainstorm ways they manage anger and write a list.
  7. Give each student a piece of tissue paper and have them roll a small amount of newspaper into a ball. Place the ball in the middle of the tissue paper and close around the ball, carefully securing with a rubber band. This is now the head of an octopus.
  8. Have students cut the bottom part of the tissue paper into eight strips for arms.
  9. Have students label each strip with their anger management techniques, then draw a face on their octopus.
  10. Hang from the ceiling above desks so students have a visual reminder of their techniques.

M&M Anger Management Game

You'll have students at hello with this game involving candy and conversation. Just a little prep time, and it's ready to go.

Materials

  • Game Board - Prepare by choosing a problem-solving technique for each color of M&M and creating a chart. For example, draw and color a yellow circle to represent yellow M&Ms, then write 'What I can do if I don't get a turn to play.' Do one real-life example for each color.
  • Fun-sized packs of M&Ms

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