Emotional Intelligence Group Activities

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Emotional intelligence addresses the impact emotions and moods have on behavior. This asset offers activities to support group instruction about emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence

Students with a high degree of emotional intelligence understand and control their own emotions and can read the moods of others and respond appropriately. The following group activities support your students of various grade levels in the development of emotional intelligence.

Making Connections

Grade level: 6th - 12th


  • 1-minute timer
  • index cards prepared with the following questions:
    • When do you feel happy?
    • When do you feel sad?
    • If you were given $100, what would you do with it? Why?
    • What motivates you?
    • Who has most influenced you? Why?
    • What adjectives would your friends and family use to describe you?


  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Have the youngest person in each group select a card. This person will read the card aloud. This student will answer the question with as much detail as possible in 1 minute.
  • The next student moving clockwise will be given a minute to answer the same question. Repeat until all students have answered the question.
  • Have the second youngest person draw another card and repeat the process.
  • After completing the exercise, have students reflect on their feelings associated with being vulnerable in a group and the connections they made with others in the group.

Exploring Emotions

Grade level: 6th - 12th


  • sticky notes


  • Have students brainstorm as many emotions as possible and write each emotion on a separate sticky note.
  • Divide students into small groups and have students sort the emotions into categories to find duplicates.
  • From the non-duplicated sticky notes, have each student select one emotion.
  • Have students pass this emotion clockwise to the person next to them as the starting emotion.
  • Have each student share a situation that would lead them to have the feelings listed on their sticky note.
  • Have each student choose another sticky note from those that have not yet been selected.
  • Have each student share something that could shift their emotions from the first scenario to the emotion on the second sticky note.
  • After everyone has had a turn to share, have students reflect on factors that contribute to shifting emotions and implications for controlling behavior related to emotions.

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