Emotions Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Introduce your students to emotions and their connection to the brain with this lesson plan. Students will watch a video lesson for direct instruction, then they will work cooperatively to explore emotions more closely and finish with a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'emotion'
  • explain the relationship between the brain and emotions
  • describe how and why emotions are important for human survival
  • identify and discuss ways to express emotions non-verbally


1 - 1.5 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.4

Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


Key Vocabulary

  • Emotion
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Amygdala
  • Fear
  • Love
  • Non-verbal communication

Warm-Up and Preparation

  • One to two weeks before this lesson, have students make a chart in their notebooks titled 'Emotions' and with columns labeled 'Emotion,' 'Time of Day,' 'Circumstances,' and 'Coping Strategy.' Have them label the rows with the days/dates for the week.
  • Explain each component to students, first by brainstorming a list of possible emotions they may feel, then by explaining that 'Circumstances' refers to what is going on when they feel the emotion and that 'Coping Strategy' refers to how they handle the situation.
  • Walk through one or two examples, if necessary, then tell students to track their emotions in the chart for the specified time period.
  • Start class by having students take out their charts and briefly review, then break students into small groups to share. Remind students of proper peer support and conversation protocol, if desired.
  • Have groups write each emotion they had and tally. How many times were students angry? How many times were they happy? Fearful?
  • Share answers as a whole group, then briefly discuss some coping strategies. How did students handle these emotions?

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