Feelings Lesson Plan for Middle School

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Middle school is an important time to teach students about emotions in both scientific and personal terms. This lesson plan will help students practice developing emotional awareness, as well as communicating their emotions.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the concept of emotions within the context of foundational theories of neuroscience and psychology
  • Demonstrate personal emotional awareness
  • Practice writing about emotions and feelings


60-90 minutes

Curriculum Standards


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


Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.



  • Ask students how they are doing today. Let them reply (it should be an automatic response) and then ask them to consider their response. Is that really how they are feeling?
  • Ask students to discuss the following questions as a class.
    • What are feelings? What makes us aware of our feelings?
    • Why are feelings important? Would life be easier or harder without feelings?
    • What is empathy? Can seeing someone experience emotion make you feel that same emotion? Why do you think that is?
  • Distribute copies of the lesson What are Emotions? - Lesson for Kids.
  • You will read this lesson as a class, with one student reading aloud at a time. Switch the reader with every paragraph. Using this method, read the sections ''Understanding Emotions'' and ''The Science Behind Emotions''. Pause here to discuss this information.
    • What are emotions? Does this lesson use a different definition than the one we came up with?
    • Why is it important to understand the science behind emotions? What does it mean that our emotions are based on chemical signals in the brain? Does this mean that we have no control over our emotions?
  • Continue reading the lesson as a class, and complete the remaining sections. Discuss this information as a class.
    • How do emotions help us to understand and interact with the world around us?
    • How do we recognize when we are experiencing appropriate emotions? Is it always good to be happy? Is it always bad to be sad or angry?
  • You may test student understanding with the lesson quiz.

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