Teaching Guide:
Handling Emotions

for grades 5-9

This material is from the teaching guide
for the video
"Handling Emotions"
in the DVD series Big Changes, Big Choices.


All of us experience a wide range of emotions in our lives. Usually, that's a good thing. But sometimes we have difficulty controlling our emotions, even to the point of letting our emotions control our behavior. Usually, that's not such a good thing. Here are some helpful suggestions for handling your emotions.

  Be honest with yourself.

 Talk to somebody about your feelings.

  Don't ignore your emotions, they are telling you something.

•  If you are having an unpleasant feeling, think of something you can do that will help, and then do it.

 Find positive ways to express anger that are not hurtful to others.

  Remember, whatever you are feeling, you're not alone.

  Try not to get overwhelmed, things usually improve.

•  If you do get overwhelmed—ask for help.


"Handling Emotions"
The Video

This video teaches young adolescents:

 That it's healthy and normal to experience a wide range of feelings—both pleasant and unpleasant.

 That it's important to identify and understand what we're feeling so we can maintain a healthy perspective and choose the best ways to cope.

 Some positive ways to express emotions and to deal with emotions.

see story synopsis . . .



"Big Changes, Big Choices"
the 12-part series
In Big Changes, Big Choices comedian/teen counselor Michael Pritchard helps young adolescents discover that they have the power and the responsibility to make the right choices for themselves.  more. . .

For more information about individual videos in this 12-part series, click on the title below.
•  The Three Rs of Growing Up
•  You and Your Values
•  Enhancing Self-Esteem
•  Setting & Achieving Goals
•  Dealing With Pressures
•  Handling Emotions
•  Preventing Conflicts & Violence
•  Saying No to Alcohol & Other Drugs
•  Speaking of Sex
•  Friendship
•  Getting Along With Parents
•  Respecting Others

If your school or organization does not have these videos, you can purchase them from Live Wire Media, or request them from your local library.




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To find elementary school teaching guides on feelings and related topics, click here.


If you are using the video, ask the first three questions before viewing.

1. Do you agree or disagree: It's never okay to feel angry!

2. Do you agree or disagree: If you feel sad, there is something wrong with you!

3. Do you ever have big mood swings? Describe what they're like.

4. The kids in this video said that mood swings are common at this age because of all the changes you're going through. What are some of these changes? Why do you suppose these changes affect your moods?

5. Have you ever been confused about your feelings -like you knew you were feeling a strong emotion, but you didn't know what?

6. Have you ever thought you were feeling one thing when, really, you were feeling something else?

7. Do you think it's important to understand what it is you are feeling? Why? What can happen if you don't?

8. Do you think there's something wrong with you if you don't always feel wonderful? Is it okay to sometimes feel blue? Why, or why not?

9. Are some emotions more difficult to express than others? Which are they? Why are they hard to express?

10. Are there times when we ought to stop and think about how we want to express our emotions? What are they?

11. How do we decide when and how it is appropriate to express our feelings?

12. In this video, the kids suggested several positive ways to deal with anger. Can you remember what they were? What suggestions do you have for dealing with anger in a positive (non-harmful) way?

13. In this video, the girls disagreed with the boys about whether it's okay for boys to cry. What's your opinion?

14. Have you ever been unable to ask for help when you were hurting? Why?

15. When you are really down and confused or angry, what do you do?

16. Do you think your moods sometimes affect the way you make choices? In what way?

17. What are some things you shouldn't do when you are feeling very emotional?
       (make an big important decision)

18. What was most meaningful to you in this video? Why?

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)

  Other teaching guides in this series:  

  •  The Three Rs of Growing Up
•  You and Your Values
•  Enhancing Self-Esteem
•  Setting & Achieving Goals
•  Dealing With Pressures
•  Handling Emotions
•  Preventing Conflicts & Violence
•  Saying No to Alcohol & Other Drugs
•  Speaking of Sex
•  Friendship
•  Getting Along With Parents
•  Respecting Others


For each of the situations given below, ask the following three questions:
      #1. Name the feeling.
      #2. What's a helpful way to deal with it?
      #3. What's a harmful way to deal with it?

a)  What do you feel when you're blamed for something you didn't do?

b)  What do you feel when someone keeps fouling you on the basketball court?

c)  What do you feel if you are expecting to see a friend, and he or she backs out at the last moment for no good reason?

d)  How does you feel when you work really hard for something and you succeed?

e)  What do you feel when your team keeps losing?

f)  What do you feel when a teacher praises your work?

g)  What do you feel when you do poorly on an exam because you didn't study?

h)  What do you feel when your parent hasn't understood you?

(If you wish to copy or use any material from this website, please click here for Terms of Use.)


1. Write about a time when you felt like you had to hide your emotions. Have you ever tried to hide them even from yourself?

2. Describe one or two times when you had big emotional mood swings.

3. Describe a time when you felt like you were mad at the world. Were you really mad at the whole world, or just one or two things? Did you figure it out?

4. Who do you talk to when you are feeling down? What does this person do that helps? Do you ever do the same for others?

5. Have you ever felt like you are totally alone and no one else could possibly understand what you're feeling?
Do you think other people sometimes feel that way too?

6. Watch a television program and write about one of the characters. What were the major emotions that motivated that character's behavior? How did the character deal with those emotions? Did this character handle his/her emotions in a positive or negative (helpful or harmful) way? Can you think of a better way?

7. Imagine that some day you will have a child. Write a letter of advice for that child to read when he or she reaches the age you are right now. Tell the child about the moods and emotions you experienced at this age, and how you hope he/she will deal with his/her own moods and emotions at this age.


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