Wowza - was it a hot day today! This time of year is always challenging in a non-air conditioned school building. Everyone seems to be a bit more temperamental due to the uncomfortable weather conditions. You may need to employ the perfect "cooling off" lesson when those tempers are flaring! Below you will find a lesson on anger management for your younger elementary students.
Purchase the book, When I Feel Angry by Cornelia Maude Spelman. You will also need some red paper, markers, and a water spray bottle. Towards the middle of the book, there is a page devoted to a picture of the very angry rabbit. I drew that picture (to a size that is about 2 or 3 ft. in height) onto poster board, colored the picture, cut it out and then laminated it. You will need these props later in the lesson.
I first teach the students the three anger rules. We talk about each of these rules in depth and give a few examples of how someone may break one or more of the rules.
1. You may not hurt yourself
2. You may not hurt others
3. You may not hurt property.
These anger rules are discussed in detail in Diane Senn's book, Coping with Conflict. This book is a real staple in any elementary school counseling program!
Next, I read the book, When I Feel Angry. As I am reading, we look to see if any of the anger rules are broken and we discuss any anger consequences in the story. We also discuss how the rabbit is such a smart cookie -- she figures out ways to deal with her anger in a healthy way!
Finally, I prop the laminated life-sized rabbit up against something on the floor and put paper towels underneath it. Then, I have each student think of what he/she could do to cool-off when he/she is angry so that none of the anger rules are broken. Each student gets a chance to approach the life-size rabbit, squirt her with water from a spray bottle (to cool off her anger), and then tell the class how he/she will cool off the next time he/she is angry. I write down all of the ideas on red paper and hang up the ideas in the classroom.
The students love squirting the angry rabbit and telling her their own unique ideas for handling their angry feelings appropriately. Every time I do this lesson, I get the cutest ideas!
On a hot day...maybe you can quickly squirt each student with the water bottle! Ahhhhhh!!