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Class Discussion
Student Activities 

Whole class activities are one of the best ways to teach a new topic or reinforce a current theme. Discussions are most successful with clear expectations and obvious avenues to express ideas. This section is a collection the KidConnect team has put together for whole class discussion packages for Social Emotional Learning and specifically talking about emotional regulation.
 
Teaching and discussing the concept of our emotions drive our behaviors lends itself nicely to a whole class discussion. The difficulty can be how to do it without it being "awkward." We've found it sometimes can be uncomfortable for our students when speaking about behavior and emotions. Talking from the 'feelings first' point of view can be difficult. So we flip it! We start with typical situation and events that illicit emotions. This way, we focus on the event, that unearths the emotion which drives the behaviors. Much less "awkward" and far more helpful. We've also done the time consuming part for you by developing the interactive lessons so you can focus on your students and their needs.   

Thunderstorm of Feelings

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Everyone has been in a loud storm. Many students have strong reactions to the loud thunder claps and booms. This fun discussion centers around teaching students that their feelings drive their behaviors. 

Materials include a short audio of a storm, day and night videos of storm, student guidelines, and teacher notes. 

Begin Thunderstorm

First Day of School

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Feeling different emotions is normal when dealing with the first day of school. Who is in the class, seat locations, will it be hot/cold? It can be stressful or exciting, or so many other emotions. 

This exercise uses the 1st day of school as a common event to discuss. Students learn how behavior can be self-regulated to ensure that it is appropriate for the environment you are in at the time. 

Begin 1st Day

 

 

Going on a Field Trip

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Who doesn't love a field trip? Not everyone? The emotions driving behaviors in an unfamiliar settings can change the behaviors of even the most mild mannered student. Whether it is the fear behind an unknown, the excitement of a new place, or the frustration about a long bus ride, emotions can make a fun day into a behavioral challenge. 

This exercise discusses these powerful emotions and helps students add strategies to use in the future.

 

Begin Field Trip 

Taking a Test

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Taking a test is stressful for some students. This discussion helps kids understand how their emotions impact their behavior.

The discussion focus and materials help students become self-aware and provides strategies to self manage their behavior before and during testing to help them do their best and learn life skills for 'pressure situations.'

 

Begin Taking a Test

Taking an Airplane Ride

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Many people have big emotions when they travel. This discussion uses going a plane trip with the family as its focus. For some students this is a good exercise to discuss how good feelings can be overwhelming as well.

Seeing relatives or going somewhere new combined with the physical experience of flight provides for a lively class discussion.

Begin Plane Trip

Attending an Assembly

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Going to an assembly can be the fun or not for students.  Is it a cool thing or another boring sit through? Who are you going to seat next to and who else will be sitting around you?

Big emotions and behaviors are common during school assemblies.  This activity helps all your students talk about past or upcoming events.

Begin Assembly 

 

School Play or Concert

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Participating in a event is both fun and stressful. Whether the  lead in the school play or just a background character, standing in front of a group of people and remembering lines and stage instructions can be super stressful. 

This exercise focuses on pairing strategies when students participate in these activities. The best actors in the world get nervous before performing. The discussion and lesson focuses on using strategies to channel their emotions before they turn into big behaviors.

Going to a Sporting Event

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Going to a sporting event can be a special occasion or a regular event for many students. There are many people, sights, and sounds both loud and unfamiliar. 

This discussion focuses on learning about self awareness. Students discuss their experiences, listen to the roar of the crowd and explore how they feel when going to the game. 

Moving to a New Place

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Moving to a new place or even just switching bedrooms can be really challenging and disruptive to a routine.  Packing and unpacking can lead to more than just moving things. Rediscovering items from the past or finding things thought lost are just some of the surprises move day can bring. 

This exercise provides educators a with a wide range of topics which will help to explore these different emotions and behaviors with your students. 

Watching Fireworks

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Going to the fireworks can bring a range of feelings and behaviors. Some kids love the bright lights and super loud booms. Other kids can't manage the event and often have to skip being with family and friends because of their emotions.

This exercise uses audio and video to help relive a fireworks display. For best results a loud sound system and forewarning a neighboring classroom is recommended. We think this is a fun one, but this might be one to work up to with some students!