Emotional Diversity (K-2)

Here is another FREE & FINISHED social & emotional lesson plan for teachers who hope to cultivate joy and empathy in their classrooms during the first weeks of school!! As educators, we know that developing a classroom community of trust and love is the most important predictor of a smooth school year. ENJOY!!

Lesson 1: Emotional Diversity


Enduring Understandings (Diversity):

  • All beings experience the world differently.
  • All beings share similarities and differences.
  • Connection and understanding among beings is fostered through mindful listening and kindness.

Learning Goals:

  • The learners will explore the idea that each individual in their learning community has different feelings and expresses those feelings in different ways.
  • The learners will explore ways to foster connection in their community through mindful listening.

Time: 40 minutes


  • “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” by Rachel Vail
  • Anchor Chart
  • Markers
  • Glue
  • Plain paper
  • Leaves
  • Creative art items (googly eyes, wire, pipe cleaners, paint, ribbon, etc.)
  • Emotion Cards–Purchase or Get For Free (printed on cardstock or laminated)


  • Find a comfortable and safe area to gather your students outside or inside your classroom. Read, “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” by Rachel Vali.
  • Discuss the emotions Katie feels throughout the story. Encourage the students to explain how they can tell when Katie is feeling happy, sad, or frustrated.
  • Create an anchor chart with a happy face, an angry face, and a sad face.
  • Ask the students to think of some times in the story when Katie was happy, angry or sad. Refer back to the text if needed. Write or draw the student’s answers on the anchor chart.
  • Next, ask the students to think of times when they feel happy, angry or sad. Record the student’s answers on the anchor chart using words, symbols, and pictures.
  • Take a short brain break and ask students to do various movements making different faces to show their emotions. For example, “Jump up and down, smile ear to ear, happy as can be” or “Lay on the ground, curled up in a ball, show me that you are sad.” Continue this process for a few minutes until the students have their wiggles out.
  • Ask the students to hold hands and spread out in a circle. Ask the students to sit down. Get out the emotion cards. Place them in the middle of the circle facing up so students can see the faces on the pictures.
  • Pick up one of the cards. For example, the card SHY. Model becoming shy in front of your students. Ask the students what they could do if you were a new student and feeling very shy in the classroom. How could they help you feel included? How could they make you feel safe and loved?
  • Continue this process until you’ve had students (or yourself) model each emotion and brainstorm skillful ways for students to respond to each other when they experiencing certain emotions.

Extension Ideas—ART & NATURE

Leaf Portraits

  • Go outside and ask students to find the perfect leaf, a leaf that reminds them of themselves.
  • Come back inside and get out creative supplies, paper, and glue.
  • Help students write their names on their papers.
  • Explain to the students that they will create their face or body out of the leaf.
  • How can they show how they are feeling by using the creative supplies? Which way does a smile turn? What about a frown? Encourage students to add details and objects to their leaf portrait.
  • When you are finished, have students share their leaf portraits with the class. Discuss similarities and differences. Display your leaves in the classroom under the title “Our Leaf Portraits.”


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