Imagine the frustration of patiently waiting in line for hours, only to have someone brazenly cut in front. Or picture the stress of cramming for an exam, but distractions persistently interrupt focus. In these scenarios, one emotion often comes to the surface: anger.
Anger is a natural human emotion that often arises in response to perceived threats, injustices, or obstacles. It can manifest in various ways, from irritation and annoyance to intense rage. While it is a normal part of the human experience, anger can become problematic when expressed in unhealthy or harmful ways.
In this effective kindergarten lesson, students learn how to manage their anger effectively and prevent it from overwhelming their better judgment. They also pick up an effective strategy to calm and positively express this intense feeling. Afterward, some helpful exercises allow them to apply what they have learned and practice anger management.
"Learning anger management early on can prevent children from developing harmful and violent behaviors."
The lesson begins with a class discussion that introduces thought management as a means to control angry feelings. The teacher reiterates the connection between emotions and thoughts, emphasizing that negative thinking can trigger negative emotions such as anger. To remain calm, kindergarten students are encouraged to stop their initial thoughts and then gradually introduce positive thoughts.
For example, kindergartners can feel angry when a classmate uses their possessions without permission. Instead of immediately getting into a fight with a classmate, kindergartners should pause their angry feelings for ten seconds. They can count to ten, think positive thoughts, then communicate nicely. They can tell how they feel and want the situation to be addressed.
Kindergartners participate in an SEL activity that reinforces this management strategy. They listen to three situations featuring characters ready to explode in anger. Before the characters lose their temper, the kindergartners shout "Stop" and count to ten together. After that, they think of a positive way to address the situation. This is how the lesson ends, with kindergartners feeling empowered and equipped with practical tools to manage their intense emotions.
Learning anger management early on can prevent children from developing harmful and violent behaviors. By teaching kindergartners how to effectively manage their anger with this lesson, they can gain essential tools to regulate their emotions and respond positively to frustrating situations.