Grade 1 – Resources by Grade Level
Keeping Your Cool
Developed by: Shelley Barthel
- Health Education – USC1.3, USC 1.2 (Perspective: Building on What I Already Know)
- Science – SE1.2 (Using Our Senses)
- Social Studies – RW1.1 (Resources & Wealth)
- English Language Arts – CR1.1 (Comprehend and Respond)
Prior to the learning experience, students should have an understanding of three main parts of the brain involved in thinking and learning, and how they work together to keep us safe, help us make good decisions, and remember things; i.e., the amygdala (security guard/porcupine), pre-frontal cortex (wise leader), and hypothalamus (memory saver). For more information about the brain and social-emotional learning, refer to The MindUP Curriculum: Brain Focused Strategies for Learning and Living Grades Pre-K-2, and Dan Siegel’s presentations A Hand Model of the Brain and “Flipping Your Lid”: A Scientific Explanation.
Guiding question: How do people who look differently, act differently, and think differently get along?
Gather in an area of the classroom, review the three parts of the brain and introduce the book When Sophie Gets Angry, Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang (1999). Ask students “What do you think the story is about?” Then ask, “Can you think of a time you felt really, really angry?” and “What did you do about it?” Provide an opportunity for students to read and/or listen to the story.
Begin a discussion by asking “What would our classroom be like if we all kicked and screamed when we were angry, frustrated, or scared, like Sophie did in the story when she had to share the truck?” and “How can we learn to help our brain make wise decisions about our words and actions?” Guide students to the understanding that when we feel angry, or other strong emotions, we need to STOP, to calm down the security guard, and give ourselves time to THINK about how to manage or solve the problem before CHOOSING what action to take. Refer to the Stop – Think – Choose traffic light model for healthy decision making in grade 1 Health Education.
Then ask, “What strategies will help you calm down when you feel angry/frustrated/scared?” Co-construct a plan to investigate different self-regulation strategies (e.g., breathing deeply, counting to 10, taking a break, thinking about a happy place, jumping/running) and their individual effectiveness at school and in the community. Students can contribute to and create a class display to represent learning (e.g., class bulletin board, digital representation).
- I can explain how the brain helps me manage my thoughts, feelings, and actions
- I can identify strategies to control and manage angry/strong feelings
- I can choose to stop and think before acting
- I can understand that different people handle anger in different ways