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Lesson Plan

Using Personal Connections to Build an Understanding of Emotions

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Three 20- to 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kelly Sheehan

Nashville, Tennessee

Emily Marietta

Nashville, Tennessee


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives




  • Computers with Internet access and printing capability

  • Chart paper and markers

  • Creative materials for making masks (e.g., sequins, beads, foam shapes, markers, buttons, feathers, yarn, plastic eyes)

  • Glue and scissors (for each student, if possible)

  • Masking tape to cover staples (optional)

  • Mirrors (a couple small ones or a large one for a group of students to share)

  • Paper plates (2 per student for happy and sad masks)

  • Popsicle sticks (1-2 per set of 2 plates; staple inside plates with enough of the stick outside of the plates to be used as a handle)

  • Stapler to seal plates together

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Venn Diagram

Grades   K – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Venn Diagram

This interactive tool allows students to create Venn diagrams that contain two or three overlapping circles, enabling them to organize their information logically.


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1. Gather materials for construction of happy and sad masks.

a. Divide materials into those that will be used for making happy masks and those for making sad masks. Brighter colored materials can be separated for happy, while darker colors are reserved for sad.

b. Decide what plates will be used. It is recommended that you use paper plates that are somewhat flimsy; those that are very firm are too heavy for the popsicle sticks.

c. Decide which direction the plate will face. Students can either decorate the bottom side of plates and have the masks curve outward or do the opposite by decorating the topside of the plates and creating masks that curve inward.

d. Decide how the paper plates will be attached to each other. Staples work well, but it is better to cover the staples with masking tape for young children. Glue will also work, but requires appropriate drying time.

2. Decide how you will conduct the activity with the class. You can do the activity as a group and have all students complete happy masks and then sad masks (or vice versa). An alternative is to divide the class, having some students create sad masks, while others create happy masks. When finished, everyone switches.

3. Prepare the language experience activity chart. Divide a large sheet of chart paper into three sections. Label the sections as follows:

  • Things that make me sad are ____________________.
  • Things that make me happy are __________________.
  • Today I feel _______ because ___________________.
4. Create two pointers, one with a happy face, and one with a sad face on it. These pointers will be used to help students track their reading, with the happy pointer for reading about things that make them happy and the sad pointer for reading about things that make them sad.

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