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How Are You Feeling?

Our experiences can change our moods

by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2006)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider that our experiences before school each day can change the mood we are in.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need six pieces of card that have the words 'happy', 'sad', 'worried', 'excited', 'tired' and 'sick' written on them in large letters.


  1. Explain to the children that, when they arrive at school each day, they will all be feeling differently. Various things will have happened to them earlier that morning and this will influence the way they feel.
  2. Ask the children for ideas as to what could have happened to make them feel a certain way. Here are some examples.
    – If their goldfish had died that morning, they would be feeling sad.
    If they were going on holiday later that day, they would be excited.
    If they had gone to bed very late the night before, they would be feeling tired!

  3. Tell the children about times when you have been in different moods as you arrived at school. Here are some examples.

    – You might have been up all night with an unwell child, so you arrived at school feeling grumpy.
    You might have felt ill, but came into school because you didn't want to take the time off, so you arrived at school feeling tired and unwell.

  4. Ask the children how our feelings can affect our behaviour. Here are some examples.
    – If we are tired, we might be grumpy.
    If we are sad, we might be quieter than usual and not want to play with our friends as much as normal.
    If we are worried, we might get irritable more easily.

  5. Hold up the cards and read them out. Ask the children how they feel today.
    Explain that you are not going to ask them why they are feeling the way they do, but that you would like volunteers to come out and hold the card that best describes how they are feeling today.
  6. Explain that none of these feelings are wrong  they are part of everyone’s life. In fact, the Bible (the special book for Christians) tells us that Jesus felt happy, scared, tired and sad at various times. We need to understand that our friends are feeling different things and care for them all the time.

    The Bible talks a lot about love. In 1 Corinthians 13.4, it says, 'Love is patient, love is kind.' We need to try to understand people around us, and to be patient and kind to one another, no matter what mood other people (or we ourselves) are in!

Time for reflection

Close your eyes for a moment and think about your day so far. Has something already happened today to put you in a particular mood?

Think about those around you and try to remember that they may not be feeling the same way as you.

Think about whether there is someone whom you find it hard to get on with. Decide to make a special effort to be kind to them today and to try to understand their point of view.

Dear God,
Thank you that you know me very well and that you love me.
Please help me to be patient with other people, even when they make me cross!
Please help me to try to understand them and be kind and caring.


'When I needed a neighbour' (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: May 2016   (Vol.18 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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