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Reacting Well

Control your anger or it will control you!

by Rachael Crisp

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the need to identify anger and control it rather than allowing it to control us.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a remote control and a balloon to blow up during the assembly. (Note: some children are scared of balloons popping, so please be aware that the balloon only needs to be slightly inflated and the image of a popped balloon is adequate for the assembly.)

  • Have available some images of a stop sign, a red traffic light and a balloon and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples include:

    - a stop sign, available at:
    - a red traffic light, available at:
    - a balloon and a pin, available at:
    - a balloon bursting, available at:


  1. Show the remote control to the children.

    Ask the children to name things in their homes that are controlled by a remote.

  2. Give the following pretend description, using the remote control as a prop: ‘I love watching TV. I especially love watching TV when I’m in charge of the remote control. I love to control what I watch. I can switch the channel and adjust the volume. When I watch a film, I can choose to rewind or fast-forward or stop. I’m in control. The remote does not control me; I control the remote.’

  3. Ask the children if they like to be in charge of the TV remote control at home. Do they like to decide what programmes are watched?

  4. Ask the children to describe different emotions that they might feel. Examples could be happiness, sadness, worry, confusion and anger. Point out that in this assembly, we are going to think about the emotion of ‘anger’.

  5. Ask the children if they have ever felt cross or angry. Ask if there are times when it would be right to feel angry.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Explain that there are times when it is right to feel cross, such as if we see someone being picked on or treated unfairly. Anger is a natural emotion, but we need to be able to control it. Sometimes, our anger can spill over and make us say and do things that are hurtful and wrong.

  6. Ask the following questions.

    - How do we react when people make us cross?
    - Do we explode and say hurtful things?
    - Do we lash out or even physically hurt others?

  7. Explain that we all need to learn to control our anger and respond to situations in a calm, sensible manner.

    A verse in the Bible says, ‘A fool lets out his anger, but a wise person keeps himself under control.’ Before we lose control, it is good to stop and think.

  8. Show the images of the stop sign and the red traffic light.

    Explain that if the children were riding their bikes or being driven in a car and they came to a stop sign or a red traffic light, they would need to stop. When people are driving, they need to pay attention and look carefully for signs indicating that they need to slow down or stop.

  9. Point out that we need to pay attention to our feelings and emotions, too. There might be times when we feel angry, but we need to look for the early warning signs and take action.

  10. Show the balloon and inflate it slightly.

    Explain that it could be that you start off having a good day, but then your mum shouts at you and you feel a little anger inside (blow up the balloon a little). Then, you miss the school bus, which makes you feel a bit angrier (blow up the balloon some more). Later, you realize that you forgot your lunch money (blow up the balloon some more), and then someone calls you a horrible name (blow up the balloon some more).

  11. Show the image of the balloon and the pin followed by the image of the balloon bursting.

    Explain that the balloon can grow and grow until something happens to make it explode.

  12. Suggest that the scenario above could have been different. Allow the balloon to deflate. Now blow it up a little and let the air out. Blow it up a little again and let the air out. Explain that if we feel angry, but have ways of dealing with it, we can control the anger rather than allowing it to build up into an explosion.

  13. Ask the children for suggestions as to actions they could take to stop anger developing. Suggestions could include:

    - simple breathing exercises, such as taking a deep breath in and slowly exhaling when we feel cross
    - counting to ten in our heads before we speak if we are feeling angry
    - flicking an elastic band on our wrist
    - talking to a trusted friend/adult
    - praying
    - walking away from the situation

Time for reflection

We will all experience anger at some point. This emotion is not wrong, but the way we handle anger can be positive or harmful.

It is important to think about what we are going to do when we feel anger.

- Are we going to let it control us, or are we going to take control of it?
- Are we going to STOP and think of a way to deal with our anger?

Christians believe that God can help us control emotions such as anger. They believe that God is with them in every situation and wants to help them act and respond in a good and helpful way to situations as they arise.

Christians also believe that when we get it wrong and lose our tempers and make mistakes, God always wants to forgive us and help us to do better next time. They believe that God also wants us to forgive people and to live in peace.

Dear God,
Please help us to stop when we get angry.
Please help us to think about how we will react and what we will say.
Please help us to treat others well.
Help us to forgive those who hurt us.
Help us to remember that you want us to live in peace.

Publication date: May 2018   (Vol.20 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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