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I feel . . .

To explore feelings, their effect on us, and how we can deal with them.

by Gordon Lamont

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To explore feelings, their effect on us, and how we can deal with them.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need two flipcharts or large sheets of paper, whiteboard or some other way of putting up the children’s ideas.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children to think about words that describe feelings. Write them up in two groups, either on different charts/sheets or by dividing the whiteboard down the middle. Don’t comment on the words or where you’re allocating them.

    You should end up with lists something like:

    Happy
    Delighted
    Excited
    Hopeful

    Angry
    Sad
    Nervous
    Frightened

    … and so on.
  2. So the division is between those feeling words that we generally like and those that we try to avoid. Discuss this distinction with the children and point out that our feelings are not as simple as we might think. For example, is it good to feel a bit nervous before being in a play, playing a sports match or even doing a test? Don’t we like being a tiny bit frightened before a rollercoaster ride or during a scary film? We probably choose to do these last two because they are a bit scary!
  3. Ask the children for examples of situations that have led to any of the feelings you’ve written up. Listen to and value a couple of stories.
  4. Point out that, when telling their stories, the children said things like ‘I felt’ or ‘It made me feel’. This shows us that we can think about our feelings as well as have them. This means that we don’t have to give in to our feelings and let them tell us what to do.

    So, if you’re feeling angry, learn to step back from the feeling, and say to yourself in your mind, ‘I have angry feelings’. This is much better than saying ‘I’m angry’, because even though you feel angry, being angry isn’t all of you; you don’t have to just let your feelings take over.
  5. Explain that this can be quite difficult to do – for adults as well – but the important part is to learn to say, for example, ‘I have angry feelings’, and not, ‘I am angry’. This will help you to control your feelings.

Time for reflection

When things go well and happiness comes my way,

It’s good to enjoy happiness, to have a joyful day.

But when people annoy me, I can get a bit mad.

Angry feelings take over me,

Or I feel nervous or I feel sad.

I can keep those feelings in their place.

They’re not the biggest deal,

They are not me,

They’re NOT me.

They’re just something that I feel.

Prayer

Thank you for all the feelings we have and that each one has its place.

It’s right to be scared if we’re in danger.

It’s great to be happy when we can.
Please help us to control our bad feelings and not be overwhelmed by them.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Give me oil in my lamp’ (Come and Praise, 43)

Publication date: June 2009   (Vol.11 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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