Spatial Requirements: Regular classroom setup; little or no space required
Activity Type: Group
Grades: K-12
Group Size: 8 or more
Time: 5-10 minutes

Introduction: Students will use group discussion to better identify the causes of their negative emotions. Students will understand the positive and negative long-term outcomes that result from the way they channel their negative emotions.


  • None


Select four of the negative emotions from the battery — frustration, regret, sadness, and loneliness. (You may choose a different set of emotions that are more relevant to your group of students.)

Divide your class into four small groups (or pairs) and give them each one of the emotions to discuss.

Have students discuss the emotion they were given and identify some things in life that might cause that emotion? (For example, what’s a scenario that would be really frustrating? Working hard on a test and getting a C)

Have students discuss how that emotion can be directed into a negative outcome. (Skip class or stop paying attention, put down the teacher, etc.) How could it be directed into a positive outcome? (Study harder, form a relationship with the teacher, form a study group, etc.)

Processing the Experience:

  • What were some of the causes of the emotion your group received?
  • What were some of the negative outcomes you identified?
  • What were some of the positive outcomes you identified?
  • What are some of the long-term consequences of choosing to direct your negative emotions into negative outcomes?
  • What are some of the long-term benefits of choosing to direct them into positive outcomes?
  • What changes can you make in your life now to better help you direct your negative emotions into positive outcomes?
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