Begin by working with the classmates to compile a list of feelings: negative in one column, positive in another. You'll be referring to this list later.
The topic will be what happens when people get angry, and what they do as well as not do
- Reflect on the last time that YOU were angry. Focus on where that anger came from. Do the angry feelings have synonyms, such as frustration, rage, disappointment, etc.?
- Share, as best YOU can, what happened to them when YOU got angry. Examples: went to sleep, yelled at their dog, confronted someone, cried, punched a wall, irritated, flight or fight, etc.
- Pair the students up and ask them now to share what they felt like when someone was angry at/with them. How did you know the other person was angry? What did they do in reaction to the other person's anger? Have each pair give a brief summary to the group.
each pair to join with another pair. Ask the new foursomes to discuss if there's any one correct way to handle anger. Report back to the class. Record on the blackboard
- This is a good time to talk about inappropriate venues of venting anger, such as physical fighting, punching walls, etc. Keep in mind that often a physical fight is admired within certain peer groups, and often children are instructed by their parents and peers to only take so much before standing up for themselves physically. Listen and divert to more positive options, rather than challenging the method. Punching a wall and other physical manifestations of anger, if repeated constantly, is a mental health issue. The actual physical pain is a catharsis for the internal pain that the student has no idea how to handle. Explain that this lesson is to help students have more options available to them when they feel trapped by their anger.
- Explain that a game "Blowing Off Steam" is now in order to lighten up a very difficult discussion:
- Use a table or four desks pulled together
- You will need the paper cup, grocery bag, and tape
- Have 6-8 students sit around the table. Place the cup at one end of the table. Tape the grocery bag at the other end. On command, the group must attempt to blow the cup into the grocery bag with no physical touching-- only air power.
- Have them do it several times, until they've worked out a technique to do it quickly, and with much less frustration.
- When finished, ask them why they think this game was chosen. Ask them if they were frustrated at all and if so, how did they go beyond that feeling. Hopefully there's been a little laughter.
- Settle the group down and explain that the next part of the workshop is to offer alternative ways of dealing with anger.
- Go back to the list on the board and highlight anger management techniques that students view as productive. Examples include: going into room and listening to music, separating yourself to a quiet place, talking to a friend or adult, talking in a calm way to the person you're angry with, going for a walk, talking to your dog, etc.
- Explain the "I-Message" in the following way, perhaps written on the blackboard or an easel:
I feel ____________________________________________ (be specific)
When you ________________________________________
(give details of the behavior or circumstances)
(this is the hard one: the "why")
- Pair up students to do role-plays using either real or fictitious disputes. Give each pair a little rehearsal time to define the dispute.