Emotional Literacy


Learning Goal

Students will learn to identify, name, and effectively manage complex emotions.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Identify primary, secondary, and some tertiary emotions
  • Build the skill of empathy by identifying emotions in others

Learning Summary

Emotion identification is the first step in building emotional intelligence and empowering students to successfully manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.

The lesson begins with Fire Breathing. In the introduction, you revisit primary and secondary emotions, introduce students to tertiary emotions, and revisit the importance of identifying emotions. Then, in an emotion identification activity, you read aloud a passage and students identify the emotions of the characters followed
by a class discussion. Finally, students reflect in their journals on what prompts them to feel different emotions.

computer icon    Online Teaching Tips for Emotional Literacy

For both live or recorded delivery, provide students with their own copy of the Emotion Wheel. Read each scenario and have students circle or color in the different emotions. If it is not possible for students to have access to their own emotion wheel, show the slide with the wheel and have students write down on a piece of paper all the emotions they hear.

After Emotions from Different Perspectives activity, have students share out the different emotions they marked.

After the Emotions from Different Perspectives activity, read out some of the discussion questions for students to consider.

Lesson Plan


Additional Resources

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at-home resources At-Home Resources

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Lecciones en Español

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Diapositivas Diapositivas

Recursos para el Hogar Recursos para el Hogar

Guías de Administrador Guías de Administrador

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

Self-management: The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

Classroom Teaching Example