Middle school lesson plan: Teaching stress management, empathy, & anger control

  

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There are pivotal events that happen in the world that impacts us all. The Connecticut school shooting that happened on the 14th of December, 2012, was one of those events.

In an effort to bring comfort, understanding, and a way to help us deal with our feelings of stress, empathy, and anger, this series has been created.  The activity below can be adapted to reflect events that bring emotional stress to the lives of students.

This is a combination of a story and a role-play for each aspect of the six-part topic. Some of this is an excerpt from a role-play created about anti-bullying called “Bullies, Victims, and Bystanders at Kennedy Middle School. The last two parts were created solely as a way to help students discuss and process the Connecticut school shooting that happened on the 14th of December, 2012.

Please note: All story characters and Kennedy Middle school are products of the author’s imagination.

 
Part 1: The instinct for fight, flight, or freeze and the ‘Wild Boar’ tale
A. Concepts covered in story & role-play #1
  • Fight, Flight, or Freeze versus Self-Mentoring
  • Ways to deal with stressors such as our back stories (also known as our ‘tiger in the hole’)
  • Responsible Reporting versus Tattling or Snitching
B. Click this link for story and PDF download role-play link:
C. Follow-up suggested discussion questions called “Part 1 discussion: The instinct for fight, flight, or freeze and the ‘Wild Boar’ tale.”
 
 Part 2: Mr. Campbell’s class discusses ways to manage your feelings of stress
A. Concepts covered in story & role-play #2
  • Deep breathing exercises from diaphragm
  • Other de-stressing exercises
B. Click this link for story and PDF download role-play link:
C. Follow-up suggested discussion questions called “Part 2 discussion: Mr. Campbell’s class discusses ways to manage your feelings of           stress.”
 
Part 3: The Monkey and the amazing discovery about Mirror Neurons
A. Concepts covered in story & role-play #3
  • Mirror Neurons
  • Examples of mirror neurons and empathy
  • Balancing too little empathy versus excessive empathy
B. Click this link for story and PDF download role-play link:
C. Follow-up suggested discussion questions called “Part 3 discussion: The monkey and the amazing discovery about mirror neurons.”
 
Part 4: Mr. Campbell’s class discusses our nine core empathy skills
A. Concepts covered in story & role-play #4
  • Nine core empathy skills developed by Dr. Tony Fiore, licensed psychologist and anger coach
B. Click this link for story and PDF download role-play link:
C. Follow-up suggested discussion questions called “Part 4 discussion: Mr. Campbell’s class discusses our nine core empathy skills.”
 
Part 5: Mr. Campbell’s class begins to discuss the Connecticut school shooting
A. Concepts covered in story & role-play #5
  • Discussing Connecticut school shooting part 1
a. Violent video games
b. ‘Played Out’ movement developed by Max Goldstein & Jackson Mittleman
c. Heroic acts
d. Possible motivations of school shooter
e. Why others have reacted with so much empathy
B. Click this link for story and PDF download role-play link:
C. Follow-up suggested discussion questions called “Part 5 discussion: Mr. Campbell’s class begins to discuss the Connecticut school shooting.”
 
Part 6: Mr. Campbell’s class concludes discussion about Connecticut school shooting
A. Concepts covered in story & role-play #6
  • Discussing Connecticut school shooting part 2
  • Names of 26 victims
  • More about why others have reacted with so much empathy
  • The nine core empathy skills reviewed
  • Mirror Neurons reviewed
  • Dealing with getting your buttons pushed – balance between imploding and exploding
  • The change begins with us
B. Click this link for story and PDF download role-play link:
C. Follow-up suggested discussion questions called “Part 6 discussion: Mr. Campbell’s class concludes discussion about Connecticut school           shooting.”

Source: examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/article/middle-school-lesson-plan-teaching-stress-management-empathy-anger-control 

Debbie Dunn is a professional storyteller, published author, a Conflict Resolution Specialist, and a Certified Teacher. She taught 14 1/2 years in elementary and middle school. She tells stories and writes full-time from her home in Mosheim, TN. She will be providing you with Conflict Resolution and Character Education stories, role-plays, articles, and lesson plans. E-mail Debbie at:moredunntales@yahoo.com.