Post 10: Feelings and Middle Schoolers- Let’s get Specific

Even though it is the end of the year, we have taken on going through some conflict resolution workshop with our students. In some ways, it is a pilot for next years advisory. We started from the basic which is attaching words to our feelings to better express them. In order to facilitate that we provided students with a feeling wheel so that they could go beyond saying that they feel angry, sad, happy, and so on.

Goal: Let’s get specific when we identify feelings and emotions.

Students “feel”, but as middle school students it’s hard to have the right words – I mean we struggle as adults to express ourselves…

And because I love gifs, this happened.

  • I showed each gif. Students shared what emotion the gif expressed.
  • I kept repeating we must be specific!!

Kerry Washington’s disgust and irritation wasn’t hard to pick up. 


Neither was NPH’s anger, but I wanted students to delve deeper.

What kind of anger is Neil/Barney feeling? Is it on the same level as the person above?


happy dancing blackish tracee ellis ross rainbow johnson
Tracee is happy, but what kind of happiness is she experiencing? How do you know?
disney bored tired whatever sleepy
What is Boo feeling? How do you know? Have you ever felt this way? Be specific.


We ended the session with students writing down specific ways they have felt and what made them feel this way on the vertical boards around the room. A few examples of what students wrote:

  • I feel frustrated when other students get the whole class in trouble (There were a lot along the lines of this).
  • I feel irritated when teachers get upset at me for being joyful.
  • I feel joyful when I spend time with my friends/family.

This was only session one. On to session #2 tomorrow when we discuss TRIGGERS. Fun.