Compassionate Courier

Fourth and Fifth Grades

Unit 2: Self Awareness

What are students learning?

The goal of this unit is to help students build an understanding of the relationship between emotions and behaviors. Students learn to recognize the seven universal emotions and the interdependent relationship between emotions and food. They build an understanding of physical sensations associated with breath, movement, emotions and eating through mindful awareness.

Enduring Understandings

I can understand that emotions affect my body, thoughts, and behaviors.

I can understand that all human beings feel the same emotions.

I can be aware of my emotions and triggers.

I can understand that food and mood are interrelated.

Lessons and Activities


In this lesson, students “act out” to learn to recognize the facial expressions of the seven universal emotions and pair them with possible triggers.


In this lesson, students work in a group to sort emotions and consider their effects on the body and mind.


In this lesson, students learn how emotions affect them physically and that a small dose of fear can help them survive.


In this lesson, students practice emotional awareness as they learn how stimuli in the environment can trigger their emotions.


In this lesson, students learn that their emotions and moods can drive their food cravings and desire for comfort food.


In this lesson, students learn that certain foods contain nutrients that can positively impact emotions and moods.


Students engage in mindful eating and connect the experience with savoring good thoughts and healthful eating practices.

Physical Movements

Students will continue to review the mindful movements and sequences from unit 1. They will also continue to learn how what is going on in their bodies can help them understand their emotions.

Mindfulness Awareness

Mindful eating

Even in even out breathing

Body scanning

Building our mindful muscle

Extend the Learning

Building Self Awareness in the Classroom

Helping Students Build Self Awareness Practices

Emotional Word Art

Using the computer or poster board and markers, have students work in seven small groups to create word art for one of the universal emotions and its related emotions (or let individuals choose one of the seven emotions to work independently). Hang the word art around the room or on a bulletin board.

Triggered Emotions

Project the image of the feelings ask students to identify the universal emotions. Have them make up trigger scenarios that would evoke one or two of the emotions in a person. They can act these out or put create a 2-3-panel cartoon frame that illustrates the scenario.


universal emotions (anger, sadness, happiness, fear, disgust, surprise, contempt), trigger, body language, expression, self-awareness, mindfulness, self-awareness, comfortable, uncomfortable, neutral, positive, negative, body awareness, dopamine, adrenaline, trigger, stimuli, reflect, "comfort food", nutrition, crave, interoception, proprioception, sensation, savor, serotonin, mindfulness, savor

Self Care for the Teacher

Self Awareness

What is self awareness?

Self Awareness is having a clear understanding of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, and your attitude and responses to them in the moment.

Steps for Becoming More Self Aware

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Taking the Skills Home: Resources for Parents

This week, students have been building their self awareness. Self awareness is understanding your emotions, thoughts, strengths and weaknesses. It helps you understand other people and how they understand you.

Below, you will find some simple ideas to help your child build self awareness.

1. Express yourself: Show your child what self awareness looks like by sharing your thoughts and problem-solving strategies out loud. For example, verbalize statements such as, “This reminds me of the time when we tried to do this,” or “I need to think about what worked and didn’t work the last time we did this.” Encourage your child to
use similar strategies to help problem-solve.

2. With young children, use visual reminders to help them understand their strengths and weaknesses. For example, a group of pictures showing a basketball player and a child sharing with others would be reminders of strengths. A messy room might be an example of a weakness. Encourage your child to talk about his/her choices.

3. Playing video games can be a great way for children to get some self awareness practice in. Players have to self-evaluate in order to be successful and beat the game. They also learn from their own failures and successes.

Building a School Culture of Compassion

Start the day off right for students and staff in the building by writing an encouraging message on the sidewalk as they enter the school.

Build awareness of compassion and cultural diversity by creating a friend display like the one in the link below.

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