Improve life outcomes

Jumpstart: Identifying Anger - Universal

Jumpstart Universal SEL

CASEL Competency Focus: Self Awareness
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Coping Cards (included), Volcano Worksheet (included), Scenario Cards (included)

1. Student recognizes when they are becoming angry
2. Identify activities and/or situations that may cause the student to feel angry
3. Identify his/her anger by using a rehearsed phrase (such as “I am angry now,” “I am angry because…”)

Definitions of Key Terms:

  • Coping Skills: ways for people to handle stressful situations.
  • Consequences: what happens after a person makes a choice. Consequences can be good or bad; good choices lead to positive consequences while negative choices lead to negative consequences.
  • Erupt: burst of emotion in response to experiencing stress most often related to anger, stress or frustration. Usually the response is counterproductive.

Lesson Procedures

Introduction: Begin the lesson by reviewing different emotions. Pose the question, “Is it bad to become angry.” Discuss the response. Share that becoming angry is not a “bad” thing, but how we cope with it will determine the outcome or consequence of their actions. Continue the discussion by providing examples of what angers you. How do you deal with your anger?

Game Time: Don’t Blow Your Top!

Use the following activity to support the lesson objectives. In small groups, pairs or as a class use the "Don’t Blow Your Top!" scenario cards below to foster a discussion about how to identify and handle when they become angry.


Primary and Secondary: Volcanoes are not the only thing to erupt. As humans we can experience an eruption of emotions. Understanding what makes us “erupt” is the first step in recognizing and controlling our reactions. Our bodies give us signals when we are becoming angry. Some of those signals include; increased heart rate, clenched fist and/or teeth, red face, etc. Discuss with students how signals they experience when they become angry. Instruct students to complete the volcano graphic below by drawing pictures (primary) or writing words/sentences (secondary) representing their anger signals. Share with classmates.

Try it out!

Primary and Secondary: Encourage students to intentionally practice a coping skill the next time they are experiencing anger. Share what coping skill you do to regulate your emotions. Use experience or our coping cards for students to view. Have secondary students create their own set of coping cards.

Coping cards can be found at: