Subject: SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 40 - 60 min (depends on depth of discussions)

Topic: Emotions

Grade Level: 4, 5

Objective: Critical thinking, Explanation


SELF-AWARENESS: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts.

Brief Description: Students will create a comic depicting a variety of emotions.

Know Before You Start: Students should have a basic understanding of labeling emotions, body language/expressions.

Create Emotion Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 1 Create Emotion Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 2 Create Emotion Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 3 Create Emotion Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 4 Create Emotion Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 5 Create Emotion Characters - Exemplar comic, panel 6

Hook: Ask students to stand up and use their bodies, facial expression and voices to act out different emotions. What does excitement look like? Anger? Confusion?

Review how we know when someone is feeling a certain way.

  • We read body language.
  • We look at facial expressions.
  • We listen to the voice tone/words they choose to express themselves.

Review how we know what we are feeling?

  • We can feel what our bodies are physically experiencing.
  • We can listen to the words and tone we are using to express ourselves - How do we speak when we are angry? Excited?


  • Read and discuss the sample comic above
  • Create a five-panel emotion comic
  • Each panel should depict a character expressing a specific emotion
  • Each panel should include a caption listing the emotion, and dialogue

Closure: Share and discuss student comics. Are there any similarities? Differences? 

How do these differences relate to how each of us expresses our emotions?

Bonus Activity: 
As students create, discuss color as it relates to emotion. Does yellow make you think of happiness? Does blue make you feel low?

Display and categorize comics by emotion. For example, all “frustrated” comics are displayed together.


  • Pre-teach vocabulary
  • Provide visuals of different emotions with labels
  • Write down color words associated with each emotion
  • Allow students to work with a peer model
  • Provide sentence starters as necessary
  • Shorten assignment if necessary (ex: create a comic displaying 3 emotions instead of 5)


  • Showing a short clip of “Inside Out” from Disney’s Pixar and discussing how the artists showed each emotion through color, dialogue, and physical/body language?
  • Example comic to print or display: Comic