Lesson Length: 30 - 45 mins

Topic: Triggers

Grade Level: 4, 5, 6

Objective: Analysis, Explanation


SELF-MANAGEMENT The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations.

Brief Description: Using comic scenarios, students will reflect on what triggers them and how to cope with those triggers.

Know Before You Start: Students should know the definition of the word “trigger”.

What Triggers Me? - Exemplar comic, panel 1 What Triggers Me? - Exemplar comic, panel 2 What Triggers Me? - Exemplar comic, panel 3 What Triggers Me? - Exemplar comic, panel 4 What Triggers Me? - Exemplar comic, panel 5 What Triggers Me? - Exemplar comic, panel 6

Hook: Read and discuss the comic as a class or independently. What does  the term trigger mean? If you were in any of these situations, how much would it trigger, or upset, you?”

Activity: Have students reflect on each comic scenario and write down answers to the following questions: 

  • Does this situation trigger you? Why or why not? 
  • If it would trigger you, what could you do to cope through the situation? Be specific.

Closure: In small groups or as a class, have students share specific scenes that would be triggering for them and why. This is a great opportunity to review compassion and positive intent -- different situations trigger different people and being mindful of those possibilities will make the classroom environment successful and welcoming to all.

Extension: Have students create their own “triggering” scenarios in a comic. Don’t forget to add helpful tips on how to cope!


  • Print out reflection questions for activity. 
  • Pair students with a peer model. 
  • Provide sentence frames for reflection questions and closing conversation.
  • Allow students to use Pixton to show how they are triggered. Encourage students to utilize action and facial expression features.