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Seventh Grade – Lesson Four

Chill! Objectives

The student will be able to: • Identify common ways of mismanaging anger. • Discuss healthy, effective ways to manage anger. • Demonstrate anger management techniques.

Character Education Traits This lesson promotes the following character traits: • Self-discipline • Responsibility

Activities 1 2 3

Introducing Anger Styles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 min. How to Handle Your Anger . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 min. Let’s Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 min.

Materials • • •

Workbook, page 3 Anger Style Cards, pages 36-41 Chill poster (in your kit)

Rationale Research has shown that teaching anger management strategies reduces aggression in adolescents.

Before You Start… In advance, make one copy of the Anger Style Cards on curriculum pages 36-41, enlarging them if possible.

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Seventh Grade

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Introducing Anger Styles Name some of the things that seventh graders get angry about. Encourage students to brainstorm things that trigger their anger. The following list is a sample from one class: Seventh graders get angry when… • • • • • • • • • •

someone breaks something of theirs. their girl/boyfriend flirts with someone else. someone calls them names. their teachers give them too much homework. someone talks behind their back. someone blames them for something they didn’t do. their parents won’t let them do things their friends are doing. someone takes something that belongs to them. someone borrows something and doesn’t return it. friends ignore them.

There are many things that people get angry about. There are also many different ways to handle anger. Let’s take a look at some ways that people often mismanage their anger. 1. Carrying A Grudge Display Anger Style Card #1, curriculum page 36. Some people carry a grudge. Grudge-carriers don’t say or do anything when they get angry; they just stuff their anger away. They don’t forgive, and they don’t forget. Their load gets heavier and heavier, as more and more anger and resentment piles up and weighs them down. They sometimes look like they are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders because it’s hard to carry a grudge. 2. Exploding Display Anger Style Card #2, curriculum page 37. Exploders are very quick to get angry and very quick to get over it. When they explode, they may yell and scream or even hit or throw things. You never know what might set them off. They are often sorry for the things they do and say when they “blow up.” 3. Blaming Display Anger Style Card #3, curriculum page 38. Instead of accepting responsibility for their own behavior, people sometimes blame the other person. For example, if you told one of these people that you were upset because she didn’t pay you the money she owed you, she would say, “Well, you didn’t call me when you said you would!” Too Good For Violence

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Lesson 4

4. Acting Mad At The World Display Anger Style Card #4, curriculum page 39. Some people seem mad at the world. They are angry all the time. If they don’t have something to feel angry about, they find something. They take offense at everything and everybody, thinking that every act is deliberate and aimed personally at them. 5. Taking It Out On Someone Else Display Anger Style Card #5, curriculum page 40. Some people feel guilty or afraid about talking directly to the person they are angry with, so they take out their anger on whoever happens to be there. For example, someone who feels angry at a parent or a teacher may take the anger out on a friend instead of talking to the parent or teacher about it. 6. Gossiping To Get Even Display Anger Style Card #6, curriculum page 41. Some people don’t tell you when they are angry with you; instead, they tell everyone else. These people get even with you by talking about you behind your back. All of these are poor ways to handle angry feelings. Instead of helping to solve problems, they often cause more problems. Mismanaging anger can also be hazardous to your health. Can you name any illnesses related to handling anger in unhealthy ways? Heart attacks, ulcers, depression, high blood pressure, etc. All sorts of health problems, such as heart attacks, ulcers, depression, and high blood pressure, may be caused by handling anger in negative ways.

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How to Handle Your Anger Some of you may recognize yourself in these negative descriptions, and you may not like what you see. That’s okay, because you can change the way you deal with anger if you want to. You can learn how to handle it in a positive way. The first step in handling your anger is recognizing it. What physical sensations let you know you’re feeling angry? How does your face feel? Your heart? Your muscles? Flushed face, pounding heart, sweaty palms, clenched fists and teeth, tight muscles, etc. This set of physical sensations is called the anger response.

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Seventh Grade

Display the Chill poster. Point to the physical sensations (anger cues) depicted at the top of the poster. The anger response releases a burst of extra energy into the body. This is helpful in many cases, because it gives us the strength we need to confront someone who is mistreating us or the courage we need to take an action to change an unfair situation. But the anger response can also be harmful. During the first ten seconds, our feelings are so intense that it is hard for us to think clearly. If we react while our angry feelings are very strong, we may do something we regret, or something that brings negative, instead of positive, consequences. Before we respond, we need to chill, or bring our anger level down. According to experts, the best ways to chill out and bring your anger down to a manageable level are: distract yourself, relax, and talk to yourself. Point to the anger management strategies depicted at the bottom of the poster. 1. Distract Yourself Distracting yourself means taking your mind off the anger-provoking situation for a while, to give yourself a chance to cool off. You can whistle, take a mental walk, count to ten, think about something silly, or try to find humor in the situation. 2. Relax Relaxing means calming your body. You can concentrate on unclenching your teeth and your fists. You can unclench your fists and shake the anger out with your hands. 3. Talk to Yourself Research shows that talking to yourself is one of the best things you can do to manage your anger, but it won’t work unless you tell yourself calming things. What do you think will happen if you tell yourself, “He makes me so mad,” or “I can’t believe she did that to me”? Talking to yourself that way will only get you angrier. Instead, tell yourself, “Calm down.” Most of the time, when you talk to yourself, you do it silently.

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Lesson 4

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Let’s Practice Please turn to workbook page 3. We’re going to do an activity now to practice these skills. Call on a student volunteer to read the first story, Shana’s Shirt, to the class: Shana and her friend Noreen were in Shana’s room looking at clothes and talking about what to wear to a party. Later, when Shana started to get dressed for the party, she couldn’t find the shirt she was looking for. When she got to the party, there was Noreen, wearing a shirt just like Shana’s missing one! Shana thought to herself, “What a witch! She stole my shirt! I’ll show her!” Cross out the thoughts that would make Shana get angrier. Write something Shana could say to herself that would reduce her angry feelings. Allow two minutes, and then call on volunteers to share their answers. (Sample answers may be found in the examples bulleted on curriculum page 34.) Let’s look at the next story, Left at Lunch. Select a student volunteer to read Left at Lunch to the class: Sue and Alicia have been good friends for a long time, but lately Alicia has been hanging out with some new girls. Today when Sue tried to join Alicia and her new friends at their lunch table, Alicia whispered something to the other girls who were with her. They all laughed and moved to another table, leaving Sue sitting there alone. Sue thought, “She’s gotta lotta nerve! She’ll be sorry. I’ll tell the whole school what she did. Everyone will know what a loser she is.” Cross out the thoughts that would make Sue angrier. Write something in the bubble Sue could say to herself that would bring the level of her anger down. Allow two minutes, and then call on volunteers to share their answers. (Sample answers may be found in the examples bulleted on curriculum page 34.) Let’s look at the last story, A Friend Who Flirts. Select a student volunteer to read A Friend Who Flirts to the class: Jim and Wendy had been going together for about a month. When Jim saw his best friend Antonio flirting with Wendy, his first thought was, “That jerk! He’s not going to get away with this!” Cross out the thoughts that would make Jim get angrier. Write something Jim could say to himself that would reduce his angry feelings.

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Seventh Grade

Allow two minutes, and then call on volunteers to share their answers. Examples of thoughts or statements that will reduce anger are given below: • • • •

I don’t like what he or she did, but I can stay cool. Easy does it. I need to get calm so I can think about how to deal with this. I’ve been this angry before, and I handled it okay. Take a deep breath. Nobody makes me feel angry or act badly.

To manage anger in a positive way, don’t gossip to get even, explode, carry a grudge, or take it out on someone else. Instead, recognize your angry feelings and use your anger management skills: distract yourself, relax, and talk yourself into calming down. If you use these anger management skills, and you are still too angry to talk to the person you are angry with, take some time out. Time spent doing an activity you enjoy will give you a chance to cool off. What kinds of healthy activities help you to cool off when you are very, very angry? Taking a walk, talking to a friend, playing a musical instrument, playing a game, drawing or painting, etc. When you are calm enough to think, then you can decide what you want to do about your angry feelings. We’ll talk more about that next time.

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Lesson 4

Looking for More? Supplemental Activities & Resources

Journal Assignments As homework, give your students these assignments: Write a paragraph about the following quotation: “When angry, count to ten before you speak. If very angry, count to one hundred.” Thomas Jefferson Write a paragraph about a time when you were very angry. Tell what you did to calm down.

Suggested Video When Anger Turns to Rage. Sunburst Visual Media. This 27-minute video shows why common ways of mismanaging anger are not effective and teaches effective anger management skills. To order or preview, call (800) 431-1934 or visit www.sunburstvm.com.

Conflict Case Studies Use Conflict Case Studies numbers 5 and 6 on curriculum page 90 to reinforce your students’ conflict resolution skills. Select two students to come to the front of the room or divide the class into pairs for simultaneous role-plays. Have the students work together to solve the conflicts constructively. Encourage them to express their characters’ angry feelings in positive ways.

Recommended Reading Over the Wall, by John H. Ritter. Putnam Juvenile, 2002. Thirteen-year-old Tyler explodes with anger on the baseball field that he loves. Exploding is going to destroy his baseball life. With the help of his coach, who has seen anger destroy people, Tyler learns to fight his battles with his glove, his bat and his love for the game, not with his fists.

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Seventh Grade

Carrying A Grudge

Anger Style Card #1 Too Good For Violence

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Lesson 4

Exploding Anger Style Card #2 Š Mendez Foundation

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Seventh Grade

Blaming Anger Style Card #3 Too Good For Violence

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Lesson 4

Acting Mad At The World

Anger Style Card #4 Š Mendez Foundation

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Seventh Grade

Taking It Out On Someone Else

Anger Style Card #5 Too Good For Violence

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Lesson 4

Gossiping To Get Even

Anger Style Card #6 Š Mendez Foundation

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Seventh Grade

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