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Making Connections Between Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors

The way we think, feel, and act are all connected, and even a small change in one of these elements can have a big effect on the others. In this lesson, grade 2 (7-8 years old) students discover the fascinating interplay between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors through relatable daily examples. This lesson helps the students to develop a deeper understanding of themselves and those around them.


  • Students will identify examples of thoughts and behaviors related to their feelings.

  • Students will understand the connection between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.


  • 5 sets of 4 feeling cards, 4 bubble thought cards, and 4 behavior cards.

  • 1 set of 2 feeling cards, 2 bubble thought cards, and 2 behavior cards in a larger size to display on the whiteboard.

(You can access the whole set here)


- "Reading Minds" activity: Ask the students what they think you might be feeling based on your facial expression, body language, and tone of voice. Then ask them what your thoughts could be.

- Brainstorming behaviors: Ask the students to suggest behaviors that might be connected to certain emotions. For example, if someone is feeling excited, they might jump up and down or clap their hands. Encourage creativity and a non-judgmental atmosphere during this activity.

Main activities

- Connecting Thoughts, Feelings, and Behaviors: Divide the students into small groups and provide each group with a set of feeling cards, bubble thought cards, and behavior cards. Instruct them to match and connect the cards by finding the relationships between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

- Gallery Walk: After the students have matched the cards, have them walk around to other groups' work to observe and discuss different connections. Encourage them to share their observations and learn from one another.


- Reflection Questions (Circle Time): Gather the students in a circle on the carpet and engage them in a reflective discussion. Use open-ended questions, such as:

  • What did you learn from this exercise?

  • Did you notice any interesting connections between feelings, thoughts, and behaviors?

  • Can you share an example of how your feelings influenced your thoughts and behaviors, or vice-versa?

- Encourage each student to think of a personal example of a time when changing their thoughts or behaviors impacted their feelings, or when changing their feelings affected their behavior. They can draw or write about this example on a separate piece of paper. Give some students the opportunity to share their examples with the class if they feel comfortable doing so.

Follow-up activities

- Thought, Feeling, Behavior Journal: Provide each student with a journal or a set of blank papers stapled together. Encourage them to reflect on their experiences throughout the week and identify instances where their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors were interconnected. They can write or draw about different situations, exploring how changing one element affected the others.

- "Emotion Charades" Game: Divide the class into two teams and prepare a set of emotion cards. Each team takes turns sending one student to act out the emotion without speaking while their teammates guess the feeling being portrayed. After each round, ask the acting student to describe what thoughts or behaviors they associate with the chosen emotion.

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