Lesson 1: Wonderful me! My happiness

Children begin to take responsibility for their own happiness by identifying what’s important to them and setting achievable goals.

Learning objective

  • To identify what is important to me and to take responsibility for my own happiness

National curriculum

All schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice.

The PSHE Association Programme of Study recommends pupils are taught:

  • H1. how to make informed decisions about health
  • H2. about the elements of a balanced, healthy lifestyle
  • H3. about choices that support a healthy lifestyle, and recognise what might influence these
  • H4. how to recognise that habits can have both positive and negative effects on a healthy lifestyle
  • H18. about everyday things that affect feelings and the importance of expressing feelings

Success criteria

  • I understand that all emotions are important
  • I know that I can control some things but not others
  • I can take action to affect my own happiness

Cross-curricular links

  • Nothing relevant to this lesson

Before the lesson


  • Teacher video: Wonderful me
Teacher video: Wonderful me

Have ready

  • Watch the following video clips from ‘Inside Out’:
    • Meet your emotions
    • Sadness saves Riley

(You can find the ‘Meet your emotions’ and ‘Sadness saves Riley’ clips on the ‘Inside Out’ DVD or when searching on the official Disney channel online).


  • Activity: Project happiness sheet (see Classroom resources) – one per pupil
  • Activity: Project happiness example (see Classroom resources) – one per pupil

Download classroom resources

Activity: Project happiness
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Activity: Project happiness example
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Attention grabber

Watch the ‘Inside Out’ video clip called ‘Meet your emotions’ which is about the different emotions that we feel.

Discuss why different emotions are useful.

Now watch the ‘Sadness saves Riley’ clip (contains ‘Inside Out’ spoilers).

By allowing herself to feel sad and share this with people around her, she can get help to deal with the situation and feel better for not bottling up her feelings.

Discuss how all emotions serve a purpose and these lead us to behave in different ways. However, we have a choice as to the action we take, given how we feel.

Main event

Ask the children to consider what is important to them (other people being happy; being good at drawing; having lots of friends; having a tidy room; eating nice food at lunch).

There are lots of things that are outside of our control and things that we can affect. Ask the children to think of how they could impact (no matter how little) one of the things they have identified as important to them.

For example:

  • Having lots of friends. (Talk to other people, be kind to them, ask them what they like to do).
  • Eat nice food at lunch. (Talk to your parents about what food you like, offer to help with shopping and making lunches).

Hand out the Activity: Project happiness resource and ask the children to fill out each thought bubble by drawing a picture of what would make them happy in the centre of it, then writing what they themselves could do to make this happen around the image.

Show the children Activity: Project happiness example to give children an idea of what is expected. Explain that they should only write down things that they can have a positive impact on rather than events that they can’t control.

Halfway through the activity, ask children to share the ideas they have written down so far to:

  • offer inspiration to those struggling with ideas
  • allow you to assess where to direct support


Pupils needing extra support: Might need to be asked more prompting questions throughout and be given plenty of examples.

Pupils working at greater depth: Could write two possible actions to help achieve each happiness goal.

Wrapping up

In relation to their goals, ask the children, ‘Is there anything that you could do today? Or this week? Immediately?

And recap:

  • I understand that all emotions are important.
  • I know that I can control some things but not others.
  • I can take action to affect my own happiness.

Assessing pupils' progress and understanding

Pupils with secure understanding indicated by: Describing what things make them happy and suggesting ways they could help work towards this as a goal. Explaining that there are some things they can control and some things they can not.

Pupils working at greater depth indicated by: Describing why all emotions are important. Understanding that their actions affect their own happiness as well as the happiness of others. Explaining why it is important to focus on ways in which we can make a difference.


  • Important

  • Friends

  • Wellbeing

  • Changes

Created by:
Elaine Bousfield,  
Wellbeing specialist
Elaine worked for many years as a therapist with young people. She is the founder and chair of XenZone and its children and young people’s counselling service, kooth.com. Kooth delivers an online counselling and therapy service. It is also an online community…
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