Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Angry

This is the fourth post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction),   click here . You can also read the second post about "happy"   here  and the third post about "sad"   here .


This weekly blog series discusses how narrative books help students develop emotional and literary skills. Today, we will focus on the emotion of   anger . No matter the reason, every child feels angry sometimes. Recognizing this emotion and describing it with words is a crucial part of anger management. Reading about a fight from an omniscient point of view will also help students understand the different emotions of each character.

In   The Letter Fight , part of the   Joy Cowley Early Birds   series, the characters all claim that they are the smartest.   By examining the ways in which each letter expresses its anger, you can teach a lesson about healthy and effective ways to expres anger . Students can also practice their spelling skills while reading this book!


p. 1:

  • What does it mean to fight? Why do you think the letters are fighting?

p .4:

  • Why do you think A kicks L? Is that a good way to show your anger? How do you think L feels about being kicked?
  • With what betters ways can you tell someone that they are making you angry ? (With your words.)
  • Instead of kicking, what else can you do to release your angry energy?   (Drawing, dancing, playing ball)

p. 9:

  • Do you think the other letters like A’s plan? How can you tell?

p. 10:

  • Which “talking” verbs show you that the letters are angry?   (“Growled” and “shouted”)

p. 12–13:

  • Examine the illustrations. How can you tell that the letters are angry?   (Open mouth, slanted eyebrows, narrowed eyes)

p. 15:

  • The letters feel better after sleeping. What are other activities that can calm your anger?   (Playing with a favorite toy, singing a song)

p. 16:

  • How did the letters solve their fight?

Reader's Theater:

  • Select students to read the lines of P, A, L and S. Remind them to adopt a voice that reflects each letter's emotion (i.e., angry). This dramatic play will allow your students to experience each character's feelings on a deeper level. 

Numbers Exercise:

  • Teach your students that simply counting to six can help them calm angry feelings. Give each student a piece of blank paper. Fold it to make six boxes. Have students number the boxes in order. If desired, students can illustrate each box to show a progression from anger to contentment. Practice using the counting chart as a class, pointing to each box as you count aloud. If a student is ever feeling angry in the future, encourage him or her to use their counting chart.

Reading about fictional fights will not only improve students' reading skills, but it will also serve as a classroom management tool if there is a conflict between classmates . Next week, we will focus on how books about being afraid. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 


Click the image below to download a informational sheet about   Joy Cowley Early Birds , which includes the book featured in this article.