Age 8-10


We want you to have a well-rounded understanding of how our SPARK Child Mentoring Curriculum was developed, so we’re providing you with a PDF that outlines the following:  Program Components and Objectives  |  Framework for Prevention  |  Logic Model

Lesson Eight: Navigating Frustration and Stress


The participants will be able to recognize when they are feeling frustrated or stressed.

The participants will realize that it is not necessary to get rid of their feelings.

The participants will understand how to navigate through frustration and stress.

The participants will see how situations can look different without frustration and stress.



  • S.P.A.R.K. Workbooks p. 11; Frustration & Stress vs. Calm & Clear
  • SPARK Icon


  • Pencils/Crayons/Markers
  • Globes
  • Glitter/Confetti
  • Participant Picture (optional)
  • Large Plastic Beads
  • Mini Cups

  1. Frustration & Stress vs. Calm & Clear: 15 minutes
  2. Globes of Frustration and Stress: 10 minutes
  3. Making Your Own Globe: 15 Minutes
  4. Circle Time: 05 minutes

*Find activity descriptions below

Activity One: Prepare 10-15 large plastic beads per participant. To keep the beads together, it is a good idea to place them in individual small cups.

Activity Two: Each participant will be making their own snow globe, so you will need enough materials for each participant. You will also need to make one for yourself in advance to use as a demonstration. Another option would be to use mason jars or ornaments. (Alternatively, snow globes can be easily and inexpensively purchased in bulk online.) If you are unable to provide a snow globe for each participant, you can make one for yourself to use as a demonstration.

Optional: The facilitator can take a picture of each participant to use in the snow globe or create enough copies of the SPARK icon (found at the end of this lesson) for each participant. Then laminate the picture/SPARK icons and cut them out. Hot glue the picture/SPARK icon to the globe lid so that it is standing upright. Make sure the glue is dry before adding water inside the globe.

Activity One: Frustration & Stress Vs. Clear & Calm (15 minutes)

The facilitator will pass out the S.P.A.R.K. Workbooks and a cup of beads to each participant. The facilitator will then ask the participants to turn to the Frustration & Stress vs. Calm & Clear worksheet on p. 11 in their S.P.A.R.K. Workbooks and instruct the participants to draw in each box a picture of themselves doing something (each box should have the same picture). For example: taking a test, playing soccer, painting, talking to friends, etc. The facilitator will allow 10 minutes for participants to complete their drawings. After their drawings are complete, the facilitator will instruct the participants to pour their cup of beads over one of the pictures, explaining that the beads represent them having a lot of frustrating and stressful thinking while carrying out the activity in the picture. When completed, the facilitator will ask for volunteers to share what they drew.

Sample Questions:

1. Which picture is easier to see? Example Answer: The one without the beads.

2. Is it easier to partake in your activity when your head is clear or when it is full of frustrating or stressful thoughts? Example Answers: When your head is clear, when you’re in the zone, when you’re in the moment not thinking about how you are doing.

3. Does being covered up with thinking mean there is something wrong with you? Example Answer: No, it happens to everyone. It just means you have a lot of thinking.

Activity Two: Globes of Frustration and Stress (10 minutes)

The facilitator will begin the activity by asking for volunteers to think about the picture under the beads and relate it to a time they felt so frustrated or stressed that they couldn’t think straight. After the participants share their story, the facilitator will ask them a few questions to can help them see that when they were caught up in their thinking, it was harder for them to get done what they needed to do, but that eventually they calmed down and felt better, and had an easier time getting things done.

Sample Questions:

1. When you couldn’t think straight, were you able to do what you needed to do?

2. Did being frustrated or stressed make it harder on you?

3. How did you finally calm down?

After a few volunteers have shared their stories, the facilitator will demonstrate why they had those feelings by holding up the globe to see the picture or SPARK icon. The facilitator will then shake it up and ask how well they can see the picture or SPARK icon. The facilitator will explain that the “snow” is their thinking and that the picture is their SPARK. When we have lots of thinking in our heads, adding more thinking (shaking up the snow globe) only creates more chaos—lots of frustration and stress! If we want to see our SPARK, we should let everything settle in its own time, and before we know it, our SPARK will be uncovered, and we will see things are clear again. Let participants know that their SPARK never goes away. Although it may get covered up with our thinking at times, it is always available.

Sample Questions:

1. If I’m really frustrated or stressed out, what can I do to make it worse? Example Answer: Keep shaking the globe/thinking about the problem,

2. If I’m really frustrated or stressed out, what can I do to make it better? Example Answers: Put the globe (my thinking) down, walk away, go play something else for a while, take a break

Activity Three: Making Your Own Globe (15 minutes)

Next, the facilitator will lead the participants in making their own snow globes. The facilitator will pass out one empty snow globe and one lid to each participant. Next, the facilitator will pass out confetti and glitter (optional) to put inside of the globe. After the participants have put their confetti into their snow globes, they will fill them with water and close the lids tightly so no water is able to get out.

The facilitator will end the lesson by pairing the participants up and having them share with their partners what they learned using their snow globes.

Activity Four: Circle Time (5 minutes)

To wrap up, the participants will sit on the floor in a circle. The facilitator will then see if they have any questions. If there are no questions, the facilitator will ask participants to share what they learned that day.

Have Questions? 

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