Age 13-22


We want you to have a well-rounded understanding of how our SPARK Teen 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 Seven: Surviving Mood Swings


The participants will be able to identify and define various mood characteristics.

The participants will understand that moods continuously fluctuate.

The participants will see how perception and moods are directly connected.

The participants will realize that moods aren’t connected to circumstances.



  • Various Moods worksheet
  • S.P.A.R.K. Workbook, p. 10: The Mood Movement


  • Charades props (optional)
  • Dry-Erase Board/Marker

  1. Charades: 15 minutes
  2. The Mood Movement: 30 minutes
  3. Q & A: 05 minutes

*Find activity descriptions below


Activity One: The participants will be playing “Charades” using the Various Moods worksheet (found at the end of this lesson). You will only need one copy. To make the activity more engaging, the facilitator may wish to have props available for participants to use.

Activity One: Charades (15 minutes)

Activity Focus: The purpose of this activity is to introduce the different emotions and moods a person may experience. It is important not to label the moods as good or bad, right or wrong. This activity is to simply provide a conversation starter by giving the participants the knowledge of different emotions and moods.

Using the Various Moods worksheet (visible only to the facilitator and the volunteer), the class will play a game of “Charades.”

Instructions for Charades:

1. The facilitator will call up one volunteer participant at a time and show the volunteer the Various Moods worksheet.

2. The participant will review the worksheet and choose a mood to act out.

3. The participant will silently act out the mood using only gestures (no writing or talking).

4. The audience will guess the mood the participant is acting out.

When the game is complete, the facilitator will lead a short discussion.

Sample Questions:

1. Can anyone think of any moods that weren’t acted out during the Charades game? Example Answers: Disgusted. Annoyed. Sad. Scared, etc.

As the volunteers give their answers, the facilitator will discuss each answer with the class to ensure the participants understand the different types of moods people experience.

2. Were there any moods shown during Charades or given as examples by your classmates that you have never experienced or don’t experience that often? Example Answers: Yes, I’ve never felt depressed, No, I experience a variety of emotions all the time.

The facilitator will end this activity by explaining that all humans experience different moods all the time and that all moods are a natural part of being alive.

Activity Two: The Mood Movement (30 minutes)

The facilitator will begin by asking the participants to turn to The Mood Movement worksheet on p. 10 in their S.P.A.R.K. Workbook and inform them that they should only complete the top portion of the worksheet for now. Next, the facilitator will instruct participants to think back to the beginning of their day, starting with the moment they woke up. The facilitator will direct participants to write down their mood when they woke up and why they think they felt that way? Next, the facilitator will give the participants 5 minutes to think through all the different moods they experienced throughout their day and to continue to fill in the top portion of their worksheets. Once the participants have completed the top portion, the facilitator will lead a discussion about what they wrote.

Sample Questions:

1. What are some causes you wrote down for moods you didn’t like? Example Answers: Fight with parents. Bad grades. A break-up. I didn’t want to get up, etc.

2. What are some causes you wrote down for moods you did like? Example Answers: Friends. Good grades. A fun party, etc.

Facilitator Note: If the participants place blame on an outside circumstance, the facilitator should guide them back to see that their thinking caused their mood, not the actual situation. Using dreaming as an example, the facilitator will discuss how our moods fluctuate naturally, based on our thinking, regardless of our current circumstances.

Sample Questions:

1. When you go to sleep, can you control what dreams you have? Example Answer: No, you can try to think of things you want to dream about, but you can’t make it happen.

2. Have any of you ever woken up after a dream and laughed because it was so ridiculous? If so, can someone share? Example Answers: Answers will vary.

3. Have any of you ever woken up after a dream and gotten scared or been mad at someone because it felt so real? If so, can someone share? Example Answer: Answers will vary.

4. Do you ever experience moods after waking from a dream? Example Answers: Yes, if it’s scary or upsetting my mood becomes scared or upset. If it’s funny, my mood becomes happy.

5. How can you experience something if it didn’t really happen? Example Answer: Because dreams are just thoughts we experience while we are asleep. However, when we wake up, we are aware of our experience, so we are still feelings the thoughts which is creating our moods.

The facilitator will then illustrate the example below on the board while explaining that when people are sleeping but not dreaming they don’t feel anything. But when they dream, they feel what they are dreaming about, which causes moods. That’s why when people have dreams that cause good feelings they call them dreams, but if they have dreams that cause bad feelings, they call them nightmares. The facilitator will continue to explain that the moods participants experience while awake work the exact same way. We can’t control how Thought shows up or when it leaves, but we always experience the mood it creates. However, there are always times when our mind is taking a break, when we are present in the moment and the mood is neutral.

Next the facilitator will share a personal example of their Mood Movement graph.

For Example:

When I woke up, I was annoyed because I immediately thought about all I had to do (bad). Then, I went downstairs, and my daughter was playing with Play-doh/clay, and I immediately got mad because I was thinking about the mess I was going to have to clean up (worse). Then, I drove my kids to school just listening to the radio with them (neutral), I got an idea about a project at work and got excited to test it out (good). Then my best friend called (better), I left work and drove home just enjoying music (neutral), then I started thinking about the mess I had to clean up at home again (bad). Then, I scrolled through Facebook and saw some cute pictures of my friend’s new baby and thought about our trip coming up (good).

After the personal example has been given, the facilitator will ask the participants to return to their workbook page and chart the moods they wrote at the top of their page on the graph at the bottom.

Next, the facilitator will lead a discussion about the participants’ graphs.

Sample Questions:

1. Does your graph look similar to the one I drew on the board? Example Answer: Yes, it goes up and down all day.

2. Why do you think you all have experienced so many different moods in one day? Example Answer: Because we have a lot of thoughts popping in and out of our heads all day, and they give us different feelings, causing different moods.

3. When were you in your neutral mood? Example Answers: When I wasn’t thinking about how or what I was doing. When I was enjoying the moment.

The facilitator should then guide the participants to see that changing their mood wasn’t in their control, it simply happened naturally when their focus (thinking) shifted.

4. What are some things you’ve seen people do when they are in bad moods that lowered their mood even more? Example Answers: Yell at others, make poor choices, feel sorry for themselves, dwell on a situation, retell a story over and over, etc.

5. What are some things you’ve seen people do when in good moods that elevated their mood even more? Example Answers: Have fun, do things they enjoy, spend time with friends, etc.

6. When you are in a bad mood, how do you experience your reality? Example Answers: Hopeless, exhausting, worthless, terrible, etc.

7. When you are in a good mood, how do you experience your reality? Example Answers: Excited, happy, joyful, filled with opportunities, etc.

The facilitator will guide participants to see how continually thinking about a bad situation will cause their mood to worsen, and continually thinking about a good situation will cause their mood to rise. It’s not about trying to change your thoughts—because you can’t control them even if you tried—but rather it’s about recognizing how Thought works and seeing the value in not doing things that will cause the same thinking to swirl around in your mind. Recognizing how Thought works will naturally allow your focus to shift and new thoughts to come through.

The facilitator will end by reiterating that thoughts create various types of moods, both good and bad. However, when we are present in the moment, everything is neutral, and we will naturally feel our best in this state.

Activity Three: Q & A (5 minutes)

To wrap-up, the facilitator will ask participants if they have any questions or concerns about the class. In order to conduct the Q & A in an orderly fashion, invite participants to raise their hands so they can be called on before sharing.


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