Seeing Red is a curriculum designed to help elementary and middle school-aged students better understand their anger so they can make healthy and successful choices and build strong relationships. Overall, it aims for participants to realize that they can control their behavior and develop practical skills and strategies to manage their feelings which, in turn, will increase their self-esteem. These objectives are achieved through role playing common situations, identifying associated feelings, problem solving, recognizing negative behaviors and anticipating consequences.
Uniquely designed for small groups of willing participants, Seeing Red enables participants to learn from and empower each other. This group process helps participants build upon other important developmental skills as well: leadership skills (taking initiative, presenting in front of the group, offering ideas), social skills (taking turns, cooperating, active listening) and building self-esteem (positive feedback from peers, problem solving, empowering the group) all of which are integrated into the curriculum.
The book describes its key concepts (including identifying triggers of anger, taking responsibility for mistakes, identifying healthy ways to avoid losing control, and discerning provocation), and key activities (including stating feelings, learning steps to control anger and exploring the consequences of choices). Each session includes objectives for that particular lesson, a list of supplies needed for its activities, a description of tasks to do before the lesson, background notes to the leader, a warm-up activity at the start, an explanation of the various learning activities, and a closing activity.
Jennifer Simmonds works with the Family and Children’s Service in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as a Training and Curriculum Development specialist. She holds a Masters of Education in Youth Development Leadership, and has facilitated hundreds of educational and support groups as well as workshops on peacemaking and conflict resolution for staff, parents, children and classrooms of students.