Chapter 4 of 4 – Brian, Melanie, Mark, and Austin are really angry. They visit with the school guidance counselor to get help in using the SPAM method so they can get control of their temper. (S.P.A.M. = Stop-Ponder-Appreciate-Moment)
- Click here for links to Story chapters 1-4 links: A story that demonstrates the SPAM method
Chapter 4: Austin uses the S.P.A.M. method of anger control
Austin was still furious! He too had come back from three days out-of-school suspension.
His Mom came in with him for the re-entry conference with the principal.
Afterward, the guidance counselor had a private conference with Austin.
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Hello, Austin. We’re glad to have you back. Would you mind telling me about the conflict?”
Austin said, “Okay! Tyler and Scott have been calling me names. My name is Austin Flagg. It’s not even my real name cuz I’m adopted. But they’ve been calling me Austin F_g instead of Flagg or Austin Gag-A-F_g and other such names. That’s not right, and I don’t like it!”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “No, that doesn’t sound like much fun. No one likes to be called names, especially names like that.
Austin said, “Well, a few days ago, Tyler came up to me and started calling me those names again. We were just back from lunch and the teacher wasn’t in the room. I pushed him away so I could get by. I didn’t push hard. I kind of gently shoved him away like this.
Austin demonstrated by gently moving Mrs. Feelgood out of the way.
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Okay, I see. Since you were feeling angry, do you think it might not have been as gentle as you recall?”
Austin said, “Well, maybe. Well, anyway, I just walked away, like the principal always said. I went to talk to some girls over by the pencil sharpener. Tyler came over and jumped me and shoved me in the corner.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “How did he jump you?”
Austin said, “He kind of bumped into me from the side and shoved me into the corner. Then he started punching me and hitting me. I stretched my arm out and held his head away from me so that he couldn’t reach me to punch me in the nose or eyes. I wanted to hit him and hurt him really badly. But I didn’t. But I got suspended even though I didn’t hit him. That makes me mad!”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Did Tyler get out-of-school suspension?”
Austin said, “Yeah, I guess!”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “Would you like to try the SPAM method?”
Austin said, “Yeah, if it can make me feel less angry.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “It’s worked for several other students. Shall we try it?”
Teacher Says or Asks: Austin agreed to give it a try. We need someone in the audience to pretend to be Mrs. Feelgood and tell Austin the first step.
Students Respond: (Austin needs to STOP.)
Teacher Says or Asks: That’s right. Austin needs to STOP. Now who wants to tell Austin what he needs to do next?”
Students Respond: (Austin needs to PONDER.)
Teacher Says or Asks: That’s right. He needs to find something that he can focus in on and PONDER on. Austin saw the jar of candy that Mrs. Feelgood had in her office. He PONDERED on the possibility that she might give him a piece of candy.
Teacher Says or Asks: Knowing that Austin wanted a piece of candy, what was the next step that Mrs. Feelgood told him to do?”
Students Respond: (Austin needs to APPRECIATE the thought of getting a piece of candy.)
Teacher Says or Asks: That’s right. He should PONDER on that candy until he felt a real sense of APPRECIATION for that candy.
Teacher Says or Asks: What was the next step that Austin needs to do?”
Students Respond: (Austin needs to see if he can figure out something to APPRECIATE about Tyler.)
Teacher Says or Asks: That’s right. Austin needs to find something to APPRECIATE about Tyler.
After concentrating for awhile, Austin said, “I know. Tyler is nice to girls. I hate cowards who hit girls, and he isn’t one of them.”
Mrs. Feelgood said, “That’s a great thing to APPRECIATE!”
Teacher Says or Asks: What’s the last step that Austin needs to do?
Students Respond: (Austin needs to appreciate the MOMENT when he figured out a good thing about Tyler.)
Teacher Says or Asks: Exactly, Austin needs to APPRECIATE the MOMENT that he figured that good thing out about Tyler, APPRECIATE the MOMENT that he is now back in school with a clean slate, and APPRECIATE the MOMENT that he has gotten control of his anger. Austin comes out a winner.
Austin smiles as he heads back to class. He is feeling pretty good. And yes, Mrs. Feelgood did give Austin a piece of candy from her candy jar.
Teacher Says or Asks: So, what do you think about the SPAM method? In other words, do you feel it might be a helpful method to try when you start feeling angry?
Students Respond: (Accept Reasonable Answers.)
Teacher Says or Asks: We will now act this story out in role-play form. At the end of the role-play, there will be some skits that will give you further practice in utilizing the S.P.A.M. method of angry control.
- Role-play: A role-play that demonstrates the S.P.A.M. method
Return to ‘Middle School lesson plan: Control your anger with SPAM.’
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