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Flipping a Lid: Brain Activities and Lesson


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Empower students by teaching them about their brain and their feelings using the hand model of the brain! This resource is a kid-friendly way of explaining what “flipping a lid” means by illustrating the roles of the wise owl pre-frontal cortex, guard dog amygdala, and memory saver hippocampus. It also allows you to begin a discussion about how to self-regulate when you flip a lid. You might pick and choose elements of this resource to present to your students as one lesson, or you may use them all and break this into 2-3 sessions/lessons.

*Out of respect for the Navajo people, the slideshow and activities are also included with a version that replaces the owl with an eagle for the prefrontal cortex.

This resource is perfect for individual counseling, group counseling, or SEL lessons. Help your students understand what’s happening in their brains when they’re emotionally dysregulated to gain their investment and excitement in calming their brains down! This resource is also awesome in trauma-sensitive or trauma-informed schools (and parts can definitely be used with faculty as well!).


  • Book/story in printable and PowerPoint/slideshow form (37 slides)
  • “What part of the brain is this?” sorting cards and worksheet
  • “Who said it?” (amygdala vs. PFC) sorting cards and worksheet
  • 2 mini-skits illustrating the role of the different parts of the brain when we flip a lid and when we calm down our amygdalas
  • 2 practice sheets for reviewing/identifying the parts of the brain
  • 2 worksheets about coping and calming down, plus a coping skills fortune teller
  • 1 worksheet about identifying triggers
  • 2 posters

✨Glowing Praise for This Resource✨

“I am beyond satisfied with the results[…] I have watched students grow in their awareness, love, and care for one another. I will probably use this every single year! Thank you so much!” Trechiondria L

“Fantastic resource – used in a therapeutic camp – […] staff found it easy to use throughout all aspects of camp when a child was dysregulated.” –Dru S.

*Open the previews for more details!*


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What others are saying...

“I LOVED this resource. I was so impressed with all the new information and understanding my students came away with, they really understood the material by the end of the lesson. I wish I would have learned about my amygdala in elementary school!”

“One of my favorite lessons to teach all year! It makes so much sense to the kids. Everything about it is wonderful! I’ve never seen my second graders so engaged.”

“This resource was excellent. Very good graphics, well organized, easy to explain and easy for the kids to understand. I loved it!”