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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 through 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 you students as one lesson, or you may use them all and break this into 2-3 sessions/lessons.

*While this was created for in-person counseling sessions or lessons, the storybook component is very digital friendly (PowerPoint, or upload into Google Slides). The worksheets can also be uploaded into Google Classroom as needed.*

*Out of respect for the Navajo people, there are versions of the PowerPoint, posters, and a worksheet that include an eagle in place of an owl for the prefrontal cortex.*

This resource is perfect for individual counseling, group counseling, or guidance lessons with students that become easily dysregulated. Help your students understand what’s happening in their brains 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 form (34 pages)
  • “What part of the brain is this?” sorting cards
  • 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
  • 3 practice and coloring sheets about the parts of the brain
  • 2 worksheets about coping and calming down
  • 2 posters

*Open the preview 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!”