When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt

Free lesson plan, writing template and printable word-search puzzles for kids

when sophies feelings are really really hurt

Best suited to:

K – Year 3

KLAs covered:

English, PDH (emotional literacy), art


  • other people’s words can hurt our feelings;
  • when our feelings are hurt we can feel shame, embarrassment and sadness;
  • the art we create is a reflection of our feelings and can also make people feel different emotions when they view it;
  • for teachers and parents: children’s unkind words usually reflect their lack of skill in the way they express themselves. They do not mean a child is bad or unkind. A kind and calm adult can turn situations where one child hurts another’s feelings into an opportunity to learn by helping everyone feel heard and understood;

Need to know:

  • this is the story of how Andrew makes fun of Sophie’s painting of her favourite tree when she chooses to paint it blue;
  • Sophie is happy and proud when she finishes her painting but she feels embarrassed and ashamed when Andrew makes fun of it and the other children laugh with him;
  • the children’s teacher gently supports Sophie as she encourages her to describe her painting and why she chose the colours she did. Then she does the same with Andrew and his painting;
  • this story reminds teachers and children that we can deal with differences in ways that are supportive of everybody;
  • the author does a wonderful job of describing how our bodies feel when we experience shame and embarrassment;
  • this book is a great springboard for talking about feelings, naming them, normalising them and describing how they feel in our bodies;
  • if you are exploring feelings and how our words affect other people, this book pairs really well with In My Heart and with Words and Your Heart;

Discussion Questions (before reading):

  • discuss the cover: what do you see? What do you think the book will be about?
  • for younger children (K-Year 2): point out the author’s name and discuss the terms ‘author’ and ‘illustrator’;
  • ask the children: what does it mean when we have our feelings hurt? How does it feel in our bodies? What are some things that have/can hurt our feelings?

Discussion Questions (after reading):

  • ask children what they thought about of the book. Did they like it? Not like it? Why? Which was their favourite page;
  • lots of feelings are described in the book. Let’s see if we can remember them (brainstorm as a class and write on the board). Refer back to the book to make sure you’ve listen all of the feelings described;
  • turn to the page which begins: “Sophie feels her face get hot” and read it aloud. How do you think Sophie feels here? (embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated, sad, hurt). Explain that those are tricky feelings that we all feel from time-to-time. Lead a brief discussion about when children have felt these feelings;
  • ask the children: what did the teacher do to make Sophie feel better? (asked Sophie about her painting and explained to the children that Sophie used colour to show her feelings about her tree;
  • ask the children: what do you think about Andrew? Prompt (only if necessary): is he a bad person? Is he an unkind person? (Andrew was a bit careless and spoke unkindly without thinking about how his words might make Sophie feel. He was surprised at Sophie’s blue tree and poke without thinking. We all do this sometimes. He’s still a good person, as we all are, even when we make mistakes);
  • ask the children: what did Ms Mulry say to Andrew? If the children don’t point it out, ask if they noticed that Ms Mulry didn’t get angry with Andrew, tell him he’d been unkind or ask him to apologise. (Because she didn’t do these things, Andrew was able to listen to what she said about Sophie’s painting, think about it and notice that Sophie’s tree did look happy);
  • how did Sophie and Andrew feel at the end of the story? (happy, proud, friendly, interested, confident, calm);
  • ask the children: when you feel hurt, what do you do? (tell someone? keep it to yourself?) What do you think is a good thing to do? What helps to make you feel better?
  • Tell the children: sometimes we see and hear someone being unkind but we don’t know what to say or do to stop them. If you heard someone saying unkind things to someone else, what could you say or do? (discuss as a class);

Literacy Activities

  • children complete a wordsearch using vocabulary from the story;
  • children write and/or draw a response to the story;
  • children write about a time when their feelings were hurt: what happened? Who was involved? How did they feel? Did anyone help them? What happened afterwards? Did they do anything to help themselves manage the hurt feelings?
  • children retell the story using a sequencing template (what happened in the beginning of the story, the middled and the end;
  • older children write a story about an incident involving two children where one experiences their feelings being hurt and someone helps. Model this process on the classroom whiteboard (brainstorm an idea for an incident, who are the two children, what do they say, who comes to help and what do they do);

Art Activities

  • prompt the children to remember Sophie’s approach to drawing her tree. She chose colours that reflected how she felt about her tree, how the tree made her feel, etc. Re-read the pages in the book where Sophie is thinking about the colours she will use;
  • discuss the colours Sophie used (bright because the tree made her feel happy). Ask the children: what sort of colours might Sophie have used if she felt another way when she was near her tree?
  • ask the children to close their eyes and pay attention to the feelings in their bodies. How are they feeling right now? Can they name the feelings? Can they describe them? Invite the children to share how they are feeling;
  • using paint (or another medium) children create a piece of art that reflects how they are feeling right now. The painting can be of themselves or of anything they choose;
  • using paint and collage materials children create their own favourite tree. When they’ve finished, invite them to share how they feel about their tree and why they chose to create it in the way they did. Children take part in a gallery walk to look at their classmates’ trees. They use their emotional vocabulary to describe how each tree makes them feel;

Your free, printable word-search puzzles and writing template

These free, printable word-search puzzles for kids are great for building and reinforcing the vocabulary used when discussing When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt. They’re especially helpful for EAL/D students.

There are two different puzzles in this file to enable you to differentiate the activity according to the learning needs of your students.

Download and print our free writing template for use with the picture book When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt here (PDF).

a flamboyance of flamingos
my name is not refugee
bee & me
lest we forget
the peace book