Folded Paper ‘Trigger’ Teller


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This fortune teller is a great way to help learners understand the yellow, triggers cog concept, link to the orange, emotion words concept.

Folded Paper ‘Trigger’ Teller

This fortune teller is a great way to help learners understand the yellow, triggers cog concept.  

Although this lesson is focused on exploring the yellow, triggers cog, children require prior knowledge of key emotion words. Most children will be able to name four simple emotion words but a quick lesson confirming this is advisable. An emotion words word bank with symbols could be shared to support this. Pupils may choose their own emotion words or the class may agree on four for everyone to use. Both work well.


Inside these trigger tellers are four emotion words (written on the folds). Keep emotion words simple to ensure the activity is focused on understanding and exploring the yellow Triggers Cog (and not on understanding new emotional vocabulary). Trigger tellers work best when the emotion words have different meanings – in this example, we see joy, sadness, anger, fear.

When a final emotion word is chosen, and lifted up, the inner ‘fortune’ revealed is a scenario that is a strong trigger for that emotion. For example, under fear may say spider, darkness, injections, scary movies. Not all pupils will be affected by the same triggers, in the same way. This activity should lead to discussion of these differences, as well as other personal triggers. Other emotion words and reactions (green behaviour cog concept) may also be discussed.

It is a nice idea to have pupils report back to compare triggers for each emotion across the group. (Intensity can be discussed if pupils are at this level.) These could be recorded on a wall display or as a word bank.


A similar follow up ‘Feeling Better’ Teller could be made linking emotion words, triggers and helpful regulation strategies. These can be used two concepts at a time, as above, or using all three, as in the image below. These ideas could be recorded in our One Cog at a Time booklets as part of ongoing work on each cog concept.


This activity can also be used for building relationships and to generate information for Connect Profiling.