R3: Take a meta-moment







Preventing, Responding, Understanding


Responsible decision-making, Self-awareness, Self-management


Ages 11-13, Ages 14-18


Timing: 30 minutes

Learning outcomes: learners will be able to…

  • Consider emotional regulation strategies to shape responses to cyberbullying.
  • Develop effective regulation strategies to protect themselves and others online.

Key vocabulary: cyberbullying, emotions, personality, regulation, strategies, pause, consider, reflect, best-self, meta-moment.

Resources: Google Slides, ‘Meta-moment’ cards (slide 6)

Key questions:

  • Do you behave differently when you feel…
    • …angry? How?
    • …upset? How?
    • …excited? How?
    • …happy? How?
  • How can you change your emotions?
  • What do you do to calm down (or regulate)?
  • What are the top three things you would do in order to be your ‘best self’?

Download the activity’s PowerPoint presentation

NOTE: This activity links with the activity ‘P2 – Your best online self’. It is advisable to complete this activity after exploring the concept of ‘best self’.

Starter activity (10 minutes)

How do you feel online?

Start by sharing the Mood Meter on slide 4 with learners. This is taken from Yale’s Centre for Emotional Intelligence RULER programme on social and emotional learning.

The coloured quadrants represent different emotion types and can be understood as follows:

  • Red and blue emotions are considered ‘less pleasant’, yellow and green are ‘more pleasant’.
  • Red and yellow emotions are ‘high energy’, blue and green emotions are ‘low energy’.
  • The intensity of the emotions increases as you move outwards from the centre to the corners of the chart.

Ask learners to work in pairs to select an emotion from the mood meter and explain a time when something they experienced online made them feel that emotion (e.g. I felt frustrated when there was lag in my favourite online game, I felt grateful when my friends and family donated to my online fundraising for a charity, etc.)

Give learners 5 minutes to discuss their experiences and then invite them to share their ideas. Encourage learners to share both positive and negative experiences. 

Be aware that some experiences shared might constitute a disclosure by a young person – please refer to guidance around handling disclosures in the educators’ guide, and always follow your school/setting’s policies and procedures for handling safeguarding and child protection issues.

Activity (15 minutes)


Explain to learners that difficult situations (online and offline) can produce strong emotional responses in ourselves and others. Bullying is one example where emotions can run high and this can lead to those involved making decisions that make a situation worse rather than better.

One way to counteract this is to take a meta-moment; a break or pause in order to consider your emotions and use strategies to regulate your emotions (usually to calm yourself down). Once calm, you can then make more rational decisions or be your ‘best self’. This can help protect you and others online.

Give each learner a card from slide 6 and explain that they will record strategies that they could use to help regulate their emotions. Show slide 7 for some examples of meta-moment strategies and discuss any with learners if required.

Learners should then work to select and record 3-5 strategies on their card that would help them take a meta-moment.

Once completed, ask learners to share their strategies.

Plenary (5 minutes)

If you have already completed the ‘Your best online self’ activity, remind learners of their ‘best self’ drawings. Explain that their meta-moment strategy cards can be used to remind them of how to regulate their emotions, and the strategies on their drawings can then be used in a difficult situation to help them act as their ‘best-self’ and make choices that will help themselves and others.

If time allows, revisit the four scenarios from ‘Your best online self’ and discuss what learners’ best selves would do in those situations to deal with cyberbullying.