5-4-3-2-1 Game

The Goal: The point of this exercise is to teach a coping mechanism to students to help handle stress, panic attacks, or emotional overload.


RAMP (ASCA) Mindset & Behaviors addressed and developed: Career: Take Responsibility; Overcoming Obstacles; Positive Attitude.  Social/Emotional: Coping Skills; Self Advocacy; Whole Self; Self Confidence.


  • Circle of chairs
  • Pencil and paper

Step 1: Have everyone sit down (either on a chair or the ground) and think about five colors they see.

Step 2: Have students think about four sounds they hear.

Step 3: Have students touch three objects in the room and think about how they feel (they can move during this exercise).

Step 4: Have students think of two smells.

Step 5: Have students think of the one taste of their favorite food.

Example: I see the colors blue, grey, white, green, and red; I hear crickets, the air conditioning, people walking, and my breathing; I feel my pen, the carpet, and my shirt; I smell fresh air and my shampoo; I remember the taste of mocha-flavored ice cream.

Encourage students to use this in stressful situations or at times when there are frustrated with the way people communicate with them.

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