~15 minutes

Try ONE of the strategies below this week.

Choose one of the following activities to complete in your classroom this week. Your final assignment for this module will be a reflection about the activity and how it went in your classroom. Several of the titles are links to additional resources, check them out.

1. Check Ins

Do more “check-ins” — a brief survey of students’ current feelings — multiple times per day (especially important after out-of-class times such as recess, and transitions & challenges — e.g., the start of the day, after project work, before a test).  

A “check-in” gives the teacher a quick sense of the current emotional reality of the group which can signal a need to change plans.  It also sends the students a message that their emotions matter — and, by giving them a chance to express themselves, helps them navigate their emotions.  This process also builds emotional literacy — and linguistic literacy (by using metaphors).  

2. eMotion CARDS

The cards come with suggested activities offering wonderful ways to begin using them. They are effective in small group work or one-to-one dialog. They include conversation starters, feeling sequencing, sorting, charades, and more. The cards and activities work well with ages 3-103 in a variety of settings from classroom environments to family life and are an effective psychotherapeutic tool for the clinical setting.

Purchase or create a set of your own emotion cards using various facial expressions. You could print out and cut up a set of emoji images. Play a game with your class like the following: 

  • Have students or groups of students, each pick a card from the deck. Have them act out the emotion they received and the rest of the class guesses what the emotion was. Discuss how the class could tell what the particular emotion was. What did it feel like to display that emotion? Did the actor’s mood change?  
  • Divide students into small groups have each one select a card from the deck. Small groups can then take turns describing a time when they felt that emotion. How did it resolve? Did they need to take specific action to address the emotion if it was a strong or difficult one? 

3. Emotion Bingo Cards

Also available at the Six Seconds store site, these cards come with directions for a game you can play with your class. 

This game facilitates quick insight into life or school experiences — and helps participants discover valuable information about feelings, thoughts, behaviors, perceptions, problem solving,  pattern recognition, and strategic planning.

4. Decoding Emotions

As a class, or with students in small groups, read Josh Freedman’s article Decoding Emotions which is “part 2” of a series he wrote for young people, and it’s also great for teachers.  It provides an explanation of emotions as a resource for solving challenges.

5. Emotion Revisit

Your goal with this activity is to access the kernel of wisdom behind an unpleasant emotion. Think back to the last time you experienced a challenging emotion, and try to re-activate some of it in your body.

First, what emotion are you feeling? Then, use one or more of these prompts to help tease out what the message of that emotion is:

  • Ask the emotion, “what are you trying to tell me?”
  • Or, “what do you need from me?”
  • Find your identified emotion on this chart (Emotoscope Feeling Chart) then find its purpose. This might give you a clue into what it’s telling you!
  • Or try this interactive Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions that demonstrates the connections between many emotions. 

6. POP-UP Lesson

In conjunction with UNICEF World Children’s Day, these lessons were created to teach EQ in remote parts of the world with few financial and material resources. The Emo Heads Up game helps children and teens develop a continuum of words for their feelings. 

Each emotion you experience is a precious tributary into the river of your life’s story. Don’t miss out on the wisdom your emotions have to offer you!