How Do You Feel? (Freebie!)

At the beginning of the school year I do a big "All About Me" unit so that I can get to know the kids and they get to know each other. Part of the unit is also about emotions because I find that many of my students don't have a vocabulary for emotions yet. They can't "use their words" because they don't HAVE the words to use! One of the ideas that I came up with to help with building that emotional vocabulary is a fun pocket chart activity that we do during calendar time.

I've made emotion cards with simple smiley faces. Easy enough for the students' to relate to, and I've got basic emotions as well as "feelings" like hungry and sleepy because that's a great time to discuss the difference between emotional feelings and physical feelings. I put each card into a square of the pocket chart - sorry mine is all packed away or I'd show you a picture of the chart set up. Here are the feeling cards though:
 Just click a picture to grab the cards for free in my TPT Store!

The first time we do the activity we discuss each feeling and come up with examples of what might make us feel this way.This way I'm sure that everyone understands the feeling of being proud etc.

I buy the mini popsicle sticks and write a child's name on each one. I pass them out to each child - this is a great way to practice name recognition too - sometimes I hold up the stick to see if they can recognize their name or I might call out the letters. Once everyone has their stick we take turns putting it in the pocket for whichever feeling corresponds to their mood. I'll say "How are you feeling today Gertrude?" and Gertrude will go up and place her popsicle stick in the appropriate pocket and use a complete sentence to answer the question. For example "I feel sad because my daddy has been gone for a long time." or "I feel tired because I stayed up late last night."

Be ready for shockers like "I feel angry because the police took my brother to jail." or "I feel hurt because my dad hit me with his belt." This is usually the time that divorce, jail, new babies on the way, electricity turned off etc comes out and we need to remember to acknowledge the child's feelings and support them so that they feel safe in revealing these things. It's helpful to have a calm response ready, because the child who said it is looking to you to see if you're going to judge them and the other kids are looking to you to see what their response should be. A simple "I understand why that would make you feel hurt. I think I would feel hurt too." will suffice at the moment and then you can always pull the child aside later or set him up with the counselor etc.

This is also a time when some mediation might be required if Johnny says "I'm angry because Billy Bob stole my pencil!" It's a wonderful opportunity to have each side tell each other how they feel and resolve issues! We also brainstorm ways to help people who are feeling sad or bored or shy, which is great for building bonds between the students.

Here are some of the chants we say during this time too:

I feel happy, I feel happy—
See me smile, see me smile.
Happy, happy, happy,
_______ makes me happy.
See me smile, see me smile.

I feel angry, I feel angry—
See me frown, see me frown.
Angry, angry, angry—
_______ makes me angry.
See me frown, see me frown.

Other verses:
grumpy (see me pout)
silly (see me wiggle)
proud (see me strut)
sad (see me cry)
scared (see me shiver)

by Karen Folk
Sometimes on my face you’ll see (Point to face)
How I feel inside of me. (Point to chest)
A smile means happy, a frown means sad, (Smile, then frown)
And when I grit my teeth, I’m mad. (Grit teeth and frown)
When I’m shy, my head hangs low, (Bow head)
But when I’m proud I beam and glow. (Smile)

This Mr. Rogers video is great for talking about mad feelings - it gives a lot of examples of things to do when you're feeling mad that don't hurt anyone.

Please Rustle Up a Response below if you grab this freebie - I always feel happy when I read your  comments!

8 Rustle Up A Response!:

Rachel said... Reply to comment

I like this idea a lot! We have a program called Second Step where the kids look at pictures of kids and discuss how they might feel and discuss appropriate responses. I like how this make it about them and gives them a chance to share something!

Miss Squirrels said... Reply to comment

I FEEL like this was a great post-
you are very in-tune with your sweeties:)
they are lucky!

☞Go NuTTY with ME!

mcoop1125 said... Reply to comment

Thanks for the great faces for kindergarten friendly! I like the idea of the students using a complete sentence to tell how and why they feel a certain way - great idea! Thanks!

Allyce said... Reply to comment

I am loving this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Kindertrips said... Reply to comment

Thank you so much for these cards and really, the whole lesson plan! It was so nice of you to share!

S said... Reply to comment

Thanks for stopping by my blog Jennifer! I am your newest follower! You have some great ideas! Can't wait to read some more :)

Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

jLyGHT said... Reply to comment

Thank you for the freebie, song, poems, and Mr. Rogers link! I am planning on using them at home to support his transition to Kinder. We have had some rocky mornings and the school counselor suggest I support him more. These faces will help with a chart I'm going to make.

Unknown said... Reply to comment

Great resource. Thank you for sharing.