Lesson About Emotions
We took our kids to Disney Pixar's INSIDE OUT recently. It was their very first big screen movie and it was met with the usual strong emotions of four year olds. They haven't stopped talking about the movie and the characters and the feelings since we saw the movie. Our daughter in particular brings it up to talk about whenever she has my attention (usually in the car). Given their interest, I started thinking of more ways to discuss the strong emotions that young children (and all people) feel every day.
This is a simple activity that we did during Group Time. It used only materials that we had on hand, a book we love, and required virtually zero prep - my very favorite kind of activity!
Step One: Make Your Emotions Cards
Start by making three boxes for each child. I used an 8X11 sheet of cardstock, drew two lines to separate it into 3 columns and then cut the paper in half so there was one for each child.
Have your child pick a marker and instruct them to draw a joyful, happy face in one of the boxes. When they were done I labeled that box JOY for them. Continue filling the boxes, one with anger and one with sadness. These are the feelings that fit with the story we read. Make sure to pick emotions that will work with your story.
Once all the boxes are fillled, have your child use a pair of scissors to cut the boxes apart. Once they are separated you are ready to read the story!
Step Two: Read + Focus on Emotions
Explain that you are going to read the story and you want them to show you with their feelings cards how the character(s) is feeling. We read ARE YOU READY TO PLAY OUTSIDE? by Mo Willems. For our lesson we focused on the strong emotions of Piggie. As you read the story (very dramatically) pause every now and then to ask how the character is feeling. Eventually the kids will start showing you the cards without prompting.
Book with Strong Emotions (our choice is below)
White Construction Paper or Cardstock
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