Activity plan 4-5: Learning About Emotions
Children will explore facial expressions to help them investigate a variety of emotions.
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Social/Emotional.
- old magazines and photographs
- oaktag or construction paper
- drawing paper
- markers and crayons
- several small make-up mirrors (with stands)
Objective: Children will develop their language, literacy, and social/emotional skills as they engage in a series of activities about identifying different feelings and emotions.
In Advance: Cut out photographs from magazines that depict people expressing different types of emotions. Ask families to donate old photographs that depict different emotions or to look through magazines with their children for pictures. Mount the pictures on separate sheets of oaktag or construction paper.
Promoting Oral Language and Discussions
Share the collection of photographs with children during group time to promote oral language. Ask children to identify the emotions they see in each picture.
Developing Oral Story Telling
Use the pictures to involve children in oral storytelling activities. Choose an interesting picture to share with the group and invite the class to make up a group story about the picture.
From Thoughts to Written Words
Expand children's oral stories to create written stories. Record children's group oral stories on a separate sheet of paper. Display the picture and written story where the children can view it. Children can also choose a picture that interests them and work with a teacher to write or dictate their own story. Display individual stories in the classroom or create a class book for their library area.
Self-Portrait With Feeling!
Invite children to think of an emotion and to create a facial expression that depicts that emotion. Pass a small mirror around so children can see their expressions. Discuss how the parts of their faces move differently when displaying different emotions. Explain to children that they will create self-portraits that show a variety of emotions. Provide children with paper art materials, and mirrors to study their expressions. Children can provide dictated descriptions about their self-portraits to create a class book or wall display.
Emotional Development: Invite a representative of a local hospital or senior center to speak to the children. Encourage children to ask questions about the hospital or senior center. Provide art materials so that children can make posters to be displayed at the hospital or center. You may want to make this activity a class tradition.