Bottling up feelings is never a good idea, and today’s children would likely need multiple warehouses filled with gallon upon gallon to store theirs in! There’s no doubt about it, we are living in an increasingly stressful world, which is why it has never been more important to get our students talking about their feelings.
Carving out time for kids to verbally express themselves during the school day not only builds mentally stronger young people and shows that they’re cared about; it also better prepares them to tackle future problems on their own. Studies have even found that after expressing their feelings in a structured & meaningful way, students are then more likely to be interested in and successful with content area learning.
Ready to get your students verbally sharing about their feelings in healthy, appropriate ways? Check out a few engaging ideas to get you started!
- Role-play different emotions:
Create different scenarios for your students to act out alone, in pairs,
or in small groups, charades style! Encourage them to explain or to guess the feelings at play (talking about the reactions in your body, such as laughter, tears, or butterflies) and then talk through constructive ways that those feelings could be handled.
- Make ‘Expression Circles’:
This is a great game, with a few simple steps for you to follow as the teacher. First, have your students sit or stand in a circle. Display a picture of a situation on your smartboard or whiteboard for your students to easily see. Toss a ball to one student. That student will begin by looking at the picture and sharing body clues he or she might feel in that situation. The student might say, “In that situation, my stomach would feel tight,” or, “My palms would be sweaty.” Next, that student will then toss the ball to another student who will describe some thoughts he or she might have in that situation. The second student will then toss the ball to a third student who will say, “I feel….” and name the emotion described by the first two students. The third student then tosses the ball to a fourth student who completes the statement with, “when…”
The whole process is meant to move pretty quickly, and four students are involved in each scenario. This helps students see how their bodies and minds give them clues about how they are feeling and gives them practice verbalizing emotions!
- Label emotions:
Helping children to link feelings with words is key. Research shows that naming feelings can reduce the negative effects that they can have. Words like ‘overwhelmed’, ‘disappointed’ and ‘relieved’ are not always in children’s vocabulary yet would serve kids very well if they were.
- Positively reinforce verbal expression of feelings:
Talking about their feelings in an appropriate way is praiseworthy for your students! Giving positive feedback shows your kids that feelings are normal and it’s OK to express them, and also reinforces that there is an appropriate way of doing so!
GrapeSEED gets students talking and sharing as they acquire English!
Find out more by clicking the link below.