HERE is an article that includes several tips on how to increase emotional vocabulary in children. Some of there suggestions are outlined below. Additionally, you can download some more feeling faces HERE. Don’t forget to visit my previous post on feeling faces for even more feeling face charts!!
Pass the hat: The teacher cuts out pictures that represent various feeling faces and places them in a hat (or large envelope) that is passed around the circle as music plays. When the music stops, the child holding the hat picks out a picture designating an emotion and is asked to identify it, express how they look when they feel that way, or describe a time when he or she felt that way.
Feeling hunt: The teacher puts “feeling face” pictures up all around the room (and around the building if possible). Children can be given child-size magnifying glasses, and they walk around looking for different feeling faces. When they find one, they label it and tell a time they felt that way. An expansion of this activity is to provide each child with a “Feeling Face BINGO Board” and they can cross out faces on their boards as they find them around the room.
Mirrors: Children are given small hand held mirrors at circle time or small group. As the teacher reads a story with many feeling words in it – the children make the face to the corresponding affective expression while looking at themselves in their mirrors. Then, the children put their mirrors down and show their peer their “feeling face.”
Changing faces: During small group time, children make paper plate faces. The teacher attaches the “mouth” and “eyebrows” to the paper plate with brads. This allows the child to change facial expressions on their plate by changing the mouth from a smile to a frown, and the eyebrows from facing in (angry, frustrated, etc.) to out (worried, scared, surprised, etc.). Children can color the rest of the faces. The teacher can then read a story and pause after key incidents and ask the children to show how they would feel by changing their paper plate face appropriately.
Singing, “If you’re happy and you know it…”: Teachers can add new verses to “If you are happy and you know it” as they introduce new feeling words to the class.
• If you’re happy and you know it, hug a friend
• If you’re sad and you know it, cry a tear – “boo-hoo”
• If you’re mad and you know it, use your words “I’m mad”
• If you’re scared and you know it, get some help, “HEEELLLLPPP!”
• If you’re silly and you know it, make a face, “BBBBLLLUUUUHHHH!”