Sunday, March 9, 2014

Teaching Feelings, Emotions, (and Rembrandt!)

This week we talked a lot about feelings and emotions.  Our artist this week was Rembrandt, who fit right in to our discussions- so I am combining both of these topics into this post.

When we study an artist, we look at samples of his/her work, discuss a "defining feature" of the work, and make a project to remember the artist. 
First, I introduced Rembrandt by showing the children some of his paintings.  He painted lots of faces and expressions.  Here is a picture of the "Rembrandt" part of my Discovering Great Artists Prezi. It shows how Rembrandt used shading and expressions in his paintings.  My Prezi is free at my TPT store. It features 11 different artists.

Once the children saw how Rembrandt drew lots of faces, we talked about the different expressions on faces and what they mean.

We read several books about feelings and emotions.  Here are some of my favorites...

I love On Monday When It Rained, by Cherryl Kachenmeister and Tom Berthiaume.  It is very relatable for my kids, and it gives them a chance to predict the emotion that is being described and to act out the emotions on each page.

We had a LOT of fun with How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers.  The children loved the pictures of the different foods with attitudes- and I loved the opportunity to teach lots of vocabulary words like blue, grumpy, timid, secure, amused, bold, ashamed, and  embarrassed.
I always like Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis.
I found some great TPT Freebies to share with you! 
Carrie Manchester has a wonderful activity called How Does David Feel? free at her TPT store.
How Does David Feel?  A Pragmatic Language ActivityHow Does David Feel?  A Pragmatic Language ActivityHow Does David Feel?  A Pragmatic Language Activity
I found a great Understanding Emotions Game that was free from Let's Talk Speech Language Pathology's TPT store.  It has cards with different situations on them which encourage discussions about  what specific emotions mean and look like.  There are also cards that describe the emotions.
Understanding Emotions GameUnderstanding Emotions GameUnderstanding Emotions Game
While I was looking for different ideas for emotions, I found these free Anger Choice Cards from Mrs. Kilby.  They give the students lots of positive ideas to try if they feel angry. They would be great to use for a class discussion- and to have out as a reminder for the children (or adults...). 
Free Anger Choice Cards for the Classroom - Choices for Wh
Jenna Rayburn has a cute St. Patrick's Day Feelings Activity.  This would be great for chit-chat times or turn and talks, as well as class discussions or writing ideas.
St. Patrick's Day Feelings FREEBIE!St. Patrick's Day Feelings FREEBIE!St. Patrick's Day Feelings FREEBIE!
Lanie's Little Learners has a free My Feelings Book at her TPT store. 
My Feelings Book - ActivityMy Feelings Book - ActivityMy Feelings Book - Activity
LissxO has a cute My Feelings Book, too!
My Feelings BookMy Feelings Book

After we have had a great lesson on emotions, we  draw our own.   First, we do a shared drawing lesson to practice how we would draw different emotions.  I have the kids make the expressions to go with the emotions and look at each other. We notice what characteristics stand out to us the most. For example, the big smile for happy, the big frown and maybe tears for sad, the closed eyes for sleepy, the big open eyes and mouth for afraid and surprised,  the angry eyebrows for mad, and the half closed eyes for sick. I found this worksheet at Notes from a First Grade Classroom.

Kamil's Feelings has a different version of the worksheet that would be fun to use, too.

Emotions Worksheets for Children
You could have the children make a book with a different emotion on each page, and then write why the person felt that way.
Emotions Worksheets for Children
Here are some examples of my children's work-

Apparently, you don't want to make this one MAD...
Another project the children love to do is to look at themselves in mirrors and practice drawing their different expressions, similar to the way Rembrandt painted many different expressive faces. 
I found these magnetic locker mirrors at the end of summer at the Dollar Store.  I also use some small stand up mirrors and even the housekeeping dress-up mirror and table for the children to study their expressions as they draw themselves.

The beginnings of a great surprised portrait...

I had out my Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Faces for Free Choice time.  I have several of his books and the children love to use them.
Teacher Vision has a free, simple facial expressions chart that is fun to have out as a guide or to use as a feelings lesson before you have the children draw their expressions. My children love how just changing the eyebrows makes such a difference in the expression!
I hope that YOU have a week full of smiles and happiness!

Thank you for stopping by!


  1. I love all of your emotion ideas!!!! I especially love that you let them draw how they look! You better watch out for that angry one...Yikes! ;) I also love that they get to look in the mirror at their own expressions! I'd like to see them making angry faces at it lol. Have a happy week!!!!

  2. I used this as part of an English lesson (esl). It was a big success.

  3. At the age of 10 months, we cannot expect a kid to learn mathematics or even, play with blocks and puzzles. I also do home-schooling for my kid. My boy is just 1 year right now. I think I can only make him walk and speak at this age. I will enrol him to local Phoenix kindergarten at the age of 3 years.

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  5. best handling emotions 2018 | Handling Emotions |emotional intelligence

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