Today I Feel...

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Students will be able to add appropriate visuals to match an oral or written presentation. Students will be able to support their answer through using clues from pictures.

Big Idea

Student's practice adding details to their illustrations to support the written labels under the faces in their emotion books.


20 minutes

Gather the students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique.

Tell the students we are going to play a game which requires using some acting skills. They will need to use skills like their imagination, and their control of voice and of body. They will need to concentrate and cooperate in order to get the most enjoyment of this lesson.

Introduce the students to the point of concentration. This should start off being an obvious location in the classroom. Mine is a large black dot on a post-it-note stuck on the top of the SMARTBoard. In later lessons the point of concentration will become an individual student's choice.

I tell the students they will be acting out a variety of emotions. I ask the students to show me what happy looks and sounds like. As the students act happy I tell them to, "Freeze!"

At the word "freeze" the students literally freeze and hold the happy face they have. At the same time they focus on the point of concentration. I walk around and comment on the students facial expressions.

"Bryan you look very happy. I see a twinkle in your eye and a curve to your mouth."

Once I have commented on a few students expressions I tell the students to, "Curtain, relax." The students know that when I say, "Curtain, relax," they can go ahead and drop the facial expressions and be themselves.

I repeat these steps with the emotions mad and sad. I do this to get the students thinking about what these emotions look like and feel like. This helps the students make a connection to the little girl in the book and what she is feeling.

Students practicing holding point of concentration

Students holding point of concentration while being mad 


35 minutes

Now I have the students take a spot on the rug using the Spot on Your Dot Song and prepare the students to listen to a story. Remind them to use good listening skills. I tell my students to, “Show me you are ready to Look, Listen and Learn.” Look means you have both eyes on the speaker. Listen means you are using your ears to hear what the speaker has to say. Learn means you are ready to gain new information which you will need to complete an activity or get a wrinkle in your brain.  

I show the students the cover of the book and read the title of the book. “The title of this book is Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day. If the book is called Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day, what do you think this book is going to be about?” Select two or three students to express their predictions to the class (I only select two or three students to share their prediction so the rest of the class does not get bored and cause a disruption). I ask the students who answer to explain why they think their answer is right. For example, “Why do you think the book is about feelings/emotions?”

Next, I tell the students that the book is by Jamie Lee Curtis. I ask the students, “If the book is by Jamie Lee Curtis, what do you think she is?” Hopefully a student will raise their hand and suggest that she is the author of the book. If no student raises their hand, or if a student answers incorrectly, I remind the students that the job of an author is to write the words in a story. 

Now I point to where the illustrator is listed. “It says here illustrated by Laura Cornell. What do you think her job was?” Hopefully a student will raise their hand and suggest that she is the illustrator of the book. If no student raises their hand, or if a student answers incorrectly, I remind the students that the job of an illustrator is to draw the pictures in a story.

Now I go ahead and read the story to the students.

While I am reading the book check in with the students by asking a few students what would make them silly, loving, angry, etc. Limit this to just a few students at a time so the rest of the class does not become restless. Also make sure to ask different students with each emotion to allow more students to have a chance at expressing an idea.  
When the book is over ask the students if they can think of other words that might have the same or similar meaning to words like angry or sad. Words for angry might be mad, furious, irate, annoyed, etc. For sad there might words like blue, depressed, miserable, etc.

I tell the students they are now going to make their own emotional faces.
I show the students the “My Feelings Book” book I made and I model to the students how I selected the emotions I chose to represent in my book.
I take the time to point out the details I added to my pictures to give the reader a clear understanding of the emotion I chose.

Now I make a point to tell the students they can use the resources available at the table such as the emotion fans or use the mirrors to practice making emotional faces and then drawing what they saw in the mirror.
I explain to the students using clear visual details helps the reader gain more meaning from the words in a book. Picture clues help the reader understand the words in the text.   
Tell the students they will need to select the correct emotional word to label their face and to complete the sentence, “Today I feel…” Explain to the students they can use the emotion fans or any other resources around the room including the book (I also have an emotions poster hanging in my classroom).

I send the students to their seat a few at a time to work on the activity at their station during integrated work station time. 
During work integrated work station time I monitor the student work at the “My Feelings Book” work station with prompting questions. “Which emotion are you choosing?” “What details will you include to help the reader recognize your emotion?” “How will you label your emotion?” “Where will you get the information you need?”


Why detailed illustrations to support text?

When students are able to draw detailed illustrations you can explain how this allows others to get a more detailed picture of what you are writing about.

In later grades students can be shown how a detailed picture can be made using words. Words, especially adjectives, can be used to create a"picture" in a readers mind so fewer illustrations are needed.   


10 minutes

After the allotted time, use a preferred classroom management technique to gain the students attention. Tell them it is time to clear their space and gather on the rug. The students place finished work in the completed work bin. Unfinished work goes in the "under construction" bin to be completed at a time when the student has some spare time during the day. 

Emotion 1. - this student used the emotions fan to complete their sentence.

Emotions 2 - this student used the book to complete their sentence.

Emotions 3 - this student used the emotion pictures to complete their sentence. 

Once all of the students are gathered on the rug ask each student to tell you one emotion they chose for their "My Feelings" book. Ask the students to share some details they used in their drawing to help the reader.

"Room 203 students today your exit ticket is tell the group one emotion you chose to draw in your book. When you tell your friends the emotion you chose to draw please tell us the details you chose to draw on the face to make that emotion."

If the student has difficulty discussing the emotion he/she drew and telling the details he/she included he/she can do one of two things:

  1. They can ask a friend to help by having them look at their work and discuss what they see, or
  2. Wait until all of their peers have left the rug and we will discuss his/her work together.

This exit ticket process helps reinforce the work they have just done during the activity. 


10 minutes

Have the students come over to you one at a time during either work station time or free choice center time. I can only have the students come over to me during a time when another adult can supervise the other students. This way I can truly focus my attention on the student I am assessing. 

Show the student a face with an obvious emotion. Ask the student to name the emotion and then ask why they chose to state that emotion. Ask them to use details from the picture to support their answer.  

Ask the student to write the word “I.” Record the result for the student’s work portfolio. 

Emotion Details Checklist


Students can match the correct emotional label to the correct emotion shown on the face. A model is there for students to use as a resource if needed.


Students color the pages of a small emotions sight word reader. Once they have finished coloring students can practice reading with a partner or take the reader home to share with family (Practicing the sight word “I”).


I have found a small book called “I Feel” which the master copy comes from a book called Me and My World by Teacher Created Resources. ISBN # 978-1-4206-9269-3. In this small booklet students complete the sentences which include, “I feel happy when…” “I feel sad when…” “I feel angry when…” “I feel shy when…” “I feel afraid when…” “I feel excited when…” I usually have the students dictate to me what causes them to feel happy, sad, angry, shy, afraid or excited and I scribe their responses in their book. This allows me to see if students understand the different situations which may cause them to feel a particular emotion. This book is also another tool I can use to reinforce the sight word “I.”