It is important that students have space to identify and reflect on their emotions, and people who are invested in knowing how they feel. This strategy can be used in homeroom, advisory, or other learning opportunities that are focused on the social and emotional development of students. With consistent use of this strategy, students will not only become more trusting of their peers and the adults around them, but they will also learn to navigate their emotions. Students are given a feelings chart to help expand their vocabulary and clarify their emotions. Many students, when asked how they feel, say "good" or "mad" or "irritated". Providing them with more emotions and faces to match helps them identify their feelings better.
Before implementing this strategy, print an Emoji's Feeling Chart for each student. An example is available in the resources section below.
When students arrive, give them their own Emoji's Feeling Chart.
Ask students to circle how they felt this morning while getting ready for school, star how they feel now, and heart how they want to feel.
Another way to word this for students is:
Place a circle around the feeling that best matches how you felt this morning while getting ready for school.
Place a star around the feeling that best matches how you felt walking into class.
Place a heart around the feeling that best matches how you want to feel.
Students should be given two minutes of quiet time to prepare to explain the emoji they chose for each prompt and why. If you have a group of students who are uncomfortable with sharing this personal information out loud, have them write explanations to each prompt. Make sure to read and process these with students before the end of the hour.
When students talk about how they want to feel, implement (or have students implement) the 5 Why's strategy to further analyze and create action plans:
Ask Why 5 times, waiting for an answer before proceeding to the next why.
Encourage students to give explanations that build on each other, and address the previous statement, rather than the original statement.
If helpful, use the 5 Why's resources below.