1-2-3 Come Make A "Feelings Wheel" With Me
How are you feeling?
Easy enough question for most people, but preschool & kindergarten kiddos might not have a good grasp of understanding and identifying how they, or others feel.
I truly believe that it’s very important to know how your students are feeling, particularly at the beginning of the year; and especially during these trying times.
We have no idea what sort of baggage these little ones are carrying to school each day.
If they are given an opportunity to express their feelings, I think you will not only build a more caring and compassionate classroom, but help your students get into a more positive attitude conducive to learning.
With that in mind, I designed this quick and easy (print & go) “Wheeling & Dealing With Feelings” packet, which will help you do just that in a super-fun way.
* There are also 3 bear-themed feelings POSTERS to help introduce the "Feelings Wheel" craft. Later, you can hang these up on the wall.
Regular copy paper works just fine, but if you're going to use them all year, you may want to print on card stock, so they are sturdier.
The black & white bear patterns come with & without facial features. Children color, then cut on the dashed lines, snipping out the "mouth" section, so that it reveals the various "feelings".
As you can see, there is a nice variety of ethnicities represented; however, this is not really evident to youngsters, as they are just as apt to pick a pattern based on how much they like a hairdo, than anything to do with their own hair style.
The bottom wheel has 4 pattern options:
1. Mouths that are labeled with the feeling, 2. just the mouths, 3. just the feeling labels, so that children can draw their own mouths & 4. a blank 5-piece pie circle, so that students can draw & label whatever feeliings you want them to.
Even though little ones cannot read, I recommend that you use the labeled wheel.
Because you are using it everyday, soon your kiddos will be able to “read” those “feeling words” because they are seeing them all the time.
The pictures also aid in memorization.
happy, sad, mad, silly & scared.
Although there are many different types of feelings, to keep things simple, I’ve limited “feeling” choices to just these 5, which children readily understand & can identify with.
As part of your introduction, show them your sample wheel & explain each feeling.
Afterwards, make a face. Ask students to guess what emotion they think you are feeling.
Later, call out each feeling and have students show with their facial expression and “body language” how they think that feeling “looks”.
I think it’s important to track how children are feeling, so I designed this simple worksheet that children simply mark an X on each day for how they "mostly" feel.
You can also have students draw a line through the boxes, so they can mark an X at the beginning of the day, then again at the end of the day.
It’s certainly OK and normal to have a “terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day”, like Alexander; but if a child is continuously sad or scared, a red flag is being flown.
By filling out this simple, weekly worksheet and sending it home in our "take home" folders, which we call "Snail Mail" (Click the LINK to check them out) parents can get some insight into how their child is feeling “most of the time”, and can then talk about the reasons why.
* Finally, there is a "Share Bear" partner activity. “Let’s share because we care.”
I added two additional feelings for this "talk about it" time: (tired & grumpy), as children easily identify with these feelings too.
My students soon discover that if they are tired, they will often feel sad or grumpy too, which makes for a great discussion.
My kiddos absolutely LOVE this activity, and I think it's time well-spent as it's so important for children to express their feelings.
They might not want to tell the entire class how they are feeling, but I find that they are pretty excited to share their emotions with another person.
You can make this part of your morning routine, which will give you 5-10 minutes to take attendance, fill out a lunch count, check notes from home etc.
You can also walk around and listen to what children are saying. Sadly, I've heard my students say things like, "My grampa died.", "My parents got in a fight." "My cat ran away." If not for this activity I'd have no clue.
Knowing how your students feel can truly help you understand their behavior, and perhaps why they are listless or "acting out".
Often children are a combination of feelings, so explain that they can pick more than one feeling, or simply the one that they "mostly" feel like.
I truly believe talking this out helps children “unload”. Confiding, if you will, quite possibly can help a child feel better, as well as help create a caring classroom community. I find that children are generally very empathetic.
This is also a great way to end the day too. Children pick that same partner & share how they feel. Have things improved? Did something happen to make the change in feelings, etc.
The second one will be a fun way to review feelings in October.
It's called the Jack-O-Lantern's Smile. This is a simple "slider" craft, where children pull on the paper strip (slider) to change the mouth on the pumpkin to show how he's feeling.
Well that's it for today. Thanks for stopping by.
May your "bad hair days" be minimal, while your "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" days be in abundance.
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"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." -Ellen Parr