Activity time: 13 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Newsprint, markers, and tape
Preparation for Activity
- List on a sheet of newsprint some emotions for children to act out, such as happy, sad, joyful, confused, frustrated, excited, and surprised.
Description of Activity
This activity exercises the children’s ability to express a wide variety of emotions and recognize emotions expressed by others. Link to the story “The Strong Man Who Cried” by reminding the children that Jacob wanted to cry whenever he saw something beautiful. Ask them what emotion Jacob was expressing-responses might include happiness, joy, overwhelmed, appreciation, delight.
Ask a volunteer to act out an emotion on the list, or one of their own, and invite the other children to guess the emotion. If the group is reluctant to volunteer, act out one of the emotions you have listed and ask the group if they can guess what you are feeling.
After a few are acted out, ask:
- Is it easy for you to act out emotions? Why or why not?
- Are some emotions easier to show than others?
- When is it easy for you to tell what emotion another person is showing? When is it harder to tell?
- How do you respond when you see someone laugh? How do you respond when you see someone cry?
- When you are sad, do you want other people to know how you feel? What do you want them to do? How do you let them know? Do you like to talk about it when you are sad?
- When you are happy, do you want to share that as well? How? How do you let people know you are happy and want to share your feeling with them?
- When is it important to let others know how you are feeling? Do you sometimes hide how you feel?
- What can you do to let others know how you feel (if they can’t tell by your body language)? We learned from the story today that Rachel and Jacob learned from each other by showing their emotions to each other.
Including All Participants
Emotions encompass a wide range of feelings, and the way that people express these different emotions varies greatly from person to person. Some people are quite dramatic, and it is always easy to tell what they are feeling, while others are quiet and reserved, leaving people to guess how they are feeling. For the dramatic, this activity will be easy, but for the reserved ones, it may take some stretching and the challenge to go beyond one's own comfort zone in order to grow and learn.