When it comes to learning about social emotional awareness, one of the most important activities to do with young students is to have them recognize facial features of people who have different emotions.
Starting with the feelings “happy” and “sad” are the easiest of course.
After looking at pictures, drawings, and situations of people who felt happy, it was time to do a collaborative project to assess what the students learned about where to look on someone’s face to tell how that person is feeling. We spoke many times about how we SHOULD look at someone’s eyes, mouth, and eyebrows to tell their emotions, but we SHOULDN’T be looking at their nose, ears, or hair.
The students were given the following visual directions on the smart board to complete this activity in groups of two.
We followed these directions together and did a large example on the smart board as a whole class. We also made sure to talk about how to work when we are accomplishing a task with another person: we need to talk to each other, ask questions, be polite, share items, respect ideas etc. The students were paired up and then got to work. My AM class did “happy” posters and my PM class did “sad” posters.
Each pair of students got one huge paper that started out like this: (I drew a template for this activity because it wasn’t an activity about spatial awareness on the page, which we know is difficult for K students!)
Then they got to work.
For some reason, I only have photos of the “sad” posters.
This was our first crack at collaboration for the school year (7ish weeks in, not too shabby) and it was a great success.