“Feelings Week” in PreKindergarten: social-emotional literacy
October 5, 2019
A recent PreK Three newsletter gives a peek into what life is like for the youngest students at Country Day. Focusing on a theme for each week gives children time and many different ways to explore each topic. Here’s the newsletter from “Feelings Week”
Teacher Casey Scarry writes:
This week inside the PreK Three classroom, we focused on feelings and discussed what those might look like. How do we handle certain situations that may make us sad, angry, frustrated, excited, scared, etc. and how do we recognize when a friend is feeling a certain emotion? Some responses:
Lily: “Hearts make me happy.”
Samuel: “Reading a book makes me happy.”
Charlie: “When things don’t work, I am frustrated.”
Vivi: “My mom helps me when I am scared.”
Walter: “I cry when I am sad.”
Emma: “I am scared when it is dark.”
Jack: “Monsters make me mad.”
Hunter: “Lily makes me happy!”
Bodhi: “Thunder makes me frustrated.”
We did a project to turn some of our feelings into a “monster.” Each child was presented with an array of colored acrylics to choose from, a straw, and a variety of eyes and mouths with various expressions. We then practiced breathing in through our nose and out through our straw to not only calm our bodies, but to splat our paint colors around the piece of paper to create a monster body. Each child then chose eyes and a mouth for their feelings monster. Some chose happy monsters, mad monsters, silly monsters, joyful monsters, or confused monsters! It was fun and exciting to see what your children came up with and how they put a name to each feeling.
One calming activity added to our quiet area this week was a feelings glitter jar. As a class we put three different colors of glitter into a jar filled with water and a bit of oil. The three colors signified Happy, Sad, and Mad feelings. When a child is feeling one or all of those feelings, the jar is shaken, and all of our feelings are mixed up. It’s just like when our body is feeling a range of emotions — a challenging time for our executive functioning. We talked about ways to quiet our body and breathe with the glitter as all of the colors begin to slow down in our jar.
Discuss at home: Talk about feelings with your little one, how and when they may be feeling a certain type of emotion, and how we can practice breathing as a way to settle like the glitter in our jar!