Lessons & Activities for Feelings and Reactions


“If you’re happy and you know, clap your hands!” How many of us remember and still occasionally sing this old camp song? There are many versions of this song on YouTube that you could access as a jumping off point for a similar activity to the one described below or you may use books of your choosing if you cannot find the two books below in your local library.

  1. If You’re Happy... Book CoverRead or sing If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Caberra to your students for enjoyment. Make a list of all the actions/activities mentioned in the book on the white board.

  2. Elicit additional ideas from the children of what they might do when they are happy and add to the list.

  3. Drawing on BeadGive each child an Action bead found on page 141 of the Braidy the StoryBraid® manual. Ask the children to draw a picture of themselves doing an action of their choosing showing what they might do when they are happy. Students could be asked to write a sentence on the reverse side describing the picture.

  4. Create a class mobile as shown to display in the classroom using the students’ work. Before hanging the mobile, use the Braidy doll to review the actions!

Book, Bead and Heart

Office setting

This is an easy, enjoyable activity, which will reinforce Feelings, Reactions to Feelings, and the other SGM® icons! The Story Grammar Marker’s design reflects current research connecting language and literacy. The SGM® icons represent the components of narrative discourse, an underpinning of literacy.

If You’re Angry... Book CoverIf you have access to If You’re Angry and You Know It! by Cecily Kaiser or a similar book, use the same process as above. This proved to be a very worthwhile activity to lead a discussion about alternative actions to think about when one feels angry.

Bead Drawing 2Heart, Bead, and Book


Six Universal Feelings ActivityOn a final note, I created Braidy “Feeling Sticks” using page 144 of the Braidy manual by copying the page, laminating it, and cutting out these six Universal Feelings: happy, sad, mad, scared, disgusted, and surprised. I had multiple sets which were stored in cans as shown. I used these in small group settings in a variety of ways. With stories that were read, I would ask students to hold up the correct Feeling choice of various characters at certain points in the story. Also, I would give a short scenario to the students and ask them to hold up the Feeling picture(s) of how they would feel in that scenario and then tell me more about it.

These “Feeling Sticks” were also used as the students completed intervention sessions… I would pull one out at random and ask the students to share a time they felt the way depicted or talk about a character who felt the way represented on the stick in a story that they had read. Students were asked to expand on the situation that caused the Feeling. There were so many uses for these versatile Feeling Sticks and all the while, the SGM® feeling icon is reinforced along with connections made to Feelings, words, and actions! Other Feeling choices may be added.


Sheila Zagula
Sheila Zagula

Author

Sheila Zagula works with MindWing Concepts in product development, drawing on her expertise and talents as well as many years of implementing the Story Grammar Marker® and related materials. Her teaching career spans thirty-eight years, most recently as literacy coach in the Westfield Massachusetts Public School System. Sheila has experience as an early childhood educator, a teacher of children with special needs, and a collaborative instructor within an inclusion framework serving children in grades K-5.



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