Learning empathy can be such a challenge for young children. Learning to read facial expressions is a great place to start.
Daisy has daily practice because I cannot control my facial expressions, as anyone who knows me can attest! I try really hard to keep a poker face and hide my reactions, to no avail. I am an open book.
This does make it easy for Daisy and Rose to learn to read faces but we had a photography mission to accomplish. I am currently photographing new and existing products for our 2012 catalogue coming out in April. I am no photographer but am learning, with the help of a fantastic camera!
I asked Daisy to imitate the boy in the Facial Expressions photographic cards. We discussed:
- Why is the boy making this face?
- How does he feel?
- What might he be saying?
- How does this girl feel?
- What might have made her sad?
- What would you do if she was your friend?
- What is this girl doing?
- How does it make you feel when you make this face?
- Why would you give this signal?
- Have you ever been given a thumbs up?
- How did it make you feel?
Here we were exploring a new product, Emotions Flannel Board Set which will be available in April.
Daisy was excited to read the words and match them to the corresponding face.
She was using the initial letter to identify the emotion word.
As she matched the faces and words we chatted:
- How does this child feel?
- Why do you think they feel this way?
- How do you show this emotion with your body?
- What makes you feel this way?
- What is your favourite emotion?
Ideas for extension:
- Use faces with stories. Have the children match an emotion face to a character. Discuss how the emotions change through the story.
- Ask children to complete a graph to record how they are feeling each day.
- Write short stories together to go with the emotion faces.
- Use felt faces to help explain and reconcile arguments.
- Make a list of things to do when feeling a negative emotion.
- Discuss what makes parents/friends/siblings feel a certain emotion.
- Relate weather to emotions.
- Play charades with the emotions.
- Check in with children's emotions during circle time.
- Sing If You're Happy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands
LA: Explaining feelings, forming sentences, developing vocabulary, expressing opinion.
Social: Developing empathy and understanding, relating emotions to body language, identifying personal feelings.
Math: Counting faces and emotion words (we lost one when it stuck to my sock!).