During a Thematic Learning and Creative Expression lesson on “All About Me”, the children were introduced to different types of feelings: happy, sad, angry, shy, surprised and scared. The teacher introduced these feelings using stick puppets, with each puppet displaying different expressions. The children had a lot of fun imitating the puppets’ facial expressions. They frowned by squeezing their eyebrows together and pouting their lips, opened their mouth wide to show surprise and dabbed their eyes with a piece of tissue to show that they are sad. Some of them used body language to express different emotions. They crossed their arms over their chest, lowered their heads and eyes, covered their wide open mouth with their hand or stomped their feet heavily.
Then, the children shared past experiences when they had felt happy, sad, angry etc. and they also gave reasons as to why they had felt that way. A child shared that she had felt angry when her friend had pulled her hair. They enjoyed listening to their friends’ experiences and gave their personal input.
Wrapping up the lesson on exploration of feelings, the children chose one of their favourite expressions and created the facial features to portray that expression using play dough. They wasted no time in kneading the play dough into various shapes and sizes and pressing them on a piece of paper created the expression that they had seen on the puppet. They giggled and enjoyed each other’s creations. Finally, they proudly wrote their names on their pieces of work.
As reinforcement, the children were given a thematic play box which contained several ‘Books of Feelings’ and suitable picture cards. Each ‘Book of Feeling’ had a title, e.g., ‘Things that Make me Happy’. Many children chose the picture card with the McDonald’s logo on it and pasted it on the book ‘Things that Make me Happy’. They used their ‘Books of Feelings’ to eagerly share their choices with their friends.
Through the fun hands-on activities, the children were better able to internalise the abstract concept of ‘Feelings’.