Make your own ‘feelings flashcards’ by using a digital camera to take pictures of the kids modeling all sorts of facial expressions: happy, sad, upset, angry, frightened, excited, confused, irritated, silly, etc. Print out the best ones in standard 4-to-a-page digital picture format, trying to include at least one picture from every child in your class. Once you have your pictures of different emotional expressions, there are a few activities you can do with them:
Emotions memory game
Print out a duplicate copy of the pictures you selected, scramble them up, and lay them face down in rows on the table to have your kids play a memory game with them. (Play by having them turn over one card, then trying to correctly guess where its match is amongst the rows of cards.)
Emotional literacy game (Pre-K to Grade 1)
Write out the words for each emotion either on a separate card or writing strip. Have children try to match the spelled word with the picture on the emotion, either as a table center or as a group time activity.
Emotional triggers (Group time activity)
Sort the different pictures by the emotions they display, and have the kids brainstorm the different things that might trigger those emotions. (i.e., happy = hugs, ice cream, puppies, compliments, etc.) Record their answers, and hang them up as a wall display for parents along with the pictures of the kids’ facial expressions.