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Seven-Day Challenge To Teach Children About Emotions

Team StoryWeavers|May 8, 2021| 1

“But feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.”

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Children experience rich and complex emotions in their lives, just like adults. They need to be taught about different emotions before they learn to manage them. A paper published in 2014, in the journal of Development and Psychopathology, states that emotion knowledge is essential for developing socio-emotional competence. 

In this article, we will talk about a method that will help children understand emotions better. 

What is ‘Looks Like, Sounds Like, Feels Like’ method?

Most parents and teachers will agree that children learn abstract concepts like emotions better when it’s broken down into smaller relatable pieces. The ‘Sounds Like, Looks Like, Feels Like’ chart is one such method where bigger concepts are broken down into three categories for easier understanding. 

For example: Peace looks like people being kind to each other. Peace sounds like no mean words. Peace feels like a warm hug. 

Seven-Day Challenge To Help Children Recognise Different Emotions

Now that we have familiarised ourselves with the ‘Looks Like, Sounds Like, Feels Like’ method, let’s get into a seven-day challenge to teach children about different emotions. 

Requirements: Papers and colour pens

Parental Involvement: High

Instructions:

  • Make three columns on the paper: Looks Like, Sounds Like, Feels Like
  • Write the name of the emotion on top of the paper
  • Start with the easiest column. 
  • Encourage the child to write or draw their thoughts on the paper
  • Ask the child to explain what they have written or drawn at the end of the activity.
  • Set a timer for 30 minutes. Give the child 10 minutes per column. 
  • Ask the child to explain what is written in their words and ask clarifying questions. 
  • Discuss the emotion before starting the activity by asking questions such as, ‘Have you experienced this before?,’’When have you felt this?,’ etc. 

Emotion of the Day: 

Here are a few emotions that children can learn to recognise through the ‘Looks Like, Sounds Like, Feels Like’ method. These emotions have been picked from Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions. 

Day 1: Fear. Fear tells that something that you care about is at risk and needs to be protected.

Day 2: Anger. Anger indicates that something is in your way and energizes you to deal with the barrier. 

Day 3: Sadness. Sadness means that something you love is going away and that you need to pay attention. 

Day 4: Joy. Joy shows you that life is going well. It gives you energy and fosters creativity. 

Day 5: Disgust. Disgust tells you that some rules have been broken. It helps you notice unsafe or wrong things around you. 

Day 6: Surprise. Surprise means that something new has happened and to pay attention to what is happening. 

Day 7: Anticipation. Anticipation indicates that something is changing and that you need to look ahead to see what is coming.

Bonus: Trust. Trust tells you that something is safe, and you can be open and build an alliance. 

This seven-day challenge is about familiarising children with different emotions and helping them recognise different ways in which they surface. It will help understand different facets of the emotion and allow them to build on their emotional literacy. Parents can revisit this activity every couple of months to check if the children want to add something to the existing charts that they missed before. 

Do you think that this challenge will help your children? Are you excited to take this up? Do let us know in the comments below. 

Reference: 

  • Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions: Exploring the Emotion Wheel. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://www.6seconds.org/2020/08/11/plutchik-wheel-emotions/
  • Kujawa, A., Dougherty, L., Durbin, C. E., Laptook, R., Torpey, D., & Klein, D. N. (2014). Emotion recognition in preschool children: associations with maternal depression and early parenting. Development and psychopathology, 26(1), 159–170. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579413000928

About the Author


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Mekhala Joshi

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She’s the only ‘Mekhala’ she knows, and she takes a bit of pride in that. She is a quintessential introvert. Mekhala loves tea but cannot make a good cup of tea and often ends up having coffee. She claims that she takes all adjectives as compliments unless specified otherwise. Mekhala is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grade 2 & 3, as a part of Teach For India Fellowship. And has worked as an independent consultant for a couple of years.

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Naveen Kumar

May 27, 2021

Good


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