This lesson begins to teach about the importance of having a vocabulary for feelings.

Naming Feelings

Objectives

Emotional literacy
Recognition of shared experiences

Materials

3 x 5 index cards (approximately 100)

Preparation

Before the class begins, draw a "feeling continuum" on the chalkboard.
Example:
Angry - Upset - Sad - Calm - Indifferent - Bored - Happy - Excited

Beginning

When the students come in, ask them, "How do you feel? How are you feeling today?" If they respond without detail (e.g., "fine"), discuss why that happens. Ask them why people greet one another with "how are you feeling?" and answer "fine" even when they are not fine?

Affective Experience

Ask students to indicate how they feel right now (present feeling state) by putting initials under those feeling words on the board. Have them add any word that better describes their feelings.

Invite students to set a goal of how they would like to be feeling in 1 hour. Discuss how to get from the present feeling to the goal.

Ask discussion questions that focus on feelings.

Cognitive Inquiry

1. "What did we just do?" (Become aware of feelings.)

2. "Are feelings easy or hard to talk about? What makes it hard to talk about them?"

3. "How do you know when you're feeling a feeling? Can you stop or change your feelings? Increase your feelings?"

4. "What are some lessons from today? Where else could you use them?"

Follow-Up

Brainstorm feelings -- all the words the class can think of. Ask for volunteers to write the words on the board. Ask for other volunteers to write feeling words on 3 x 5 cards, one word to a card. Explain that for the next few lessons we will be collecting feeling words and making experiment cards.

Help the brainstorming by suggesting categories of feelings (i.e., good feelings, bad feelings, loving feelings, and neutral feelings). Teachers should add some complex words (e.g., embarrassed, content, indifferent).

Do not expect a long list at first. The list will grow with awareness and time.

active
angry
bad
boiling
bold
brave
bruised
careful
chicken
clumsy
cold
comfortable
content
cowardly
crazy
cuckoo
curious
dejected
depressed
down-in-the-dumps
embarrassed
energy
enjoy
excited
fat
fine
flattered
free
frightened
fury
glad
glum
good
great
hateful
happy
helpful
helpless
hot
hurt
hysterical
important
impressed
in-between happy and sad
indifferent
invisible
itchy
joy
joyful
kind
lazy
like-an-idiot
love
mad
mean
miserable
nauseated
needed
nice
nuts
overjoyed
poor
proud
put-down
puzzled
rage
rich
sad
safe
scared

shocked
shy
sick
silly
sleepy
sly
smart
sorry
strong
stupid
surprised
terrible
thankful
thin
tired
unhappy
unimportant
unprotected
upset
warm
weak
wealthy
weird
well