Say It with Feeling
The Lesson Plan
Themes: Sadness, Compassion, Sharing
Subjects: Language Arts, Visual Arts
Students will be able to:
- recognize and describe different emotions
- learn to recognize other people’s emotions
- identify people they can talk to about their feelings
- chart paper and marker
- paper plates
- craft sticks
- colored felt-tip pens
- decorations: buttons, eye buttons, pipe cleaners, etc.
- Have the children sit in a circle. Ask them to think about how they are feeling that day.
- Ask prompt questions:
- What are emotions and feelings?
- What do you think can cause someone to feel that way?
- What has made you feel happy/sad/angry?
- Why do you think it’s important to talk to people about how you’re feeling?
- As the children discuss their feelings, mind map the different emotions they name and the people they can talk to on chart paper.
- As you read Louie aloud, ask the students about the emotions portrayed in the book.
- Ask the students what they think Louie’s dream tells us.
- At the end, ask:
- What would you do if you were in the same position as Louie, Susie or Roberto?
- What do you think about Susie and Roberto’s actions?
- Have the children sit around a table or at their desks. Distribute paper plates and assorted materials for decorating. Ask them choose an emotion for their puppet and to focus on what that emotion would look like, making sure that a range of emotions are portrayed.
- Revisit the book, choosing a group of children to act out the story with their puppets as you read aloud to the class.
- Make a classroom display of the puppets.
Why We Like It
We asked Christopher Carter, a second-grade teacher at P.S. 321, in Brooklyn, to evaluate this lesson. He writes:
Helping students identify a range of emotions is key not only to their personal development but also to building empathy. This lesson, along with Ezra’s picture book Louie, provides a vehicle for students to articulate their own and their classmate’s emotions. Through the use of face puppets, they will begin to infer emotions of characters in the books they read and in real-life situations. They will build vocabulary by describing facial expressions and gestures associated with feelings and emotions. Educators may use their students’ mind map and brainstorm list to refer to throughout the school day, and to help students build relationships in the classroom and beyond.
Links for using puppets as a teaching tool:
Pitch in a philanthropic puppet project (grades 3-5)
A Note to Teachers
It’s important to start early helping children learn to identify feelings, their own and others’, and be able discuss them with adults. This lesson helps them explore a wide range of emotions through talking, mapping and puppet-making. It is adapted from “Health Education Lesson Plan—Feelings and Emotion,” by Child Matters (New Zealand).