Size of Feeling
It is so important for children to not only be able to name their feelings, but also be able to recognize the different intensity and body cues that are associated with them. A feelings scale provides a concrete tool to students, and gives them a logical way to monitor their own feelings. Bonus – it’s also an evidence based tool as well!
It is exceptionally difficult to even begin to cope when our feelings are “too big”. Therefore, teaching our students how to distinguish between the smallest trickle of happiness and the largest burst of anger is very important!
This video will introduce the concept of scaling your feelings. First with a thermometer, then with a number scale (1-5). I have always found it helpful to number each level because it makes it very easy for students to show me on their hands (holding up the number of fingers) what level they are without even saying a word. And as we all know, finding the words to express your emotions can be difficult at the best of times. So, giving students as many visual and non-verbal options to express themselves is a good bet!
I show this video as an introduction to my leveling feelings work – usually following my Feelings Brainstorm and lesson(s). Then I break my activities down into several more parts – all depending on how much time I have to work with my students (those 15 minute sessions move too fast!!).
Here are some questions to ask after the video to get the discussion started and moving: (1) What feelings can you cope with on your own? (2) What feelings are way too big and you need an adult to help? (3) How can we stay safe in the classroom when our feelings get too big?
At the very least, following this video have conversations with your students on what they CAN do to stay SAFE when their feelings get too big! For example, if you have a safe space in your room, then point that out and re-teach expectations for the space.
The lessons I use following this video CAN be used K-5, but you will have to provide more guidance for the littles through each! Stay tuned for more lessons to go along with this video! They’ll be posted soon!