Feelings Tellers

Today I'm happy because another round of peace class has started and 
spending time coaching my peacemakers is just so much fun!

This time we're talking about managing our feelings.
And about which feelings are easy to manage ... 
and which ones are hard.

We start with the little kitten puppet, who isn't on my hand but hiding in the Puppet Sleep Jar. As I shake hands at the door, they're all as curious as a cat about where the puppet that we're using is. So cute! All they see in my chair when they enter is this cat's tail sticking out of the jar, perfect for setting the scene with these questions:  How is Mekah feeling today?
 Their answers included: shy, scared, afraid, frightened, sad, nervous, mad, embarrassed, tired, disappointed. 
 How can you tell?

After a discussion, we watch the sweet Sesame Street clip called Disappointed.

After we talk about an array of feelings, 
I show them this Feelings Teller:  

Click graphic for free download from source

I tell them that I'm disappointed because I wanted to make one for each of them but they didn't come back from Print Shop in time for me to get them all folded. I tell them I'm totally bummed out but there's nothing I can think of to do, that sometimes things just don't work out like you'd planned. Oh, well ... 

That's when my problem solvers jump into action and offer to fold them themselves. Well, I'm here to tell you that that's all well and good for second and third graders, but most of my firsties struggled big time. Some of them totally lost it. I'm talkin' tears, people. In peace class! And I never saw it coming. I heard shouts of "I can't" and "Can you help me?" as I attempted to teach them to fold on the diagonal and then on the line toward the inside and then away from the midline, yada, yada.

Are you seeing the beauty that unfolded from that chaos?
Yep, it turned into an opportunity to actually manage our feelings.
Feelings of frustration.
Feelings of insecurity.
Feelings of impatience.
Feelings of helplessness.
Feelings of sadness.

I couldn't have planned it any better.
Of course, we ran out of time to read our book, but, hey,
we had an authentic opportunity to get in touch with, experience and learn about our feelings.

Once we got them folded and ready to go,
a volunteer came up and helped me demonstrate.
This is how we used our Feelings Tellers:
I'd ask my volunteer:
How would you feel if your dog got sick?
Upset, sad, mad or worried?
The child picks worried, for example, and
we open and close the teller as we spell the word worried.
Then we see two word choices on the inside: SAD/WORRIED.
So I ask another question:
How would you feel if your friend said something mean?
The child picks sad, and we spell it out.
Then they select one last feeling word from the two choices mad and upset by answering another feelings question I made up
and we open it to reveal A, B, C, or D.
Each of these letters has a prompt, and the volunteer chooses D:
Tell about a time that your actions made someone sad.

Brilliant! The kids were super excited to get one of these,
and after class, I got busy folding the 150 that I'm going to need for
my kinder kids this week. 


  1. You do tackle such important topics with your students. And, your activities are always fun and engage children. Check out the book I reviewed yesterday, Yell and Shout, Cry and Pout: A Kid's Guide Feelings. Very original and great for teachers and parents. The Feelings Teller you showed reminded me of the book -- but it also includes positive feelings like love, surprise etc.

  2. Love these feelings Tellers!! Thanks so much for sharing this. Really a great idea and kids love these things....

  3. Wow! You sure had a BIG time with feelings! You are so clever!


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