write about your feelings in classbooksWriting is a great tool for navigating the complicated world of human emotion. It helps us not only express our feelings, but understand, accept, and even overcome them. As Anne Frank once wrote in her diary, “When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived!”

In kindergarten, your students are just beginning to effectively and meaningfully communicate their thoughts and emotions with others. Because they are still learning the ropes, they may struggle at times to find the right words to explain how they feel—in part because they may still be working out how they really feel. Writing activities which explore emotions can help your students become more comfortable and familiar with their own feelings—and express them more clearly—in a safe and engaging manner.

 

Writing Activity #1: “What makes me feel…?”

how do you feel if This activity allows you to tackle a wide range of feelings simultaneously with your kindergarten students, and is a great introductory lesson for expressing emotions through writing. Start by writing down one emotion on each of a set of blank notecards. Be sure to keep them simple and relatable for your kids—things like “happy,” “scared,” “worried” or “proud.”

Shuffle the cards face-down. Have students pick a card at random. Whatever emotion they get is the one they will be writing about for this exercise. They may write this as a list, or you can provide them with a simple writing strategy, such as framed sentences, to help them structure their answers. Then, ask them to share their responses with the group or with the class. For a longer, more in-depth lesson, you can then ask students to swap cards and repeat the exercise as many times as you like.
 

PROJECT IDEA

After the writing exercise is complete, ask your students to then draw illustrations of the things they are describing or a self-portrait of themselves feeling the emotion they wrote about. Encourage them to list (and draw) as many things as they can think of! Once their lists and illustrations are complete, collect and publish them in a creative classbook that explores a full spectrum of feelings.

 

Writing Activity #2: “When I’m sad, I…”

what makes me feel sadNegative emotions can be especially difficult for young people to express constructively and cope with effectively. This writing activity helps your kindergarten students explore a negative feeling with a positive frame of mind by asking them to write about what they do to feel better when they’re sad. Maybe they talk to a friend, do jumping jacks, or cuddle with their favorite stuffed animal. When they’re done writing, ask them to share their responses—with a friend, a group, or the class. Who knows? They might walk away with a few new ideas to try the next time they feel blue.
 

PROJECT IDEA

Turn this activity into a collaborative class project by asking your students to brainstorm everything they can think of that helps them when they’re sad. Create a comprehensive list based on their responses, then ask each student to choose one item from the list to write about and illustrate. Once they’re finished, match their responses to their illustrations and publish the entire list in a beautiful classbook they can turn to whenever they need help getting through a bad day.

 

Writing Activity #3: How does kindness make you feel?

kindness makes the world go roundInstead of asking your students to consider the emotion first and an action second, this writing activity takes a deep dive into whatever feelings might be inspired by a particular event. By specifically having them write about how they feel when someone is kind to them, you are encouraging them not only to explore their own feelings but also fostering a sense of gratitude and helping them see why being kind to others is so important.
 

PROJECT IDEA

Once they’ve finished writing, ask your students to come up with an act of kindness they can try this week to make someone else feel good. To help them visualize their goal, ask them to draw themselves performing their act of kindness. At the end of the week, ask them to share with the class what they did, how it felt to be kind and how the other person reacted. As for their writing and drawings, you can publish their work in an uplifting and inspirational collaborative classbook.

 

Writing Activity #4: Facing fears together.

what are you scared ofFor this feelings activity, ask your students to write down something that makes them feel afraid and why it makes them feel that way. (Make sure to let them know ahead of time that they are going to be sharing this information with fellow students!) Once they have written down their response, ask them to swap papers with a classmate.

Then, ask them to consider the other person’s fear and how it makes them feel and why. Are they also afraid? Maybe one person doesn’t think clowns are scary because they make funny jokes, or maybe they’re not afraid of spiders because they think they’re cute. Sharing fears with others can help students to not feel so alone, and maybe even help them to overcome them!
 

PROJECT IDEA

Ask your students to draw the thing they’re afraid of, along with themselves facing it, whether that’s taking flashlights into a dark room, making friends with the monster under the bed, or petting an animal. Once they’re finished, collect and publish their art and writing in a classbook that’s all about facing your fears!

 

Exploring Feelings with Fun Classroom Activities

Feelings can be confusing and challenging for youngsters still learning basic communication skills. Engaging and entertaining writing activities like these encourage your kindergarten students to examine and express their feelings in positive ways, helping them to acquire and build upon important life skills that will continue to serve them well in the future. At the same time, by publishing their work, you’ll build their confidence by helping them feel that both their hard work and their feelings are accepted and acknowledged, by you and by their peers—and that’s something every student deserves to feel.


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Image sources: Lead image via Pexels user Trinity Kubassek; Images 1, 2, 3, 4 via Openclipart.org