The last two weeks of Mindfulness have been all about feelings! Last week we read The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain. The book describes an array of emotions: silly, scared, happy, sad, angry, jealous, bored, disappointed, shy, frustrated, excited, and proud. We paused on each page to act out what our bodies and faces look like when we are experiencing these emotions, and discussed how our bodies feel. Here is some commentary on what the kids noticed about their bodies! “When I am angry my back teeth feel really tight together.” “Sometimes I pant when I feel excited!” “Sometimes I cry when I am frustrated.” “When I am bored I sit on my stairs with my hand on my face.” “When I am happy and smiling my eyes get squinty.” “I sometimes shake or yell when I feel scared.”
We also discussed what things might trigger these emotions, and what can we do when we are having some big feelings. Some of the kids noticed that when they feel one emotion, another emotion might also come along for the ride. At the end of the story we affirmed that all of our emotions are part of us, and there are no bad feelings. It’s what we do and how we act when we are experiencing big feelings that is important.
A couple of classes were so engaged with our conversation about emotions that we spent the whole half hour reading and in discussion! The classes that had time played a quick round of Feeleez Charades. The kids picked a card with a cartoon depiction of an emotion, and they acted it out while their friends guessed the feelings.
This week we played Guess that Feeling! I showed the kids a variety of pictures kids, and we had to use the clues that were given on the children’s faces to guess what they might be feeling. We also talked about a few more complicated feelings like worry, lonely, and security. I asked the kids what could we do when we feel these things, or how could we help our friends when they are experiencing these emotions.
To help with the wiggles we did a few “eagle stretches”, where we stretched our wings up high, and side to side while taking big breaths. We also learned a snake breath where we took a big breath in, and then let it out slowly with a gentle hiss.
Mindfulness at Home
You can help promote social literacy at home by talking about what your face or body looks like when you are having some big feelings. When reading books pause occasionally to ask your child how the character in the book might be feeling, and what clues they give you by the way there face looks. Ask your kids if they can remember a time when they felt angry, sad, frusterated, ect., and share some of your own feelings stories with them as well! You can also use mirrors to show your children what they look like when they are experiencing some big emotions. Talk about what you notice is going on with their face and body language.