We made emotion cards SUNSHINE EMOTION CARDS for the children to set out at a conflict resolution table. We didn’t begin the project with the GOAL of storytelling/writing although, in the end, our conflict resolution table was a great literacy project.
We made a table area where children could discuss problems or situations and had adults available to help the children work through any potential issues. The emotion cards were to help each of the children show an emotion or draw what they were feeling on one of the blank faces. While the cards did help the children to SHOW feelings, what ended up happening at the table was even better.
Two children came to the table to work through an outdoor play issue. Before asking for an adult’s assistance, they used the cards to TELL what they felt, and then began using the cards to re-tell the entire event. Tony said, “I was HAPPY when Tom asked me to play soccer with him.” (He pulled out the Happy Sunshine.) Tom said, “I was HAPPY, too.” (Tom pulled out the Happy Sunshine.) “After Tom asked me to play soccer, other kids asked him to play basketball and he ran off and left me.” (Tony pulled out the Sad Sunshine.) “When I started to join the basketball players, they all told me I couldn’t play,” said Tony. (Tony pulls out the Mad Sunshine.) Inside now, the children were working through emotions by using the picture cards. Later that day, we found other children asking to use the cards and playing/telling stories about everything from “How my DOLL felt today” to “You hurt my feelings today when you knocked my castle down.”
We made an emotions booklet, My Emotions Book, and modeled writing for the younger children. We wrote down their imaginary or real stories and the children “READ” their stories to each other. Our kids loved this project and their parents loved hearing the children re-tell stories. We’ll keep the conflict resolution table and will add more emotions as we begin the school year!
For MORE conflict resolution ideas and emotions, see the FALL THEMATIC at The Preschool Toolbox!