In this lesson, our focus is on inviting children to
consider how their bodies and mind work together to generate emotional
experiences. Ask children at first to describe how their bodies
feel when they are angry, when they are sad, and when they are scared.
Write their comments on the board. Children could describe a specific
physical sensation ("When I'm sad, my heart feels wiggly.")
or, like my son did as a preschooler, use a metaphor ("When
I'm sad my heart feels like peanut butter."). They could also
describe the action the emotion seems to be pushing them to do ("When
I'm sad, I feel like crying."). Some of the comments will involve
the skeletal-muscular system (making a fist with one's hand), gastrointestinal
(getting an upset stomach), or cardiovascular (heart beats fast).
Emphasize in your discussion that all emotions are important and
can be helpful. Fear can warn us of danger and give us energy to
protect ourselves. Also, we do not have to act on the impulse the
feeling suggests. We can feel afraid, for example, and feel like
running away. This does not mean that we have to run away.
These ideas should be reinforced often in the daily life of a child,
not just in the presentation of a "lesson."
Do you have a question, comment, or suggestion
for this lesson? Go to the author contact