Working with Emotion cards

April 8, 2016
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There are so many activities you can do just with a set of emotion cards. This set is huge with 222 different words on small cards. Print them out, laminate them and cut them all out (yes I know it will take a while but you really can do so much with them). To make them look a bit more interesting then you could print onto coloured card or paper. Put them all in a little tub and you have an amazing bit of ELSA kit. When working with a child you may not want to use all the cards. Just choose the ones you think are relevant to the child. With younger children they may only have a very limited emotional vocabulary whereas secondary students may know a lot more vocabulary. You might want your cards a bit larger and to do that just print on A3 paper instead.

Download: emotions alphabetical

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  • Find an emotion word you don’t know the meaning of and find out!
  • Pick a positive emotion and use it in a sentence.
  • Pick a negative emotion and use it in a sentence.
  • Think about your day and pick out all the emotions you have felt in that day.
  • Make a collage of angry words.
  • Make a collage of happy words.
  • Make a collage of scared words.
  • Start a feelings diary and pick out your main feeling for that day. Write it down and explain why you felt that way.
  • Pick a card and draw the facial expression.
  • Pick a card and draw a picture of a time when you felt like that.
  • Pick a card and find all the synonyms of that word.
  • Pick a card and draw a comic strip of what happened when you felt like that, use speech bubbles and thinking bubbles to show what you were thinking or saying (you can purchase ELSA Support’s Comic strip resource to help you with this)
  • Make your own feeling’s dictionary by picking out all the emotion words you have heard of, writing them down in alphabetical order and write a brief description of what it means.
  • Pick an emotion word and see if you can make the face with ELSA Support’s Make a face activity.
  • Pick an emotion word and write a thinking bubble. What would you be thinking if you felt like that?
  • Pick an emotion word and write a speech bubble. What would you be saying if you felt like that?
  • Pick an ‘angry’ emotion word. How could you calm yourself down if you felt like that? ELSA Support’s traffic light pack has lots of ideas. and there is a ‘Cool it’ game available on the site.
  • Pick an emotion word and think about the physical feelings you get when you have this emotion. Does your heart beat faster? Do you breathe faster? Do you get butterflies in your tummy? Do you feel warm or cold?
  • Pick an emotion and make the face, use a mirror to practise.
  • Pick an emotion and act it out with a friend.
  • Pick an emotion and make up a scenario that would make you feel like that.
  • Make up a scenario for a child and get them to choose the emotion they would feel in those circumstances.
  • Pick a positive emotion and try and use the word as many times as you can in one day.
  • Pick an emotion card and write or talk about how someone might behave when they feel that emotion. What might they do?
  • Pick an emotion and think about who could help you if you felt like that or how could you help yourself if you felt like that?
  • Pick an emotion card and see if you can find the opposite emotion. An example would be that happy is the opposite of sad.
  • Pick a negative emotion card and think about how you could change that emotion to a more positive emotion. What could you do?
  • Pick an emotion card, what animal does this emotion make you think about?
  • Pick an emotion card. If this emotion was a colour, what would it be?
  • Pick an emotion card. If this emotion was a toy, what would it be?
  • Pick an emotion card. If this emotion was a sport, what would it be?
  • Pick an emotion card. If this emotion was a smell, what would it be?
  • Pick an emotion card, hide it from your friend but make the facial expression. Can they guess what the emotion word is?  ELSA Support has an emotion charades game that you can purchase
  • Pick an emotion card, what noise does this emotion remind you of?
  • Pick an emotion card. If you felt like this how would other people around you feel? How would your parents feel? How would your sister or brother feel? How would you friends feel?
  • Pick an emotion card and make some art. Just draw or paint whatever this word means to you.
  • Can you feel more than one emotion at a time? If you sometimes feel more than one emotion see if you can find the emotion words to match those feelings. You could draw a heart shape and write all the emotion words in the heart.
  • Pick an emotion card. When you have this feeling what action do you take? What do you do?
  • Pick an emotion card and create a thoughts feelings and action chart.
  • Choose an emotion card. What triggers this emotion in you?
  • Choose an emotion card. Who does this emotion remind you of?
  • When reading your reading book, think about a character and the emotions they are showing. Find some word cards to match those emotions.
  • Pick out some emotion words and give each emotion an action. What action could you use for angry? What action could you use for happy?
  • Pick a handful of emotion cards and sort them between positive and negative emotions.
  • Pick an emotion word and think about what job that emotion has. What does it tell you?
  • Pick an emotion word and think about where you would want to be if you felt like that. Who would you want to be with you? You could draw a picture.
  • Pick an emotion word. What song does the emotion word remind you of?
  • Find 5 different emotions that you have felt this week?
  • What is your favourite emotion? Find it!
  • Which emotion do you dislike most? Find it!
  • Make your own list of emotion words without looking at cards. When you have your list complete then see how many match the cards. Do you have some extra ones on your list? What are they?
  • Learn to spell some of the emotion words. You might be able to use them in your writing.
  • Make a ‘feelings picture’ by either drawing a picture of you in the middle of the page or use a photo and choose all the emotions you have ever felt. Write them in bubble writing around your picture.
  • Listen to some music and pick out all the emotions that the music makes you think about.
  • Just like the movie ‘Inside out’ can you create a character for one of the emotion words?
  • Pick a handful of emotion words and sort them alphabetically.

Here are some resources for emotions on the website.

Emotions game

My bag full of feelings

Bag image

Feelings diary early years

Feelings diary KS1

Feelings diary KS2

Emotions intervention

Superhero emotion workbooklets

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