10 Ways to use Emotion Face Mats - ELSA Support

10 Ways to use Emotion Face Mats

Below is a list of 10 ways to use emotion face mats. Please do have a read through. I have also put these ideas into a file so you to download them at the bottom of the post. You can find these mats here.

10 ways to use emotion face mats

  1. Use them to display in your area and use them as an emotional register.
    • When the child arrives for their session, ask them how they are feeling today? Get them to point at the emotion initially and then to label and name it. Ask them to say ‘I feel… because… Encouraging a child to label and express their feeling should become second nature if this is repeated often. It should be part of every session for every child.
    • Further discussion could be on how to cope or deal with that emotion. If they feel sad and can tell you why you can help them find ways of making themselves feel happier. If they are feeling angry and can tell you why you can help them find ways of making themselves feel calmer. Labeling and expressing emotions is fundamental to emotional literacy.
  2. Use the Face mat to learn and discuss different emotions.
    • Point out the facial expression and ask children to notice what the eyes and mouth are doing. Can they make that face?
    • Are there any other ways of showing that emotion? An angry face for example can look different on different people. Use a mirror for children to have a go?
  3. Can they draw some of the facial expressions?
    • Give them a blank piece of paper or a whiteboard and ask them to have a go. They can use the faces as a reference.
  4. Choose one of the emotions
    • Ask them to draw the face and then add the body? What might it look like when you are feeling that emotion? Stick figures are fine, they don’t need to be amazing drawings.
    • Getting across how the body language can show emotion too is important.
  5. Talk about physical feelings with each emotion. How do you feel in your body when you are sad? angry? scared? worried?
  6. Play a game with the Face mat without words.
    • How many can they label and name? Keep a score and see if they improve and can see they are improving.
    • When they get good and can name them all then use a timer to make it fun.
  7. Use the black and white face mat for a bit of colouring and chatting about emotions.
  8. Continuing with the black and white face mat
    • Ask them can you colour the happy face? Can you colour the sad face?
  9. Use one of the face mats without words
    • Ask the children to write the emotion word under each face.
    • Make this into a game when they get good at it. How quickly can they do it?
  10. Learn synonyms by using a dictionary to find other words that mean the same and write those on the face mats without words.

10 ways to use emotion face mats

You can download this blog post for filing here: 10 ways to use emotion face mats


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