Talk about emotions- Item 400 - Elsa Support for emotional literacy

Talk about emotions- Item 400

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Included in this ‘Talk about emotions’ pack is a Poster and 96 cards. The aim of these cards is to open up discussion on feelings. It is ok to feel any feeling and it is definitely ok to talk about them. Knowing vocabulary for emotions is a great way to teach emotional literacy. This pack will help pupils to learn more vocabulary for their feelings. Talking about how you are feeling has got to be easier when you have the correct vocabulary. The poster can but put up in class or your ELSA area as a reminder that it is ok to talk about feelings.

What are the cards?

The cards have a ‘Dot Dude’, which is a little character, showing an emotion. Each ‘Dot Dude’ card has different synonyms of that emotion so there are 8 cards for one ‘Dot Dude’ emotion. These are all in colour sets for easy identification.

There are 12 ‘Dot Dudes’, making 96 different cards.


Use Adobe Reader to open your PDF. This gives you great printing options. Print these on A4 or on A3 if you want them bigger.

Focus age groups

These can be used from EYFS to Upper secondary. At the younger age you would perhaps choose the most common emotion word, so ‘Happy’ for the ‘Happy Dot Dude’. ‘Sad’ for the ‘Sad Dot Dude’.
Key Stage 1 might include one or two other emotion words and so on up the school or dependant on the needs of the pupil. Use your knowledge of the pupil to gauge which cards to use and focus on.

Here are just a few ideas for using the cards

Choose the cards you want to use with the pupil before beginning.

  • Emotional register – How do they feel today?
  • Use a word in a sentence.
  • Talk about a time when they felt like that.
  • Talk about a coping strategy linked to the card chosen.
  • Sort the cards between positive and negative emotions?
  • Choose their favourite emotion.
  • Find any other words that mean the same or similar to the one they have chosen?
  • Work on just one family of emotions, for example ‘Happy’, practice using the sentence stem ‘I feel happy today because…’ I feel delighted today because…’ I feel elated today because…’ See if the pupil can come up with different scenarios to match the word. All mean happy but some mean more happy than others or are slightly different.
  • Give a scenario and ask the pupil to pick an emotion card to go with that scenario.
  • Sort the cards between words they know and words they do not know.
  • Pick a card and draw a thinking bubble. What might they be thinking if they felt like that?
  • Pick an emotion card that means ‘ANGRY’ and write down coping strategies.
  • Pick a card that means ‘SCARED’ and write down any triggers they might have for being scared.
  • Choose an emotion card and draw a body shape. Where do they have physical feelings when they feel this emotion? Colour the parts of your body.
  • Make facial expressions to match a card and use a mirror to check.
  • Pick out 5 emotion cards and choose an action for each one. What would they do when ‘angry’ what would they do for ‘sad’ and so on.
  • Make a feelings picture. Draw themselves in the middle and choose all the emotions that they have felt in the past. Write down the words all around their picture.
  • Pick 5 different coloured cards and draw an animal to represent each one.
  • Pick a handful of cards and sort them alphabetically. They can make their own feelings dictionary.
  • Pick a card and name a song that the emotion reminds them of.
  • Pick the worst emotion that they have ever felt. Why was it the worst?
  • Learn to spell some of the words. They could use them in a feelings journal.
  • Pick an emotion word and think about who they would want to be with if they felt like that. Who makes them feel safe? Who can they talk to?
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