Saturday, January 27, 2007


I'm trying to teach my children how to express their feelings more productively, which means that I have to teach them to identify their feelings first. Most of my students identify two emotions: happy and bad.

"Bad" can mean anything that isn't happy. When my students use mad/sad, they use them incorrectly about half the time. As in, "How would you feel if someone stole your crayons and then broke them on purpose?" "Sad." "G-'s grandma died. How do you think she's feeling today?" "Mad."

I want them to be able to identify the four major emotions correctly so that they can not only express what they are feeling, but we can work on different solutions for the three "bad" emotions -- scared, angry, and sad.

So after reading a story about a giraffe who is laughed at by his friends because he can't dance, I asked the students to write about something that made them sad. And after reading their responses, I don't know how *I'm* going to deal with this uncovering of feelings. Many didn't really understand, and just wrote things like, "Sometimes I feel happy. Today I am feeling happy because I am on superstar. Sometimes I feel sad." But others wrote about their parents fighting, their father dying, being left alone in their houses, and being hit by other adults.


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