Communicating how we feel is a crucial skill for our pre-K and K learners!
In this post, we’ll share an easy no-prep lesson you can use with your pre-k and k learners to teach and model how they can communicate their feelings!
When we encourage our students to communicate their feelings, we set them up to solve problems, work well with others, and advocate for themselves.
Let’s get started!
To start, I play the 4-minute Everyday Speech video: Saying How You Feel.
Each Pre-K and K video opens with an intro from a friendly cast of animated plant characters. They have feelings, personalities, and get into everyday scuffles just like us!
The video models the consequences of showing our feelings versus saying our feelings.
When we show our feelings, people around us may get confused.
In this video, Tia, one of the main characters, asks, “Why is he (Devin) so angry?”
When we say how we feel, we give our peers context and don’t leave them guessing.
The video reminds us, “It’s ok to show our feelings, but we use our words so that others can help us.”
In the video, Devin models self-talk; “I have to say my ‘I feel’ words.” He pauses, thinks, and then speaks.
“I am feeling mad because we were playing spaceships here,” Devin says.
“Oh sorry, are you using the fridge?” Tia asks.
Devin feels better after saying his “I feel” words to Tia.
Tia could see the context she was missing, which prevented her from accidentally crossing one of Devin’s play boundaries.
They solved their problem without asking an adult for help.
To quote Tom Percival in his fantastical children’s picture book, Ruby Finds a Worry, “The best thing you can ever do if you have a Worry,” is to talk about it! Encourage learners to communicate their feelings. Use books like this one to illustrate the power of communicating feelings.
Pairing social skills videos with picture books (ideally ones that are light on words and heavy on vibrant images) brings our lessons and concepts full circle!
For our early learners, it’s helpful to sit with a topic over multiple sessions. In the past, I would sometimes rush through topics to match my learners’ pace and energy. Nowadays, I remind myself to slow down, think aloud, and model mindfulness. Our little ones look to us for co-regulation.
To give your students more practice with their “I feel” words, share the Pre-K and K “Saying How You Feel” video companion worksheet, which features space for letter tracing and imaginative art.
This is a great worksheet to send home to parents so students can continue “I feel” communication with family.
When we have intense emotions, it can be challenging to think clearly.
This lesson reminds our students to speak up so they can connect, decompress, and represent their authentic selves to the people around them.
Are you looking for more action-packed No-Prep SEL Lessons for Pre-K and Kindergarten students?
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Iris Wong joined Everyday Speech as a contributor in 2021. Over the last decade, she has been a Speech Language Pathologist in PreK-12 public schools, private practice, international schools and community health based early intervention. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, two kids and senior dog. Visit her at https://www.linkedin.com/in/iris-l-wong/