Talking about emotions with primary school children.
At Chatterbox, we love working with stories and "The Colour Monster" by Anna Llenas is certainly one of our favourites.
Vocabulary: introduce or review vocabulary relating to emotions (happy/sad/angry/calm/scared/in love). You can do this by drawing faces on the board or even using a song, which children can mime (this one from Super Simple Songs is quite good).
Show children the multicoloured picture of the Colour Monster and introduce him to them. Activate students by asking questions like "where is he from?", "where does he live?", "how do you think he is feeling?".
Tell the story, interact with children by stopping and asking questions about the pictures they see in the book.
After telling the story, check that children remember it by asking factual questions. For example "what colour is he when he is happy/angry/etc.?"
To check that children understood the story, you may want to ask different questions, such as "why is he red/black/etc.?"
Now work on children analytical skills and explain to them that you are going to help the Colour Monster to organize and understand his feelings. Ask children to draw 6 jars, such as the ones they can see in the book, and work through the different feelings, matching them with the corresponding colours, as they appear in the story. Children colour jars accordingly.
Once children have analysed the content of the story, you can change its context and ask children to talk about their feelings. Ask questions like "what colour are you today?", "what colour are your when it rains?", "what colour are you when you are at school?" and so on.
If you wish to introduce a creative moment in your class, and you are teaching younger children, you could ask them to draw their own Colour Monster and choose what colour he is today.
If you are working with older children, you can ask them to create their own Colour Monster story, using one of his emotions. For example, a story around why he is scared, or angry or in love. This can be written or drawn (as a comic, for example).
The Colour Monster is a very versatile story and can be used to review lots of different topics, such as colours, numbers and shapes, to name a few.
Try our ideas in your classroom and let us know how it goes!