In order to correctly perceive feelings in others and ourselves, we first have to develop words for those feelings.

Emotional granularity is the ability to differentiate between feelings and articulate our emotional experiences. Developing a larger and more complex feeling vocabulary helps students to better communicate with others about what and how they are feeling. 

Emotions are a part of everyday life. Sometimes they hit like a hurricane, big and overwhelming, and other times they are subtle and just drift in. How we handle these ups and downs is informed by our understanding of what emotions are and how they work. Being able to identify emotions in ourselves and others is an important part of self and social awareness.

Primary students need to be guided and given support when learning about emotions, identifying them, and how to manage the big emotions.

Picture books, games, songs and videos can help them to recognize and name emotions.


Some activities and videos to help support primary students with emotion identification:

Name That Emotion: Students will have fun practicing emotion identification guessing the emotions in this video.

Feelings Bingo: This video shows scenes that demonstrate students playing feelings bingo. There are many templates available for feelings bingo cards or you can create your own.

A fun video clip from the movie, Inside Out, helps students identify emotions based on Riley’s actions. The emotion is demonstrated and then time is given before it is revealed.

In this lesson, Mr. Parker talks about feelings in terms of colours, putting feelings into 4 different colour categories. Red, when you’re angry; green, when you’re happy; yellow, when you’re nervous, or out of control; and blue, when you are feeling sad.

In this lesson, Mr. Parker talks about figuring out the things that make you angry. He introduces us to the term “triggers” or “anger buttons” and gives us strategies of what to do when these buttons get pushed.

In this lesson, Mr. Parker talks about the feeling of anger. He explores what anger looks like and feels like and has students start thinking about things that make them angry and healthy ways to deal with these feelings.

In this lesson, Mr. Parker discusses the body language and tone of voice that can go with strong emotion. Students will learn steps to calm down; use a calm voice; think; tell; and then thank.

In this lesson, Mr. Parker talks about happiness and some of the things that make us happy and how we show happiness in our bodies. 

In this lesson, Mr. Parker discusses calming down when you are upset. Students will learn steps to calm down and be in control of your feelings (think, count, ask, and possibly walk away.)

Jealousy is a very difficult emotion for many primary students. Support to recognize what the emotion feels like and strategies for coping with it are very important.

This Sesame Street video explains what jealousy is and how we can handle this difficult emotion.

This video addresses the jealousy that can come up between two sisters.


Keeping a Mood or Feelings Journal:

Mr. Parker talks about the benefits to keeping a “Feelings Journal” and writing down the things that trigger different feelings or emotions.