Imagery can be a powerful way to express how emotions feel on the inside of our bodies.
This example was part of a series of lessons using the one cog at a time approach to cover all seven cogs. Pupils drew a life size outline of their partners and used the 7- cog system to explore complex emotions week on week. By delving into each cog in depth they were able to get a better understanding of how the cogs break down into different aspects of emotions but also reflect on how they all work together.
After exploring the heightened Emotion Words that they felt on a regular basis in the first week, followed by the the behaviours that they could associate with those emotions by the intensity of them, they worked on their understanding of Body Sensations. Using the information already gathered the pupils were asked to think back to a situation or time when they felt their heightened emotion and try and locate the first place they noticed this emotion. It was a good opportunity to take one of the high intensity emotions, as these have the most powerful and noticeable feelings within our bodies. Once they were able to identify the body area, the pupils were asked to think of a description of how this body part felt. The symbol folder and training manual was to hand to support with adjectives but actually the older pupils were able to find words that suited their sensations themselves. After some discussion about how to show what this might look like as art, pupils had access to collage materials to create a visual representation for their body sensation.
This photo shows how the child identifies with sensations such as a fluttery tummy, hard to breathe, words feel jumbled in their mouth, head feels fuzzy, tight fists.
Body sensation – head feels like its banging.
Body sensation – tight lips, no words, blank mind, don’t have the words to say.
Body sensation – Tickly hands.
This lesson was followed up by moving onto the triggers and Influences cogs before coming up with regulation strategies to support the pupils emotional needs in the times of heightened emotions. Pupils involved were able to recognise the stages at which point their emotions were becoming to a point of no return and discuss openly the sorts of things in class and at home that they could do to help themselves.