Getting Started with the Grey Intensity Cog


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Guidance and links to help you to understand and teach about the grey ‘Intensity’ cog.

Getting Started with the Grey Intensity Cog

The grey ‘Intensity’ cog is one of the final cogs we introduce as we help children to develop an understanding of the Emotion Works links and models. It is aimed at older children and adults, once they have a good understanding of the other 5 cogs and are familiar with the layout of the 5-part model and tools.



From the training booklet Word Bank document…

INTENSITY WORDS AND CONCEPTS – the different ways we understand and represent the size, amount, degree and extent of things we experience and perceive. In relation to sensing and understanding an emotional episode, we might use intensity concepts to refer to the level of emotional sensations experienced, the impact of a causal event or emotional trigger, the display of emotional behaviours, or to help recognise the need to emotionally regulate. Emotion Word meanings also capture an element of intensity when compared with each other.

Please see the word bank document for an extensive list of Intensity examples.

Some differentiated definitions for your learners

The grey cog is about the size or strength of any of the other 5 cogs, though it is most commonly used to describe Emotion Words. It can be used to describe cogs individually, for comparison within a cog (e.g. to create a scale of emotion words or body sensations) or comparison between cogs (e.g. a big emotion can lead to a big body sensation or behaviour).

The grey cog is all about how big an emotional response is.


Resources and Ideas for introducing this cog to your learners

Links to a range of different resources and practice ideas to help you teach about this cog are provided in the ‘useful resources’ and ‘useful links’ listings elsewhere on this page for you to browse (in the right hand margins on desktop or below on mobile & tablet).

Here are a few of our recommended favourites for resources and ideas to use if you need help getting started…


Simpler level resources and ideas

An explicit introduction to this cog isn’t recommended for learners at an earlier level.


More advanced level resources and ideas

1. The Intensity page from the Poster Set of 7 cogs provide useful visuals and text prompts for introductory discussions.

2. The dry-wipe component card for Intensity.

3. The Intensity playground cog (if available).

4.  The Intensity Cog can be used to scale any of the cogs. This example uses scale alongside Emotion Words and Triggers.