Emotion Gnomes – EW Concepts in Kindergarten


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Shared by Theanna Bischoff (Educational Psychologist) and Emma Christie (Teacher), Mica Kindergarten, Camphill School, Aberdeen

Emotion Gnomes – EW Concepts in Kindergarten

This practice guide was inspired by a mentoring report shared by Dr Theanna Bischoff as part of her accreditation process with Emotion Works. It summarises a series of lesson ideas and classroom areas developed with Emma Christie, Teacher and other staff at the Mica Kindergarten based on current themes and the children’s responses week by week. Many thanks to Kindergarten Lead Claudia Gallizio and the children in Mica Kindergarten for their contributions.

Learning and Teaching Emotional Language in a Kindergarten Setting

When planning and delivering Emotion Works in pre-school settings, the goal is to ensure that children hear and have opportunities to use emotional language associated with each of the first five emotion cogs on a regular basis.

At this level of learning the actual cog shapes and names are not explicitly shown or formally introduced to the children. Instead, words and phrases associated with each cog concept and relevant question prompts are embedded in more naturally flowing conversations with lots of the key vocabulary used.

As demonstrated in the following example, small world puppets, drama games, photos, visual symbol prompts, picture books, drawings, mirrors and the animated expressions of adults can all contribute to emotional language development by making feelings and emotions a regular topic of conversation. In addition, planning and creating a space to help with calming down in the classroom means that talking about and practicing emotion regulation skills becomes normalised.

Read Mica Kindergarten Example