Symbols can be used alongside many resources to support the development of vocabulary when talking about emotions.
In this example, Lego was used alongside the book ‘The Colour Monster’ to recreate figures to represent the different emotion words in the story. Using the symbol folder, learners first picked out cards from the orange cog section to show the emotion word their model represented. They then went on to look at the pictures in the book to see if the could identify the trigger for their emotion word and picked out the trigger cards from the yellow cog section. This is a good activity for developing links between emotion words and triggers cogs.
This activity can also be flipped on its head and learners can be given an emotion and they must build a model that represents the trigger to that emotion. It can also be developed to a 4- cog model by looking at the behaviours that are depicted in the illustrations of the colour monster in the book. Children can then explore the possible regulation strategies that can be used to calm down or cheer up the colour monster when he is feeling different emotions.
Following this activity, a child who had difficulty expressing his emotions in words, would quite often go to the Lego tray during his self-regulation time to build a model of how he was feeling. In 1:1 discussion, this child was able to pick out cards from the symbol book which gave him the opportunity, not only to develop his vocabulary but also give him a vehicle for him to talk about difficult emotions.
This activity can also be used to relate to the colours of the characters in the film ‘Inside Out’ or any other resource that links colours to emotion words.
Symbol folders can be purchased on our online shop or see our full selection of symbol downloads in the digital resources section in the members area.