Spy glasses and mirrors – Looking at expressions (behaviour cog)


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Providing stimulating photographs or illustrations stimulates discussion on how emotions are expressed.

Spy glasses and mirrors – Looking at expressions (behaviour cog)

By providing some stimulating photographs or illustrations, we can use these ‘showing emotion’ symbol prompt pages to help focus in and comment on how emotions are expressed.

This is a useful activity at the Emotion Works ‘developing vocabulary’ stage. Using a spy glass allows practitioners and learners to playfully focus in on an area of the face or body to look closely at what happens when different emotions are expressed. The symbol prompts encourage naming parts of the face and body, and language learning can be extended to use verbs and other descriptive terms such as smiling, up, open, clenched, wrinkled etc. Copying and pulling different expressions in the mirror encourages language use, as does¬†using a spy glass to look closely at a teacher or friend’s face or gestures.

While this example shows a green spy glass, and a green DIY ‘cogglestick’ in the photo, teaching the green behaviour cog concept isn’t the goal of this Early Years activity. The focus very much remains on developing emotional vocabulary and understanding. However, this activity can be used for older learners who are focusing on the cog concepts and colour coding, which makes use of green “tools” more relevant. Planning and preparing resources in line with the bigger 7 cog system means that adults are well prompted and equipped for extending learning when required.