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Fourth Graders' Emotions: How Teachers Can Help

written by: Janelle Cox • edited by: Amy Carson • updated: 9/30/2012

Fourth graders' feelings and emotions can be tough; activities to help your students recognize, describe and talk about their feelings will help. Getting them involved in making a collage, writing, or other methods can make a real difference.

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    It's a Time of Change for These Students...

    These activities are designed to help fourth grade students recognize and describe feelings and emotions that they may have experienced or are experiencing right now. Students will learn how to turn negative feelings into positive ones, express their feelings through artistic and creative ways, identify facial expressions, and recognize and identify emotion vocabulary.

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    Emoting an Expression

    A basic activity to help fourth graders understand emotions would be to have the students choose how they are feeling by drawing it. Give the students a paper plate and have each student draw the expression on their face that they are feeling at that moment. This activity can also be used with a balloon instead of a paper plate. Once they complete the drawing put them on a bulletin board with the title “Expressing Our Emotions."

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    A Positive Spin

    In this activity students will learn how to turn negative feelings into positive ones. Write on the front board “I think your shoes are ugly". Then have the students try to figure out a positive way to say the same thing. Have the students discuss what emotion they felt in the first statement and what they felt hearing the positive statement.

    Next, pair students together and have each group make up a hurtful statement. Once each group completes their statement have them read it to the class and have the class try to re-write the statement in a positive way.

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    Collage of Feelings

    Brainstorm a list of feelings or emotions on the front board. Then have each student pick an emotion and search through magazines to create a collage on the specific emotion they chose. Some suggestions for descriptive emotion words include, depressed, worried, shocked, embarrassed, grouchy, sad, happy, proud, lonely, shy, loved, annoyed, frustrated, fear and joyful. For an extension of this activity read the activity below.

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    Exploring Emotions Through Words

    Have students use the descriptive word that they chose in the “feelings collage" activity and create a story. For example, if they chose the word embarrassed for their collage, now they would create a story with a plot and resolution about a situation where something embarrassing happened. Once completed, have the student’s pair together to read each other’s stories.

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    Emotions Bingo

    A fun but effective activity for your fourth graders is Emotions Bingo! This activity will show students a wide variety of emotions while they have fun with their peers.

    Write these words on the board: Happy, angry, proud, shocked, embarrassed, sad, loved, shy and worried. Then print out the bingo board titled Emotions Bingo which is available from Bright Hub Education as a Word doc by clicking on the link. Tell the students that each picture on their bingo board represents an emotion on the front board. Then give each student a copy of the game and have fun!

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    It's Not Easy Being a Tween

    Fourth graders often have a hard time expressing their feelings. Children often don't understand how to communicate their feelings which can lead to frustration and acting out. These fourth grade feelings and emotions activities will help encourage your students be able to describe and talk about what they are feeling and feel comfortable doing so.

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    References

    Source: author's own experience.