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Feelings At Your Fingertips

Reflect on stories and experiences using feeling and sensing words. With Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons this can be a five-minute, five-finger way for teachers to get a feel for students’ feeling word vocabularies and each child’s observations of literature or learning activities.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. After a shared learning experience, such as reading a story, visiting a frog pond, or taking a nature walk through the school garden to look at insects, invite children to briefly share observations they made by using their senses.
    2. Gather children in a seated circle. Provide Crayola Dry-Erase Crayons and individual dry-erase boards. Ask each child to trace one hand on the board. Allow time for children to add fingernails, finger wrinkles, rings, bandages, and watches to their hands.
    3. Next, children can write one feeling or sensing word above each finger to show what they experienced. When finished, children can turn their boards toward the center of the circle so they can read each other’s words. What do they see? Are there any similar words used by several classmates? Which words stand out? Are there any words that need to be defined or explained? Which senses were used? What kinds of feelings are being expressed?
    4. Repeat this activity frequently throughout the school year as a way to reflect on learning. Mini lessons focusing on building vocabulary can serve to introduce new options for sensing and feeling words. Introduce how to use first thesauruses and share synonyms for commonly used words. For example, instead of funny, students may choose amusing, humorous, or hilarious, depending on the specific experiences they would like to convey.
  • Standards

    LA: Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

    LA: Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

    LA: Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

    LA: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    SCI: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

  • Adaptations

    Feelings at Your Fingertips might also be appropriate for use when working with guidance counseling activities, friendship groups, social skills lessons, and anti-bullying programs. This is a quick way for children to respond to prompts regarding their experiences and feelings.

    Introduce the concept of “feelings” by asking children, “What are feelings?” Provide dry-erase crayons for children to write feelings they have felt on a dry-erase board. Students might create a wall of words on a large-dry erase board or make their own word lists on individual boards.

    Invite children to draw animals on their dry-erase boards then write feeling words to describe how the animal they have drawn is feeling. Pair children to introduce their animals to each other. Ask each pair to talk about how one animal might respond to the other animal, particularly regarding the animal’s feelings.

    Share Todd Parr’s The Feelings Book as a read aloud. Ask each child to make their own “Sometimes I feel...” drawing and sentence on an individual white board. Each child can show and read his or her statement to the group.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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