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Oct 01

Emotional Literacy for Older Students

Posted by Valentine Burr in Fair Is Not Equal on Oct 01, 2012

In our post "Teaching Emotional Literacy" we show an example of how one pre-K teacher supports the development of emotional literacy with her students. The work does not end in the early elementary years, however. Early adolescence is a time during which children are actively negotiating their own changing emotional landscape and the impact this has on peer and adult relationships.

6th Grade Teacher
Rachel Hess' "Recognizing Emotions" Chart

In her classroom, 6th grade teacher Rachel Hess explores emotions with her students, asking them to contribute ideas about how to both recognize emotions as well as how to react when they see strong emotions in their peers. In this chart her students suggest, for example, that when they see an embarrassed peer, an empathetic response would be to "try and understand." This approach builds emotional literacy (recognizing and labeling emotions) and applies emotional literacy to perspective taking and community building.

We've edited them out for privacy, but around the edges of this chart are pictures of her students making facial expressions to match the corresponding emotion. This creates buy-in as students become a physical part of creating this work, and meets their developmental needs in ways cartoon drawings might not.

We'd love to see the strategies you are using!

tagged adolescence, emotional literacy, middle school, strategies
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