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Parents, but also teachers have a very important mission in the education of children and, above all, in the way they manage and express their emotions. To help teachers in this task, I want to talk to you about how create an emotions diary, an educational tool through which students will creatively talk about what they feel and analyze what happens to them with freedom and a lot of sense of humor. Shall we start?
According to different investigations, There are multiple benefits when we express our emotions in a controlled way:
- Increased self-esteem and confidence in oneself and in others
- Relationships with those around us are strengthened.
- Improves academic performance, coexistence and motivation.
If we do not control our emotions (such as controlling our temper or being invaded by deep sadness), they could have a disastrous effect on us and others.
Specialists in Emotional Education recommend, for learning emotions in class, to avoid improvisation, which is carried out systematically and continuously using only cards, and that it is worked in isolation (only one hour a week, for example ).
To begin, it is important to take into account the situations that the group or class is experiencing on a daily basis, or those that occur among the young people themselves. For this reason, it is essential to listen to the students, know their interests, concerns and needs, so that the didactic proposals on emotions that are going to be carried out become part of the present life of all the components of the class.
The main objective of Emotional Education is that students become aware of themselves, of what is happening around them and of how it can affect or affect others. In this way, you can make sense of what you learn and perceive that what you feel and what happens to you is heard and respected by others, and is important to everyone.
In learning emotions, whether in class or at home, making a journal of emotions is an excellent resource through which you can share ideas, thoughts and concerns, helping the writer to minimize mental stress, calm him down and meditate on what he has written.
In addition to knowing each other better, children and young people will learn with him to have a real awareness of themselves and their environment, it will help them to express themselves freely and without fear of the opinions of others, so it would be vitally important to establish in advance who will read or have access to it, and what use is to be made of it beyond the free expression of thoughts and feelings.
To carry out an emotions diary, it is advisable to cover the following five goals with different didactic proposals:
- Identify emotions.
- Talk about emotions detail.
- Express what feelings the music provokes, artistic representations, etc.
- Create musical or visual compositions for each emotion, collages, illustrations, writings, etc.
- Write freely in the diary, as a means of expressing one's own emotions with which to identify with oneself.
Ultimately, with the creation of this diary it is intended that students recognize, understand, feel and live their emotions with total naturalness, that they help themselves from them, learn to develop mechanisms to face and control them, and avoid harming themselves or themselves others.
What emotions can we start with? From those situations that are occurring in the classroom. If, for example, there has been some type of harassment or someone's relative has died or one of the students has received good news, we can propose activities related to fear, sadness, or surprise to the students.
You could start with the main emotions and then continue with the secondary ones: disgust, joy, surprise, fear, anger, sadness, calm and shame. A second possibility is to personalize the diary by adding other topics that develop, for example, interpersonal or intrapersonal intelligence, as we see fit.
Below, educational proposals and activities are offered to cover the five objectives mentioned above:
1. For students to learn to identify emotions you can read stories, watch a short cartoon film or reflect on different images (paintings, illustrations or sculptures). Perhaps you can use the most explicit ones at the beginning and continue with more complex ones.
Another option is for students to add photos to their diary that they make themselves or that they search on the internet, with all kinds of images that suit each emotion, and then carry out some type of activity, be it creating a story, a song, collage or any other type of artistic representation.
It is important that, orally or in writing, individually, in pairs or in groups, the students describe, comment on or justify among themselves and in their journal the proposals they have made on this point.
2. For what know and express emotions in detailWe can ask students to define emotions in pairs, individually or in groups, and then, for example, look for synonyms and antonyms for each one of them. And then with that information, write riddles, lines, sayings, tongue twisters or rhymes. They could also relate these emotions to circumstances or situations that they experience daily.
In addition, they can be asked to relate different meanings with the corresponding emotion; Or create word searches or crosswords with concepts related to each emotion. At the same time, it is interesting to play small games (taboo type, card or board games) with which to describe or create situations that have some difficulty, for example, relying on secondary emotions.
3. Using the five senses to associate an emotion with what we perceive, whether in form, tactile, olfactory, auditory or visual. We can, for example, blindfold the students and then let them express what emotions they have felt when touching, smelling or tasting what has been brought to class. They can be asked to search for real situations in which emotions are evident, either through the press, television, the Internet, art, or video games.
We can make them reflect by asking them when viewing or hearing a colleague's presentation: When have I felt this way? How have others felt in X situations? Who have felt like me and when?
4. The fourth is the most creative goal and we would try to get students express themselves freely and in an artistic way, Proposing them to elaborate from situations and emotions, for example, a collage or an illustration from a story or a poem they have read that deals with an emotion.
Another activity is to create a video trailer for each of the emotions, about a story, a song, or a calligram or news to write them on paper or transmit podcasts, real or fictitious, about each emotion, or perform dramatizations where these are expressed through starting with role plays or visual compositions (static or moving). All of this would be incorporated into the diary, where they would reflect on each of the artistic creations, providing if they wish a photograph or image as a sample.
5. The diary, like means of expressing emotions and thoughtsIt should be used frequently, without forcing the student to write in it, since when we are required to do something the level of motivation decreases alarmingly. As the objective is for them to learn to express themselves freely and identify with themselves, with what they feel, and how those around them feel in different situations, the use of the diary should already be motivating for them. Therefore, they should be encouraged and encouraged to write in it as a fun, important and necessary activity for all of them.
It should be noted that the development of an emotions diary for class, which could be created both individually and in groups, will encourage students learn about themselves and with others through free expression.
If this resource is to be evaluated, it should be established from the beginning who will have access to it, and what aspects will be valued. A checklist or a rubric could be used for this, with whose evaluation instruments formal or structural aspects could be assessed, rather than content, such as cleanliness, order, number of contributions, an index, extension , etc...
To achieve the benefits mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is essential to avoid that in the newspaper spelling mistakes or grammatical errors are corrected, numerically qualified, or aspects as subjective as creativity or form of expression are evaluated.
Students are already quite saturated with exams, homework, and notes, so they should be left, especially with the teaching of emotions and through a journal, a space of freedom to express themselves with sincerity, creativity and reflecting and meditating by written (although also orally), about who they are, what they think or how they feel based on what happens inside or around them.
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