- Depending on how you have decided to conduct the lesson (see Preparation, 2), have students gather at their tables with the appropriate art materials for creating either happy or sad masks.
- As a group, discuss what makes them feel happy or sad. This discussion is an opportunity for students to begin making connections to these emotions by verbally expressing their personal experiences. They will also begin to identify some specific features that are associated with each of the emotions to use while creating their masks. As part of the class discussion, encourage students to reflect upon and respond to each other’s experiences. “Can you think of a time that you were sad/happy? What made you feel that way?” “What does your face look like when you are sad/happy?” “What makes you feel better when you are sad?” or “What things make you feel happy?”
- Explain how students will create their happy or sad masks, and show them the materials they have to work with.
- Offer mirrors for students to view their own faces as they express different happy and sad emotions, and draw their attentions to facial features, such as lip and eyebrow positions.
- Give each student a plate and a bottle of glue to begin creating his or her mask.
- When the plate for the first emotion is complete, the student will then create a mask showing the opposite emotion.
Session 2: Language experience activity
- Have students gather in a group where they can all see the chart paper.
- Ask students to recall making their masks. “What is something that makes you feel happy/sad?” “Why were you happy/sad?” “Do you think everyone is happy/sad sometimes?” “Let’s make a chart to see when everyone is happy and sad.”
- Students will consecutively complete the three statements as you write their exact words onto the chart paper. Begin with the first statement, “Things that make me sad are ____________________.” Ask each student to complete the statement as you write what he or she says on the chart paper. Include parenthesis at the end of the statement and allow each student the opportunity to write his or her name on the chart paper after the statement.
- Once everyone has had a turn, begin the second statement, “Things that make me happy are __________________.” Students will once again complete the statement in their own words and label it with their names.
- Repeat the process using the third statement, “Today I feel ______ because ___________________.”
- Once the chart is complete, have students read their statements one at a time using the appropriate pointer, happy or sad depending on the statement. NOTE: If your students are capable, you may choose to modify this activity by allowing them to write their own statements onto the chart paper. To further challenge students, you can ask them to create a class poem using the following prompts: These are things that make us sad: ... These are things that make us glad: ... Older students can be challenged to make their responses rhyme as well.
Session 3: Concluding the experience
- Gather students in small groups and ask them to discuss some things they have learned over the last few lessons. Ask if they can notice some differences and similarities between happy and sad emotions. “What are some things we know about feeling happy?” “What are some things we know about feeling sad?” “Can we think of any things that are the same between being happy and sad?” For example, students may recognize that both are ways we feel, both can be illustrated using our facial expressions, and both can have similar phyical responses (e.g., crying or wanting a hug).
- Introduce the interactive Venn diagram, and present a tutorial on how to use a Venn diagram if students are unfamiliar with the concept. Explain the use of each circle to indicate the differences between two things, and the overlapping area between the two circles to indicate the similarities.
- Label one circle “happy” and one circle “sad.” Explain that the space in the middle is for qualities that they share.
- Depending on the age and abilities of your students, allow students to work in pairs or in small groups of three to four to take turns naming attributes for the graphic organizer.
- Allow pairs or groups of students to type their own ideas and print a copy of their Venn diagrams.
- Repeat until all students have had a chance to participate in the Venn diagram activity. Then post the diagrams in the classroom, along with the group members’ names.
- Allow students to discuss what they have learned about emotions by viewing the charts and comparing group ideas.
by : Kelly Sheehan and Emily Marietta, Nashville, Tennessee