This week we're starting a new "unit" on feelings. And to delve into this perfectly appropriate topic for these preschool-age kids, I used a modern classic - TOBY'S SILLY FACES. If you haven't read this TOBY book, it tells the story of a little mouse (Toby) as he gets ready for bed. He and his father have a fabulous time looking into the mirror and making "silly" faces.
In all, TOBY touches on the following emotions: silly, surprised, sad, scared, happy, worried, fussy, sneaky, and sleepy.
While some of the words of this book are a bit challenging for new EL learners, what's really important is that it gets students hearing the adjectives for the feelings and offers lots of opportunities for you to stop and elicit the faces from them - which is the best part anyway.
After reading and introducing our new words for the day (I focused 4 words- mad, sad, happy, and scared) each student was given one of the four cards above. I found this great free printable from Pocket of Preschool.
The students had to find their classmates with the same "feeling", not by comparing cards, but by comparing their own sad, mad, scared, or happy faces. It took some practice, but once students got the hand of it, this was a riot!
However, the next activity was even more fun! Before class, I downloaded four songs: one happy, one sad, one scary, and one mad. As I played the songs, students danced around the room acting out that emotion. The kids were hilarious!
In case you'd like to try this out, these are the songs I used, all available on iTunes.
Happy - "Happy" by Pharrell Williams
Sad - "Sad Songs" - Sad Music Songs Piano
Mad - "Messa da Requiem: 2. Dies ire..." by Giuseppe Verdi
Scared - "The Jaws Theme"
Finally, we finished up the lesson with this feelings scissor and glue matching activity. It'll be filed away in Part 2 of their English Notebook which we give to the parents at the end of the semester.
In addition to being a writer, I have about the best job in the world. I teach 3-6 year olds English in an Italian preschool. I LOVE using picture books in my ESL lessons as introductions to my daily topics, and just because kids love books. My goal with this blog isn't to highlight the most "of-the-moment" picture books, but rather to present books that work well for ESL learners and that are accessible to teachers living all around the world. If you're an ESL teacher who loves books, then this blog is for you.