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Feelings (Actions Speak Louder Than Words)

To show that the way we behave can affect others

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To show that the way we behave can affect others.

Preparation and materials

  • It would help to have some pictures of the seven dwarfs from the story of Snow White.
  • The term 'Snow White's little friends' can be used as an alternative to Dwarfs.


  1. Begin by telling the children how much you enjoy seeing happy, smiling faces first thing in the morning. Suggest that you would like some help. Choose three children. Ask them to face the audience, and for one to show a happy face, one a sad face and one an angry face. There may be some hilarity here and you could let everyone have a go! Make the point that facial expressions can tell us so much about how people are feeling. (Further discussion can be developed and explored.) Ask the volunteers to go back to their places.

  2. Explain that when we meet people for the first time we are influenced by the way in which they greet us. We don't feel comfortable if they look cross. It can be upsetting if they look sad. We quickly decide how we feel towards them. We feel much happier if they look pleasant and friendly.

  3. Refer to the pictures of the dwarfs from the story of Snow White. Each of these characters has a name, which tells us something about their personality: Dopey, Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy and Doc. You could ask seven children to act being each one as you talk about their characteristics.

    Dopey looked very confused. He was always doing silly things but he was lovable and made Snow White laugh.

    Bashful was very shy, he went red when people spoke to him. He couldn't look anyone in the eye.

    Sneezy, as his name suggests, was always sneezing. He had a red nose, streaming eyes and never looked really well.

    Sleepy was always yawning. His eyes were always heavy and he often dropped off to sleep because he was so tired.

    Happy, as his name suggested, was always cheerful, with a broad grin all over his face. He made Snow White feel so much better on the days when she was unhappy.

    Grumpy was always grumbling or moaning. He always seemed to be cross with the world.

    Doc was the confident, clever one, the organizer. He made Snow White feel safe and secure.

  4. Ask: Which dwarf are you? At some time or other you've probably been like each and every one of them!

  5. Point out to the children that when they were babies, before they could talk, the only way they could show their parents how they felt was by laughing when they were happy and crying when there was something wrong - if they were hungry, tired, or needed nappy change!

  6. There is a well-known saying: 'Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone.'

    If the day begins with a smile, parents are happier, teachers are happier and you will feel happier too. We all have a much better start to the day.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Teach us how to control our feelings.
Help us to be patient and kind.
Show us how to laugh with others and not at them.
Help us to spread a little happiness
by the way we behave towards one another.


'Guess how I feel' (Come and Praise, 89)

Publication date: March 2004   (Vol.6 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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