How Are You Feeling?
Our feelings affect other people
by Kirk Hayles (revised, originally published in 2011)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore our feelings and, in particular, how our feelings may affect others.
Preparation and materials
- Have available some images of emoji and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples could include:
- slightly smiling face, available at: https://tinyurl.com/yckjputq
- slightly sad face, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ybbaagx7
- confused face, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ydgrlkck
- anguished face, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ycctu527
- sad, but relieved face, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ybx54qyc
- bored face, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ydxhomnu
- You will need pieces of card with feelings written on them, such as scared, angry, laughing, sad, worried, guilty, upset, proud and bored.
- As the children come into the assembly, look unusually stern (stand with your arms folded perhaps, pacing up and down) and (depending upon your audience) find things to be cross about (without identifying individuals, you could say, ‘Walk sensibly’, ‘Don’t talk’, ‘Tuck your shirt in’, ‘Stop moving around’ and so on).
- Tell the children that you are feeling very cross and that there is something important that you need to talk to them about. (At this point, there is usually a hushed silence and the children - and staff, if you have not let them in on the deception - are feeling rather anxious.) Make as much of this as you feel is appropriate.
- Relax into your usual manner and tell the children that you’re not really cross - you were just acting. At this point, there is likely to be a collective sigh of relief! Ask the children (and staff) how they felt when they thought that you were cross. You told them that you were feeling cross: how did it make them feel? Anxious? Worried? How do they feel now? Relieved? Happier?
- Expand on the idea that our feelings can affect others, positively and negatively.
- Show the images of emoji.
Ask the children to guess the feelings that each emoji is demonstrating.
- The next part of the assembly can be done with children or adults, but the children often love to see the adults acting.
Have available the pieces of card with feelings written on them.
Ask some volunteers to come to the front, pick a card and act out the feeling without talking or making a noise. Ask the audience to work out what the feeling is from the person’s face, body language or actions.
You may have a personal story that you could share about one of the feelings identified.
- Explain that we all have feelings, but they don’t define us – especially our negative feelings. We are not angry or sad people; that is just how we feel perhaps, some of the time. If we can recognize this, it is the first stage to realizing that we can manage our feelings more effectively.
Time for reflection
Remind the children how they all felt when you were ‘cross’ at the beginning of the assembly and how much better it felt when they realized that you were not really cross. Ask the children to consider how their feelings may affect those around them, and how positive feelings can positively affect those who are close to them.
Encourage everybody to try to behave today in such a way that those around them feel safe and happy.
Help us to recognize how we feel and to seek help
When it feels like our feelings are out of control.
Help us to realize that even if we feel alone with our feelings,
We can always talk to you.
Please help us to be considerate to the needs of other people.
Help us to look for those who are sad and lonely and encourage them.
Help us to be happy with people who are happy.
‘God is love’ (Come and Praise, 36)