exploring emotions: 6 Articles

My Zoo: A Book of Feelings

We have a whole zoo of feelings inside of us—an angry lion, a happy puppy, a calm sloth. Some days we feel like just one animal and some days we feel like them all. My Zoo helps kids to identify and accept different emotions. Hear My Zoo: A Book of Feelings read aloud.

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My Zoo: A Book of Feelings 2022-11-08T13:35:38-05:00

Rev Up Social Emotional Learning with Moody Moody Cars

Moody Moody Cars by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, PhD with photographs by Michael Furman is a rhyming picture book that shares various expressive classic cars and invites readers to figure out the emotions, from excited to angry and more, behind the facial expressions. This book provides a playful, approachable way to teach kids about feelings and emotions and to develop an essential skill as kids travel along in their social world. Here’s an excerpt from the Reader’s Note: Understanding facial expressions of emotions is an essential skill that helps children navigate the natural world. It allows children to know, for example, when a sibling is annoyed, a parent sees danger, or a classmate wants to be friends. One study showed that a child’s ability to interpret facial emotions at five years of age predicts how well they do socially and academically –even four years later. Research also shows that talking about feelings and practicing labeling them can help children increase their understanding of emotions. Look for opportunities to talk about emotions in books, movies, and daily life. ...a child’s ability to interpret facial emotions at five years of age predicts how well they do socially and academically –even four years later. Eye tracking studies show that babies are very interested in faces–they’ll stare at two dots and a curve arranged like a face longer than any other arrangement–but it takes children a surprisingly long time to develop the ability to recognize specific emotions.  For example: At two years old, children are only able to categorize emotions as happy or not.  Around age four, they can accurately categorize angry faces and distinguish them from other negative emotions. Between ages five and ten, children’s ability to accurately and quickly identify facial expressions and identify less intense emotions continues to develop. Learning to understand emotions may be especially important for boys. Too often, boys (and men) get the message that emotions are “girly” and therefore not for them. But boys have feelings, too! As infants, boys are more expressive than girls, but by five or six years old, boys are less likely to express hurt or distress.  Moody Moody Cars is a fun way to help children develop emotional literacy, which is the ability to read feelings in ourselves and others. It is based on pareidolia – the human tendency to see faces in things. Most children ages 4 and up know that cars don’t really have feelings, but it’s entertaining and intriguing to see how these cars look as though they do! Figuring out the cars’ emotions can help your child learn to recognize, label, and talk about these common emotions.  Check out the Educator’s Guide for questions to ask before, during and after reading, as well as activities to do and games to play when sharing Moody Moody Cars.  Here's a video of Dr. Kennedy-Moore explaining the importance of understanding emotions.

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Rev Up Social Emotional Learning with Moody Moody Cars 2022-04-27T13:56:52-04:00

Creating The Find Out Files My Emotions: Interview with the Author

Magination Press's new series of activity books, The Find Out Files, help kids explore emotions and relationships. Magination Press interviewed author and parenting expert, Isabelle Filliozat, about creating My Emotions, one of the books in The Find Out Files. Magination Press: What inspired you to create The Find Out Files series? Isabelle Filliozat: Until now I had only written essays and self-help books for adults on emotions and relationships. I always argue in my books and seminars that all this information and these tools that help living in better harmony with oneself and others should be learned at school. Emotional and relational intelligence can be trained from the beginning. So finally, writing for children was a natural continuum of my work. I realized it was time to address the children directly, to empower them with information.  Then the question of how arose. You learn better when you are active, that’s why I choose this format. First, the child is immersed in a pleasant activity. The activity is chosen to help him discover information or develop a skill. MP:  Who identified the seven basic emotions you explore in My Emotions? Is that something in psychology in general or categories you created for the book? IF: My approach is mainly based on the work of Joseph Ledoux and, of course, Paul Ekman. The field of emotion is relatively new. The scientists don’t agree yet on a list of emotions; it depends on many factors and the way you define emotion (because even for the definition, there is no consensus).  In 1972, Paul Ekman published a list of 6 basic emotions : fear, anger, disgust, joy, sadness, surprise. A few years later, his list was enlarged to 16, including shame. I followed him on that. Many experts on emotions saw the relevance of including shame in basic emotions, even if it was a social emotion. More recently, to create an atlas of emotions, (a map the Dalaï Lama asked him to build), Ekman led a large survey of 149 different scientists to gather a consensus. He concluded on five categories of emotions: anger, fear, disgust, sadness and enjoyment. They are the emotions in the Disney movie Inside Out. (He was a counselor for the film). So you see, nothing is completely fixed yet. During my professional life time, like Paul Ekman, my ideas have evolved. The seven emotions we explore in My Emotions are the seven I consider now as relevant. I add love, because love is a sentiment but also an emotion. I don’t use surprise; I may one day, but surprise is a startle reflex, the beginning of fear, the protection system. A categorization is only a categorization, it isn't the “reality." The more the scientists work on the field, the more information we get, the more we can refine our model. A model, a categorization, helps to label and to discriminate between different states. It is the first step to mastering. MP: Why is talking about and exploring emotions important?

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Creating The Find Out Files My Emotions: Interview with the Author 2020-08-26T10:02:53-04:00