During the month of August our theme was “Emotions.”
Our preschool students did an excellent job identifying pictures of facial expressions, recognized and shared their own feelings in various ways, and discussed some coping skills for the more difficult emotions such as fear and anger. We were very proud of their efforts.
We read The Moon Balloon, A Journey of Hope and Discovery for Children and Families, by J. Drescher. In this book, the author categorizes different emotions into hot air balloons that the children could visit when experiencing different emotions such as anxiety, silliness, anger, and love. Each day we read about one or two different balloons, discussed the emotion, shared any personal experiences, and followed up with a short worksheet activity. I cut out large hot air balloons and labelled them, and the children helped me paint them. We attached their work from the corresponding activities and displayed them in our locker area. Some of the answers the children gave were completely unexpected, and all were personal expressions of many of the conflicting and sometimes complex emotions children cope with in early childhood. Over the next several weeks I will leave the balloons on display and if a student shares a particular emotional moment or event, I will invite them to “visit” the appropriate balloon.
There are more balloons in the book than we worked on, but in the interest of time (and keeping their attention) I let them vote. This was a very enjoyable activity and Ms. Linda and I were very moved by the work they did and trust they put in us sharing their personal feelings. For that reason I did not put their name on their work but will let them tell you if they decide to share. If you have a chance, please take a quick look and see if you can pick out your child’s work (I bet you can!)
Melissa DePasquale, M.Ed.
References Drescher, J. (1996). The Moon Balloon, A Journey of Hope and Discovery for Children and Families. Bethesda, MD: The Association for the Care of Children’s Health.