Emotion Identification Activities for Adults

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

For some people, identifying emotions can be a difficult task. As you teach your adult students about emotions, you may want to consider the activities in this lesson.

Recognizing Emotions

The ability to recognize emotions can be hard for some people. Small facial expressions and muscles movements can tell a story, though for some people, this story can remain a mystery. Learning about how to recognize emotions and respond to them appropriately is a necessary life skill for all your students. If your students have difficulty understanding emotions, use these activities to help them recognize and learn to respond appropriately to other people's emotions.

Emotion Sorting

With your students, discuss the different emotions they feel in their regular day. Work to create a long list that your students will work with in the next several activities. Then, discuss the different circumstances in which they might feel emotions. For example, they might list seeing a loved one, going to a concert, getting a parking ticket, or being late for work.

In pairs, they match the emotions to the circumstances, like joy and anticipation when seeing a loved one or anger and anxiety for getting a parking ticket. Encourage your students to see that there are several different emotions that a person might feel in any given circumstance.

Emotion Photographs

From the list that students developed, have your students work in pairs to create photographs that depict the different emotions. For example, they might choose the word 'frustrated' and then make their face show a frustrated facial expression. Their partner takes the photographs and suggests any changes in expressions to more accurately show emotions. You might extend this activity by having groups switch their photos and try to identify which emotion is being depicted.

Emotion Dice

Pass out large dice to small groups of students. On each side of the dice is a different emotion. One student rolls the dice, and each student goes around and describes one situation in which they feel that emotion. For instance, you might roll the dice and get the word 'surprised,' then every student describes a time when they have felt surprised. You might have students record their emotions and situations to compile a list.

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