Early elementary students experience a tactile and visual lesson about how unkind words can “wrinkle” your heart. The lesson develops emotional intelligence by making the connection between words, actions and feelings. This lesson, when introduced at the beginning of the year, allows educators to refer back to the concept of a wrinkled heart during times when students are having difficulty getting along or being kind.
Children will be able to demonstrate kindness, treat others respectfully and generate strategies for problem solving.
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Large Paper Heart Cut-Out
Teaching and Learning Activities:
1. Read the story Chrysanthemum aloud to the students.
2. Each time someone in the story is unkind to the main character Chrysanthemum, have a different student come up and crinkle up a section of the large paper heart cut-out.
3. At the end of the story allow the students to take turns trying to smooth out the wrinkled heart.
4. Re-read the story with a focus on identifying when the characters are feeling comfortable or uncomfortable. Ask students to name the feelings.
5. Have a discussion to make the connection between words, actions and feelings. Use the paper heart to show how you can't completely get rid of the wrinkles. It’s like a person's heart that may stay a bit "wrinkled" after you say or do something that is unkind.
Use a different story that addresses a particular issue or problem that is specific to your classroom. Use the concept of creating a tactile and visual effect with construction paper.
Give each student their own smaller paper heart to crinkle up as you read the story.
Have students generate a list of things they can do or say to help make someone's heart feel happy.
Emotional intelligence includes the abilities to recognize, label, express and regulate emotions.
If your students need additional time exploring how feelings can be comfortable and uncomfortable, try Lesson Plan: Puppets Deal with Frustration.
Heart-Mind Online offers picture book recommendations organized according to the five positive human qualities of Heart-Mind well-being.