Lesson plan

Reading Faces

The first step to helping students develop empathy is teaching them about feelings. In this lesson, students learn what feelings look like by crafting their own emotional faces.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to identify emotions shown through different facial expressions.

(10 minutes)
  • Make an angry face. Ask students how they think you feel.
  • Now ask students to make a happy face. Have them think about what is the same in all their happy faces (smiles, big eyes, etc.)
(10 minutes)
  • Read aloud Feelings by Aliki.
  • Ask students to share different feelings, or emotions, in the book.
  • Have students turn to a partner and share their favorite part of the book, explaining why they liked it.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students turn to a partner and practice making faces that show the following feelings: surprised, scared, excited, sleepy.
  • After each feeling, have students describe how the feelings were expressed on the faces by sharing what each other's expressions looked like.
  • Show students the paper, crayons, and craft materials. Tell them that they will use these materials to make a face that shows one feeling. Model how to create a sad face.
(20 minutes)
  • Have students work independently to make their faces.
  • As students work, circulate around the room to ask questions about the feelings and how they appear in the facial expressions.

Support: Have students look at pictures from the book while creating their faces.

Enrichment: Have students write their feelings underneath their faces.

(5 minutes)
  • Assess how students are representing different feelings and how they are reading each other's faces.
(5 minutes)
  • Call on students to share their faces with the class. Have other students try to determine what feeling the face shows.

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