I am a potato!

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One of the simplest emotional literacy games I have played for years with children is entertainingly called, ‘I am a potato.’ It is a game that not only helps broaden children’s emotion vocabulary, it also helps them understand how emotion can be expressed by facial expression, body language and tone of voice. It is very simple. A child (or adult) chooses an emotion from a list and can only use the words, ‘I am a potato’ to express the emotion. Children love it! As time goes on, you can add more and more sophisticated emotions and ways of describing how you feel. Obviously, I let children have as many guesses as they needed as the value was in understanding the nature of the different emotions and ways of feeling. And also, there’s always room for laughter; it is funny!

To develop their understanding of each emotions further, you can, after they have guessed each emotion:

  • Ask if the emotion is a comfortable or uncomfortable one.
  • Ask for an example of a time when someone might feel that way.
  • Ask which weather the emotion is like.
  • Ask if it seems like a loud or quiet emotion.
  • Ask if it is a warm or a cold/cool emotion.
  • Ask what the emotion feels like inside and where in the body you feel it.
  • Ask how you would describe the emotion (actually very difficult sometimes).
  • Ask for one coping strategy that could help when you feel that way.

Here’s a list of emotions with increasing difficulty that could be used for this game.

        Easy                            >                        Getting more difficult             >                                                                Difficult

Happy

Sad

Scared

Angry

Confused

Worried

Excited

Shy

Bored

Relaxed

Disgusted

Miserable

Panicked

Upset

Tired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jealous

Guilty

Embarrassed

Furious

Cheerful

Dread

Nervous

Lonely

Delighted

Irritated

Curious

Shocked

Thrilled

Disappointed

Confident

Exhausted

Terrified

Distressed

Brave

Determined

Mischievous

Playful

Thoughtful

Hopeless

Interested

Cruel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grateful

Content

Proud

Amused

Amazed

Stressed

Timid

Satisfied

Adoring

Distractable

Pleased

Hopeful

Enthusiastic

Ecstatic

Offended

Flustered

Withdrawn

Cautious

Hesitant

Contempt

Blissful

Appalled

Flustered

Alert

Awkward

Doubtful

Awed

Selfish

 

 

 

 

 

Shameful

Rejected

Impressed

Relieved

Vulnerable

Tense

Concerned

Regretful

Distressed

Intimidated

Overwhelmed

Preoccupied

Insecure

Astonished

Humiliated

Ecstatic

Motivated

Agitated

Exasperated

Accepted

Disapproving

Passionate

Triumphant

Self-conscious

Fulfilled

Resigned

Pensive

Forlorn

Flabbergasted

Disbelieving