Increasing emotion vocabulary

Published Categorized as activities, emotional literacy, vocabulary

Research has shown that increasing emotion vocabulary increases emotional intelligence. It makes sense that if you have more words to describe how you feel you’re going to be able to express more accurately how you’re feeling, you’ll have a greater knowledge of the variety of ways of feeling and you’re probably likely to have emotions more in your awareness than someone who has fewer words. Also, learning to name how you feel engages your neo-cortex (or thinking part of your brain) which can help you resist impulsive responses.

Here’s an activity that can be used to increase emotion vocabulary. You simply consider a situation that is likely to trigger emotions and you give children several different suggestions of what you could feel in that situation (see below). If you can’t think of many possible emotions, there are plenty of lists of emotions on the internet.

Below are six examples that could be used straight away with children. Here’s a brief video: ‘I’ve just….’ describing this activity. Other situations you could explore are included in the video. this will help children explore the different words and their meanings that could be used to describe emotions.