Trying to encourage school children to express themselves can be a challenging task, especially for the introverted students. It is important that children manage to process their emotions at an earlier age to help them understand that their feelings are relevant and normal. Consistent outbursts of anger or hyperactivity may seem to be random but finding the root of this behaviour can be beneficial for both student and teacher. A recent article by The Telegraph discussed the topic of how British school children are argued to be some of the unhappiest children in the world. The article highlighted some of the potential causes of this such as spending too much time on modern technological devices and not playing outdoors as often. This can lead to children becoming introverted due to lack of face to face socialising. It can be helpful for children to express themselves with their friends and release built up bursts of energy in a fun and emotionally safe environment. TeacherBoards Community has created a helpful blog posts full of fun activities that are designed to get students to express themselves in the classroom. It will also discuss the wide range of benefits these school children will reap when they are able to process their emotions.
Tackling the Worry Bugs
These ‘Worry Eaters’ are a great classroom device. You can ask your students to write down any worries they may have and place it in the toys mouth to help them ‘disappear’. You can choose to keep these worries anonymous or take the time to have a one on one communication session to go through with your students what they are worrying about and how they can be helped. Finding out this type of information can be useful to understand why a student is acting out of character.
Understanding Unusual Behaviour
This ‘Inside Out’ feelings journal is good for getting students to write down their emotions and let you know why they are feeling that way. It might be that a student is feeling unhappy but has not yet had time to sit and think about why they are feeling this way. By getting people to understand why they are feeling a certain way can help them process the emotion and begin to let go of it.
It might be an idea to find out what can trigger a student that has consistent inappropriate behaviour. This colour coded trigger chart can not only help students understand their own triggers, but will also help teachers refrain from accidentally setting them off for unnecessary reasons.
Drama lessons are a useful way of getting children to be social with their classmates and express themselves in unique and fun ways. This chart shows the benefits of drama lessons and how to help them reach this target. Although they are told to imitate certain characters, their own characteristics and emotions shine through.
Drawing your Emotions
You can also use some mini whiteboards to get students to draw their emotions. This can be a simple classroom game where teachers shout out certain words of phrases and their pupils react to them using whiteboards. One example would be to shout out ‘science lessons’; this highlights the students who might be struggling in the lesson. You can receive feedback on how your students think you could improve your lessons for their benefit. These mini whiteboards are available on our TeacherBoards website at a great price.
Getting your students to express their emotions is extremely beneficial for their social skills and managing classroom behaviour. Children begin to understand their emotions by themselves which can help develop their own independent thinking. Incorporating drama lessons into your school timetable would help your students develop their creativity too, helping them express themselves as individuals. You may find that some students have a harder time opening up but by combining these useful tips and ideas within the classroom, children can begin to express themselves in different ways.