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Janan Cain
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Feature stories:
Former Magician Pulls Smiles Out of Nowhere
How to use The Way I Feel
Parenting Press "Stuck" with Job of Keeping Janan Cain's Books in Print

4 Tips to Encourage Emotional Literacy

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Feature Story
How to Use
The Way I Feel

The Way I Feel has drawn praise from parents, educators and medical professionals across the country. It's used at bedtime, when parents want to talk about what happened that day; in classrooms, when teachers are teaching emotional literacy; with counselors, who can introduce concepts such as pride and frustration; and with sick children who are suffering fear and confusion as well as pain.

Here are some suggestions for using The Way I Feel with groups or one-on-one.

  • As you read the book aloud, ask children to make faces appropriate for each emotion. Or make them yourself!

  • As children make their faces, photograph them. Post the pictures—on the refrigerator door, on the bedroom bulletin board or in the classroom—after you've labeled each one with the name of an emotion.

  • Have kids draw or paint self-portraits that show different emotions.

  • Have kids draw or paint other children—or you!—demonstrating an emotion.

  • Compile the pictures into "The Way We Feel," your own book on emotions.

  • As you read The Way I Feel at bedtime, ask children when they felt each emotion during the day.

  • Play "emotion" charades: give The Way I Feel to the kids and ask them to identify which emotion you're expressing when you make a face.

  • Ask children what makes them feel joyful, frustrated, proud or any of the other emotions depicted in The Way I Feel.

  • Cover up the text on The Way I Feel. Ask kids to look at the colors and images and identify what feelings are being communicated.

  • Ask children what colors they would use to show a certain emotion.

  • Use the "Expressing Emotions Teaching Plan" to show kids how to communicate feelings with their drawings.

  • Use The Way I Feel Teachers Guide, PPTG200607, for preschool through third grade (or older, for children with special needs), nine activities plus spelling word lists for four levels.

  • Use Así me siento yo Teachers Guide, PPTG200901, for preschool through third grade (or older, for foreign language students, English language learners, or children with special needs), eight activities.

  • Use The Way I Act Teachers Guide, PPTG201101, for preschool through fourth grade (or older, for children with special needs), detailed instructions for nine activities and a list of nine additional activities.