Say, “It’s important to know that it is OK to feel how you are feeling. Everyone goes through lots of emotions every single day. It’s normal to feel sad, excited, angry, calm or nervous every day, even multiple times a day.
Place the emoji cards in the middle of the floor, and spread them out so they are visible to youth.
Say, “Take a look at the emoji cards in front of us. Each of you will get a turn to choose the emoji that most looks like the emotion you are currently feeling. Then share at least one reason you are feeling that emotion.”
Demonstrate by going first.
Say your name and show the group the emoji that best represents how you’re feeling.
Explain why you feel the way reflected on the emoji card.
Ask, “Does everyone understand the instructions? Does anyone have any questions?”
Go around the circle and give each participant a turn to choose an emoji and share their explanation.
Summarize by saying, “Talking about your emotions is a way to help your brain slow down and understand how you’re feeling. This is important and helpful to do, especially when you are feeling astrong emotion and choosing how to react.”
Facilitator Note: Follow up with any youth who are feeling dysregulated (mad, sad, scared, or worried) to ensure their emotional safety. Provide them with an empathetic listening ear and space to self-regulate.