Doable Dose of Kimochis
School-Based Mental Health
Become a Feelings Detective
- Gather together a sheet of paper and coloring/writing tools. Begin by writing the title “My Feelings Poster” at the top of the page. Have your clients choose something to write with and ask them to write down as many feeling words as they know. For clients who do not write yet or don’t want to, you can do the writing for them or have the students draw feeling faces.
- Together, compare the client’s feeling poster with the Kimochis Feeling Chart to see many feeling words (see Week 1). Explain that growing the feeling words they know will help them better express themselves. And learning to name what they feel during tough emotional moments can even help our brain down regulate or feel a little calmer.
- Ask each client to become a “Feelings Detective” in between your session with them. Tell them to listen for new, interesting feeling words and then bring them to your next session. You’ll also want to bring some new feeling words to your sessions, like “perplexed,” “elated,” or “overwhelmed.”
- Add any new words to each client’s feeling poster as your clients collect and learn them.
- You can also bring this activity into whole classrooms and get teachers on board with starting a Feelings Word Wall. This will help your clients (and all children) expand their emotional vocabulary, and it will help improve their academics. “The boy was seething” is so much richer and more descriptive than “the boy was mad.”
- Being a Feelings Detective can also involve focusing on one feeling (or only a few feelings) at a time, especially for younger children. Have your clients pick one feeling from their poster (or the Kimochis poster) and spend the week looking for it in other people and in themselves. What does that feeling look like on people’s faces and bodies? What does it sound like? What do people say and do when they have that feeling? Check in when you see them next to see what they learned on their detective journey.