Kimochis® Soup in the Classroom
Kimochis Soup is a vehicle to provide students and adults with a visual, tangible tool that creates more safety for boys and girls, extraverted and introverted humans to consider their feelings. Making Kimochis Soup is ideal for class meetings, restorative justice, conflict resolution and holding meaningful classroom conversations.
Materials: Kimochis feeling pillows and soup pot, basket or bowl
Activity Duration: Varies. Depends how long you like to cook (5-30 minutes)
Directions for Making Kimochis Soup:
NOTE: Like all recipes, you may start with the suggestions below and then get your own chef hat and adjust the recipe based on your style and students’ needs. Also, if you don’t over teach, students come up with original ways to make and debrief Kimochis Soup on their own!
- Sprinkle Kimochis feeling pillows on the floor or table with the bowl or soup pot in the middle. (Limit the number of feeling pillows for younger students or students who do not read yet.)
- Explain that this is a no-talking activity. (Say, “no talking” and they still may talk. If it is healthy talking you will want to allow it. If you sense talking will make things worse, gently remind, “no talking.” This is a professional judgment call.)
- Start making a Kimochis Soup by naming what kind of soup you are making. Here is a list of some very yummy and helpful soups in the classroom.
- Recess soup
- First Day of School soup
- Lunchtime soup
- Math soup
- Test Soup
- Friendship soup
- Homework soup
- Let the student(s) select any and all of feeling pillows they have about the soup’s topic and toss them into the bowl. You may toss in feeling pillows as well. Or you can:
- Have students individually take turns putting a feeling pillow in the soup.
- Have all students explore the feeling pillows together and select one feeling to put in the soup. This is fantastic for older kids as a way to get less verbal students to participate. Also, students who are masking or not wanting others to know what they may be feeling will be more likely to select a feeling pillow because they may feel safer doing something in a crowd rather than being put on the spot.
- Debrief the soup using various non-verbal and verbal ways for students to consider and reflect. (See debriefing options below.)
Directions for Debriefing Kimochis® Soup
The suggestions below are just to help you get started. Less is best. Allow kids to naturally pick up and talk about feelings. Enjoy communicating with reduced use of Wh-questions (what, why, when, how, where) when possible.
Non-verbal ways to have students explore feelings:
- “Pull Feelings out of the bowl you like having. Toss them back in.”
- “Pull Feelings out of the bowl your body does not like having. Toss them back in.”
- “Pull Feelings you would like to have more of.”
- “Pull Feelings you would like to have less of.”
- “Pull your favorite Feeling that you like having.”
- “Pull your least favorite Feeling.”
- “Pull a Feeling you think you could create more of.”
- “Pull out all the Feelings your body enjoys. Stack these Feelings and put the feeling you enjoy the most on the top.”
- “Pull out of the Feelings that are hard to have in your body. Put these Feelings in line from most upsetting to least upsetting.”
Verbal ways to have students explore feelings:
- Pass the bowl around (if in a group). Ask each person to pull out a feeling pillow and share how that feeling could be related to the topic. For example, “A person could feel embarrassed in math if they don’t understand it.”
- Invite volunteers to share best tips and tricks for managing this feeling. For example, “If you have a tip or trick you find helps with this feeling raise your hand. If you are wiling to share, put your hand out so we can toss you the feeling pillow.” Take as many tips and tricks on each feeling as you’d like.
- Invite students to show rather than tell their tip or trick if this fits their learning style better.
- Teachers can also show or tell communication tools you know would be helpful.
- Wrap-up this activity by having people share one new idea they got that could help people in the future.
- Check-in with students down the road to learn if anyone has noticed they had feelings that they had new tools for because your class made Kimochis Soup.