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Empathizing with children’s feelings through books

From January 2024, Articles regarding the elementary school and kindergarten activities will be featured monthly for a year in “Child Health”, a monthly magazine published by Shindan to Chiryosha. Here is a snippet from the first article, which is featured in the January issue.

The theme of the first articles in the series is “empathizing with children’s feelings through books”. These are books regarding emotions and feelings that were well-received by the teachers and students.

A picture book that is frequently used in classrooms for kindergarteners and lower elementary students regarding emotions and feelings is “What a Tantrum!” by Mirelle D’Allance (“Gross Colere” in the original French). Many classes showed interest in this after homeroom teachers and the school counselor had read this book.

Plot: 
Robert isolates himself in his room after a bad day, a big lump of anger comes out of his mouth and he starts to lose control. And then...  This picture book helps the reader learn how to let go of anger. In France, it is a bestseller so popular that every elementary school classroom is said to have a copy.

The homeroom teacher of the K1 students (the youngest grade), had felt that the students had learned to control their emotions by being able to express their feelings like “that was a tantrum”. When the school counselor read this book to grade 2, they were excited to read out loud a line from the book that said “boom!”.

“The Colour Monster ” by Anna Llenas is a book about expressing emotions through colors. This is also a picture book frequently read by kindergarten and elementary school.

Plot: 
For some reason, the monster is feeling mixed, and his body color is also mixed up today.
Let's sort out the five feelings (happy, sad, angry, anxious, calm) by dividing them into boxes.
This book helps the reader understand their emotions and to be able to express their feelings.

The school utilizes “zones of regulation” in their everyday learning. According to the PYP coordinator at elementary school, By structuring their learning around standards for self-regulation, the purpose of zones of regulation is to help children understand how their bodies feel, how their emotions change and complex social situations, and learn to cope better with hard-to-explain emotions and difficult situations, and to apply this in their daily lives.
The students are able to self-analyze their physical and emotional state in different settings while at school. When they are unwell, tired, sleepy or sad, they are in the “blue zone”. When they are feeling relaxed, they are in the “green zone”. When they feel frustrated or silly, they are in the “yellow zone” which in other words, means they are anxious or something doesn’t feel right. When they are feeling angry, anxious and losing control of their emotions, they are in the red zone. In such a case, an intervention may be necessary. They may have heard of the topics discussed in the book since the concepts are similar to the zones of regulation.
After the school counselor read this book out loud to students, they expressed their emotions using colors on a worksheet.
 

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