A Program of Schools for Children

Early Education Emotional Learning Objectives

Emotional Learning Objectives

Learning Looks Like This

A teacher reads the story, This Is Our House, by Michael Rosen.  As the children listen, the story describes how one child won’t let anyone into a cardboard box that he pretends is his own house.  As he continues to exclude people for different reasons, the children in the class show frustrated faces and begin to offer comments and questions.

“Why does the little boy not want anyone to come in?” “Everyone has different hair, he’s not being very nice.” “It’s not okay to tell people that they can’t come in unless they are a stranger and then you ask your parents” “There are a lot of nice things to say, you just have to be nice to your friends.”

The teacher supports them in thinking about the situation from multiple perspectives.

“What do you think the girl felt like when he said she couldn’t come in?” “How do you think he’s feeling as he says ‘no’ to all his friends – is he having fun and feeling happy?”

As the children continue to discuss the story, they relate times they have been excluded, and share how they feel when this happens.  The teacher asks everyone to make a face showing what it looks like when they are upset or frustrated, and asks children what they can do when they see a friend whose face looks like this.

“You could say I will play with you,” one child suggests, and another says “I’d say, don’t be sad, let’s have fun!” Another child says “you could say, why are you sad, maybe their stomach hurts.”

They talk about what they can do if they see a friend being excluded, and discuss making a classroom guideline, ‘you can’t say you can’t play.” The teacher writes the guideline on a large sheet of paper and teachers help children sign it, and display it in the classroom near the meeting area.