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Kindergarten Feelings

School: Alice B. Beal Elementary

City/State: Springfield, MA

Grade(s): K

Format(s): Children's book

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts

Project Overview

This book was created by kindergarten students at the Alice B. Beal Elementary School in Springfield, Massachusetts as part of a learning expedition on feelings – a topic required by district standards as part of the inculturation process to schooling.

As a way for these young students (beginning their first experience in a school setting) to begin to understand and control different emotions and have empathy for others, students working on this project explored feelings through a combination of writing, digital photography and self-portraiture. Each student created a page; the digital photograph on his or her page was taken by a classmate and attempts to capture the feeling they chose to write about. The page also features a colored-pencil self-portrait done by the student showing that emotion.

Each feeling was written about by two students, creating a pair of side-by-side entries.

Students worked on their key boarding skills by entering their writing via computer.

The book has a page of Learning Targets at the end that make clear exactly what students were asked to learn (and succeeded in learning) for this project (e.g. “I put a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence”; “I can choose the correct color for my eyes”; “I can use appropriate words to name my feelings”).  The learning targets relate to academic skills, art skills and social/emotional skills. Without this page, one would have little idea of how much of the book was actually created by the students themselves.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Excellent model of well-chosen and well-written Learning Targets (on page 27) For example, “I can word process my sentences on a laptop computer” and “I can choose correct skin color when drawing my face.”
  • Highlights very high level work for kindergarteners (when one realizes that the students actually wrote and typed their sentences)
  • Highlights a combination of photography, artwork and writing by young students
  • A nice blending of the study of feelings with basic literacy and technology skills
  • The photographs are fun to look at – you can tell that many of the students worked hard to accurately express their chosen feeling

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can teach my reader about a topic using pictures and words.
  • With support from adults, I can use digital tools to publish my writing.
  • I can use grammar conventions to send a clear message to a reader or listener.
  • I can use conventions to send a clear message to my reader.
  • I can speak using words I hear in books.
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