In *Positive Action *Unit 3, kindergartners have learned about the power of feelings as personal resources that can significantly impact their health, safety, and actions. They have also come to understand that everyone experiences the same positive and challenging emotions. However, being honest about these feelings can still be difficult, especially for children as young as kindergarten.
In this evidence-based SEL lesson, kindergarten students learn the significance of telling themselves and others the truth about their feelings. Through the illustrative story of a boy named Timmy, this lesson teaches students that embracing their emotions and practicing self-honesty can foster meaningful connections and deep understanding with others.
Timmy is a small boy with a loving yet playful big brother named Ron. One night, while Timmy lies in bed and readies himself to sleep, he hears heavy steps from the darkness approaching his room. He keeps calling out, "Who’s there?" but no one answers until someone comes out of the dark and surprises him—it is Ron.
Looking at the surprised face of Timmy, Ron cannot help but burst into laughter. Poking fun at his younger brother has become his way to bond, but Timmy doesn’t find these pranks amusing. Although he tries to put a brave front for Ron and himself, deep inside, these antics truly upset and scared him. Will Timmy ever find the courage to be honest about his true feelings?
"Feelings serve different purposes that enable a person to live normally, maintain health, and be safe. Therefore, children should be honest about them. This way, they can connect easily with others, improve themselves, and be happy."
What is Timmy’s problem, and how can he resolve it? In the next part of the lesson, the kindergarten class discusses that accepting and being honest about emotions can help one to be understood by others. This discussion allows students to realize that if Timmy admits to himself that such silly pranks upset and terrify him, he can explain to Ron why he doesn’t want Ron to do such things again.
After the discussion, the teacher asks questions designed to guide students to understand that feelings are not to be embarrassed about. Feelings serve different purposes that enable a person to live normally, maintain health, and be safe. Therefore, children should be honest about them. This way, they can connect easily with others, improve themselves, and be happy.
The lesson concludes with a fun activity encouraging students to re-enact Timmy and Ron's encounter. Except this time, Timmy tells Ron how he truly feels, and Ron respects Timmy's feelings.
This lesson is not only effective but also essential, in that teaching young students to be truthful about their feelings enhances their social-emotional development. By embracing self-honesty, young learners cultivate emotional intelligence and strong social skills. It also empowers them to express their emotions positively instead of suppressing them.