I am love, love, LOVING the new Kimochis program for our Preschoolers. I have even gotten some of my mommy friends to buy the program for use at home . . . that’s how much I believe in what it is teaching!
I have noticed that it seems to move quite fast, not practicing the skill long enough for my 3s. So, I took a step back and began creating some extension activities on concepts I think are really important, or need practiced more (because they may or may not be continual issues at school), or because they build on my elementary program.
My favorite activity so far is an extension on the Kimochis’s 3rd Key of Communication, Using a Talking Face and Body. A huge concept I teach to my elementary students is the idea that we must READ how people feel so we can anticipate how to act. It is amazing how many 2nd graders read emotions incorrectly and therefore interact with each other inappropriately.
To help with this concept, I did something very easy. In fact, I do this with my 1st and 2nd graders quite frequently, but with more reflecting and writing involved. You might also have an activity like this that can be adapted for this same concept!
All I did was take our top feeling friends (that’s what we call our Kotowazas because we – the 3 and 4 year olds – have a terrible time differentiating between Kimochis and Kotowazas): silly, happy, sad, mad, and proud . . .
I found real child photos of these feelings and laid them all out on the floor. I just googled “mad face” and looked at all the images until I found one that I felt looked like a good teaching tool. I used various images from all over the internet.
I pulled a feeling friend from Cloud’s pocket and we talked about that feeling for a short moment. When have you had this feeling? What do we do when we have this feeling?
Then, we placed the feeling friend on top of the child’s photo that showed that feeling.
It was so cute to watch the boys practice the different faces, experimenting what it felt like on their face, to see what it looked like on a friend’s face. The one I emphasize the most is our feeling friend, mad. I really try to stress that if a friend looks mad, he may not say anything, but we should know to stay away until he calms down.
I’m curious if anyone else has any “out of the book” extension activities for the Kimochis program. I love enhancing an already wonderful curriculum. It makes the whole thing so worth it. The program even teaches me better language to use in my every day life!