The Color Monster is an emotions book that helps teach students valuable lessons about their mixed feelings, self-awareness, and peace.
An Emotions Book: Using The Color Monster To Teach
The primary classroom is full of emotions. Big emotions, small feelings, and mixed emotions. It can be challenging for students to understand what happens when they feel a certain way. This is especially true when they are just starting their school journey.
Students come into primary classrooms unsure what “sadness” is or how to handle it. They may not know what to do when angry, jealous, or confused. Often, they are unaware that something that makes them “happy” may make others “sad.”
Table of Contents
- An Emotions Book: Using The Color Monster To Teach
- Teaching Emotional Awareness through Children’s Picture Books
- The Color Monster Summary
- Teaching Emotional Awareness with The Color Monster
- Emotions Book: The Color Monster Lesson Plans
- The Color Monster Extension Activities
- Feelings Book Companions
- Resources to Help You Teach Emotions
- More Emotions and Feelings Ideas
Emotions are complex, but a book like The Color Monster by Anna Llenas helps students unpack their feelings and learn what they all mean.
Teaching Emotional Awareness through Children’s Picture Books
Children’s picture books are powerful tools for teaching emotional awareness because they often can engage young readers emotionally. These books use relatable characters. In addition, illustrations often show a range of situations, feelings, resolutions, etc., to help students identify and understand their emotions.
The Color Monster Summary
The Color Monster is a book that explores emotions through colors. Written by Anna Llenas, it tells the story of a monster who wakes up feeling all mixed up, with his feelings tangled together like a jumble of different colors.
After that, a little girl helps him sort out his emotions, giving each one a specific color and explaining what it feels like. Together with the bright and beautiful illustrations, the book uses to represent each emotion. This book is easily accessible and relatable for primary students.
Teaching Emotional Awareness with The Color Monster
The Color Monster offers a concrete and visual representation of emotions, making it an excellent tool for teaching emotional awareness in the classroom. Teachers can use the book to initiate discussions about different emotions and how they might feel.
Lessons Taught in The Color Monster
- Identification of Emotions – The book illustrates emotions through colors, making it relatable for kids. It helps children identify and differentiate between various emotions and what each emotion feels like. Then, each is associated with a specific color.
- Understanding Emotional Responses – The picture book explores how emotions can be complex and intertwined. This allows children to see that it’s normal to experience mixed or conflicting emotions.
- Expressing Emotions Healthily – Through the story, students are introduced to the idea that there are constructive ways to express their emotions. For example, the book shows the Color Monster engaging in activities like painting and deep breathing to process his feelings. This encourages children to seek out positive outlets for their emotions.
- Using “I Feel” Statements – Above all, the book models effective communication of emotions through “I feel” statements. The little girl in the story asks the Color Monster how he feels, prompting him to express himself using this strategy.
Overall, The Color Monster helps children identify and label their feelings but also guides them in expressing and communicating those emotions in healthy and constructive ways. Through this book, teachers can create a supportive environment where emotional awareness and communication are valued and nurtured.
Emotions Book: The Color Monster Lesson Plans
The Color Monster centers on emotional awareness and understanding. It’s a great addition to your classroom library’s emotions and feelings section. By creating visuals for emotions (matching emotions to colors), students can connect their emotions to something they already know and understand. You can also use this emotions book to create some lesson plans.
Before reading, have students share something that has made them happy, angry, or sad. Ask them for specifics as to why they felt that type of emotion. It may be as simple as “not getting a cupcake with vanilla frosting at the store” to something more like “when a sibling was born.” Discuss with students how emotions affect our bodies and how we may react to the same situation differently.
While reading, discuss how each student has a “color monster” in them that helps them determine their feelings. This color monster has assigned each emotion a specific color to make it easier for them to recognize. Don’t be afraid to ask book-specific questions as well!
After reading, have students share different emotions they have felt and how they handled that feeling. Discuss how sometimes our feelings make us behave in specific ways, which is okay.
There are also many different questions you can ask students before, during, and after reading that can help with reading comprehension and a growth mindset—using book chat cards or discussion starters.
Interactive Anchor Chart
Create an anchor chart that is titled “Expressing Our Emotions.” After that, explain how we must express our emotions in beneficial ways. Create cards representing different emotions, brainstorm how students can tell them, and organize them under each one.
Some emotions you may include are:
You can keep this anchor chart up and refer to it throughout the year to help students when they are struggling with their emotions.
When students understand the power of emotions, have them pick a feeling and draw what it looks like. After they are done with their drawing, have each student write a little bit about emotions. You can use writing prompts such as “It makes me feel…” or “When I feel this way, I can…”
The Color Monster Extension Activities
After reading The Color Monster and completing the discussion, anchor chart, and writing prompt, you may want to include other fun activities. Students can practice everything they learned through the emotions book and the teachings.
Monster Puppet Show
Start by printing out and attaching each monster puppet to a craft stick. After that, create a puppet show to practice expressing emotions. Students can work independently or in pairs. Last, use scenario cards to help determine what students should act out with their partners.
Some scenarios you could include are:
- Stubbing your toe
- A friend broke your paper airplane
- A friendship fight
Students can draw the emotions monster using either 4 or 6 steps. After they have completed their monster, they can add details to make it unique and represent themselves. Before students start coloring, suggest students color the emotions with mixed colors. This means the rainbow of emotions they can feel throughout the day.
Emotions Jar Writing and Drawing
Using the emotions anchor chart, review some expressing emotion ideas students came up with. Have students pick a jar they would like to work on. Each color top represents a different emotion (red for anger, blue for sadness, etc.). Have students write and draw what they can do on each jar when they feel certain emotions.
Emotions Strategy Cards
Discuss helpful and harmful ways to handle emotions with students in small groups or whole group settings. Once students feel confident, give them the emotion strategy cards. They will determine which examples fit under the “helpful ways” and the “harmful ways” categories.
Feelings Book Companions
It’s always a great idea to include multiple picture books to show students how to handle their feelings inside and outside the classroom—it is an essential skill for primary students. I’ve created more book companions for my favorite feelings and emotions books.
F is for Feelings book companion lesson is about learning emotional language and vocabulary. Children practice using the new vocabulary to express themselves. They will also identify the feelings they like and dislike and why.
The In My Heart book companion lesson is about the physical ways our bodies experience emotions. Children will identify and share the way feelings are experienced inside. As well as how they identify with each emotion.
The Feelings Book book companion lesson is about understanding that it is normal to have different emotions. As a result, children learn that it is helpful to share their feelings with someone they trust and identify who that person is.
Glad Monster, Sad Monster book companion lesson emphasizes that we experience various emotions each day at different times. With this fun book, children identify which events and experiences cause them to feel a certain way and have fun with the included masks.
Resources to Help You Teach Emotions
The Color Monster Book Companion
The Color Monster Book Companion by Proud to be Primary focuses on how we express our emotions. Children are taught healthy and harmful ways of expressing emotions. They identify how each emotion makes them feel and what they can do when they feel that way.
Try these book companions in the emotions and feelings book companion bundle to build your emotions lesson plan repertoire. You’ll get all of the books mentioned above and give your students the social-emotional lessons they need to help them deal with their emotions in a thoughtful and constructive way.
If you like this resource, you’ll love my Social-Emotional Book Companions. This set includes book companions that revolve around a growth mindset, friendship, empathy, and more!
Free Feelings Journal
Try the FREE feelings journal by Proud to be Primary. Students will love being able to write about their feelings and share their entries with their peers and families at home.
Click the image below to grab a copy.
More Emotions and Feelings Ideas
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