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Humpty Dumpty's Feelings

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TOPIC: Feelings

CONCEPT: The ability to identify and name feelings and to have empathy for others are essential to the development of communication and social skills and are protective factors that offset risks in children's lives.

OBJECTIVE: Students compare and contrast hurting someone's feelings with saying caring, healing words, noting that once mean words are said, they leave a scar, even when we say nice things afterwards.


Method: Class room activity
Time Frame: 15 minutes plus "Post Test" and "Discussion"
Material: Draw a large Hemipterous on butcher paper (a big egg with arms and legs and eyes and ears, but NO eyebrows or mouth or facial expression) and tape.

ACTIVITY: Draw a large Humpty Dumpty on butcher paper according to the instructions given above. Discuss the story of Humpty Dumpty. Discuss how it feels to have mean things said to us. AVOID THE USE OF "GOOD FEELINGS" and "BAD FEELINGS." Say instead, "feelings we like to have, and feelings we don't like to have." Say something mean to Humpty Dumpty and tear off a small piece of him as you say it. Ask the students what Humpty Dumpty is feeling (sad, lonely, hurt, angry, afraid, disappointed, friendless, etc.) and make the corresponding face to demonstrate the feeling. Do this several times. Ask how they think they would feel if they hurt Humpty Dumpty (ashamed, mean, hurtful). Then invite the students to take the pieces you have torn away and carefully tape them back in the original place as they say nice, tender, reassuring, thoughtful things to Humpty Dumpty. Draw a smile on his face.

POST-TEST: After the children have finished taping, ask the class:

  • What does it feel like to have mean things said to you?

  • How does it feel to know you have hurt someone's feelings?

  • Can you tell where Humpty Dumpty's torn pieces or hurt feelings were?

  • Even after nice things are said, can we still feel the hurt feelings?

  • How can we keep from hurting each other's feelings?

DISCUSSION: After the "Post-Test", explain that even when we say, "I apologize" and "I am sorry," a person can still tell that we said mean things... just like Humpty Dumpty. Even though we said nice things and replaced all the torn parts, we could tell where the mean words tore away or hurt him. Ask the students to agree to work hard at not saying mean things to each other, even when they are angry. Words can hurt or heal, and sometimes the hurt lasts a long time.

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