Mix & Match Emotion Stencils

Type of Activity: Diversity, Expression

Props Needed: Paper, pencils, markers, Emotion Stencils

Set Up: Create emotional expressions!  Use these stencils to help your participants develop their recognition of emotions and broaden their own range of expressions.  Invite participants to gather their choice of paper, paint, yarn, markers or pencils. Pop out and discard all of the interior pieces from the stencils.

Process: Lay out your stencils and ask the participants to create a range of expressions.  Tell them they can use just one stencil or mix and match different characteristics of various stencils to create an original face.  Use yarn, crayons, and other art supplies to finish off their face.

Here are some creative ideas to use your stencils:

  • Make some handsome hand puppets!  Trace or paste your face onto a paper bag.  Encourage participants to write out a play starring their new puppets.  Have them create a bully and a victim of bullying puppet.  Then have them re-create an incident of bullying.
  • Emotional discussion!  Talk about eight primary emotions:  joy, fear, anticipation, sadness, disgust, anger, submission and acceptance.  Discuss other emotions and how they relate to these eight.  Ask participants to recreate emotions using different elements of the stencils.   Discuss what emotions bullies might feel and what emotions victims of bullying might feel.
  • Wall murals and portraits!  Create a mural or series of portraits focusing on different emotions for reference when discussing feelings.  Use the unique border of the stencils to create a frame for your portraits.  Add speech bubbles and label the emotions.  When a situation arises, ask children to indicate on the mural which emotions were expressed.
  • Unique cards!  Use a variety of expressions to create cards.  Draw emotions to illustrate different occasions and make birthday, “get well soon”, sympathy, mother’s day and seasonal greeting cards.
  • Use the stencils as reference when creating or drawing various faces.  Combine features to make these emotions silly, sleepy, bored, and excited.
  • Have students create a bullying cartoon.  Have them create the different panels using the stencils to draw the bully and the victim throughout an incident of bullying.

Debriefing Topics:

  • How do our emotions look the same or different?
  • What emotions do bullies or victims of bullying feel?
  • How do you react to different emotions?

For more resources see: Setting the Conflict Compass, Mix & Match Emotion Stencils

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