Welcome to the Kids GROK Posters Information Page!
Here you can view our tutorial, discover more ways to teach and play, and submit your own ideas of how you use the Kids GROK Posters.
Ways to Engage With Kids GROK Cards and Posters
These 30 ways to engage with the Feelings and Needs Posters can be applied both at home and in a school setting. When utilizing these posters in any structured learning environment where children are present, we suggest you have access to Classroom Kids GROK large cards and the Kids GROK Games.
The usage of these posters complements the 22 'Ways to Play' outlined in the manual that accompanies Kids GROK Games.
Outlined below are various suggestions and ideas for incorporating these materials. Educators, parents, and caregivers may adopt a variety of approaches in implementing these ideas. Consequently, the following suggestions do not provide detailed 'step-by-step' or 'how-to' instructions. We purposely did not specify ages or grade levels. The appropriateness for your children and any necessary adjustments required for each idea will be at your discretion.
Have fun as you continue to engage and learn with your students!
WAYS TO PLAY – ENGAGING WITH FEELINGS
- A matching game using the FEELINGS cards with the posters is for one child to match the cards with the same pattern as the poster. Or 2-4 children can divide the cards and work collaboratively to form the matching pattern on the floor or a table.
- Sorting FEELINGS: Ask the children if they notice that some feelings feel comfortable in our bodies and other feelings are uncomfortable? Using the two cards “Comfortable” and “Uncomfortable”, read each card and ask the children which category the cards go under. (Please avoid using ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feelings as all feelings come with a message and are important. Avoiding or ‘stuffing’ feelings will miss those messages that support children in difficult or painful situation)
- Comfortable, Uncomfortable, Neutral Put a ‘comfortable’ sign on one table and on another table the sign, ‘uncomfortable,’ and third table with the sign, “neutral.” Discuss the meaning of these three words on the signs. Give teams of 3 children ten cards each to collaboratively decide on which table to place each card. After the cards are on each table, call attention to the division of ‘comfortable’, ‘neutral’, and ‘uncomfortable’ in the placement of the words on the FEELINGS poster.
- What are the Bears Feeling? As you go through the Feelings cards with the children, you can ask them why they think a bear is feeling that feeling. May want to begin with something like Disappointed Bear who couldn’t find any honey or Disgusted Bear whose honey was rotten. Have fun playing with different scenarios!
- Emotional Temperature Invite children to choose one feeling they might be feeling at the beginning of the day. This also allows you to take the emotional temperature of the class which can help you navigate the day. (Include your own response too!) Encourage children to do this at home with their families.
- Feelings Reports Have spontaneous ‘Feelings Reports’ (like ‘weather reports’) during the day. (Include your own response too!)
- Guessing Feelings Invite one child to share something that happened over the weekend or the day before. Have the other children make guesses what the child was feeling. After 5-6 guesses are made, ask the child if any of those feelings seemed to fit the situation. As time permits, other children can share.
- Drawing Feelings At home or in the classroom, have paper and pens/markers/etc. ready. Each person (adults too) chooses a Feelings card that matches some feeling they have right now, or have had that day. Then they draw their OWN illustration/face (not necessarily copying the bear drawing on the card, though it can be an inspiration. When everyone is complete, it’s fun to have each person share and talk about it, staying curious and open about each other’s drawing; refraining from any judgments or teasing.
- Use photos from cartoons or picture books that clearly depict some emotional event and/or expression on a person’s face. Ask the classroom (or assign different pictures to groups of 4 children) to guess the feelings of the people in the pictures. Establish the purpose of ‘guessing rather than knowing.’ Who’s the one who knows…the actual person. One way to offer a curious wondering is, “If I was this person I might feel _____.” [this is such an interesting aspect of ‘NOT guessing to ‘be right;’ since so much of their classwork is about ‘getting the right answer.’ Maybe write this all up somewhere?]
- .Feelings Skits Invite groups of 2-4 students to choose a FEELING word, then plan and demonstrate a skit that represents a situation where one of the actors would be experiencing that emotion. Ask the other children to guess what feeling is being acted out.
- Where are Feelings Experienced in Our Bodies Close your eyes. I’m going to say a feeling. Close your eyes and notice where you feel it in your body. Ready? (Name the feeling and give the children time to experience it then ask them where they felt it. Acknowledge that it’s OK if they can’t sense it in their body, and this is something they will be learning by practicing.)
- Engaging Curiosity About Feelings can be used with the FEELINGS posters depending on the age and attention span of the children. The variety of these inquiries offers them opportunities to ‘think about’ and connect with feelings. The object is not to illicit ‘right answers’ but to hear their responses and reflect back what you’re hearing to validate their own thoughts and experiences. Choose when to engage using some of these prompts on different occasions. Take your time, listen and reflect back their responses.
• What is a feeling?
• How do you know you have a feeling?
• Where do you feel your feelings in your bodies?
• Why do we have feelings?
• When do you feel (happy… angry…sad…scared)?
• Are there any feelings you don’t like to feel? (This topic may need serious consideration and attention. Our hope is that children will accept and learn from all their emotions, no matter how scary or difficult.)
• Are there feelings you like to feel?
• What are you feeling right now?
WAYS TO PLAY – ENGAGING WITH NEEDS
Engagement with words and images. It can be fun for a child to simply go through the NEEDS cards deck and find each card that matches the words on the NEEDS poster. This process can be relaxing, thoughtful, and meditative for some children who would enjoy a solo activity.
Collaboration Invite 2-3 children to divide up the NEEDS cards and collaborate in how they will lay out all the cards on a table or floor to match with the same pattern of the words on the NEEDS poster. This helps them gain familiarity with the words and images.
Matching illustrations Another matching game is to find the 9 cards in the GROK NEEDS deck that match the illustrations on the poster. This can be played alone or with 2-4 students dividing the cards and working collaboratively.
Sharing Needs With a full class, or with groups of 3-5 students each day for the week, invite each individual or group to choose a Needs word from the chart, and (depending on their age) share with the class (or each write) about a time that this need was satisfied/met (at home or at school).
Optional: to share/write about a time they were wanting this need to be met/satisfied. Offer some examples of your own.
Reverse it: Ask a child to share something that happened in their life and ask the other children to guess what need was present (could be met or unmet need.)
Relate to Other Class Studies The NEEDS poster and distributed NEEDS cards can be used for the students to make guesses and discuss the needs and values of people involved in any story or events you’re studying. This is an excellent way to bring more understanding and compassion involving situations around us.
Needs Skits Invite groups of 2-3 students to plan and demonstrate a skit that represents a NEED word of their choosing. (Not to worry if some groups choose the same word.) You and your aid or class adult volunteer can also take part in creating and presenting your skit.
Resolving a Conflict If 2-4 students are experiencing a conflict; invite them to sit grouped around the Needs poster; facilitate (or invite a ready student) a process for each student to express their needs and others saying back what they are hearing; so that each person has spoken and has been heard. Then check in with each one to see if they have any requests of each other. (This may then require more listening, reflecting, and responding.) Now check in with each person to see if they want anything more from/with this group, the facilitator, or the rest of the class. Lastly, invite the class to share ‘what they witnessed this group do in resolving their conflict; and/or how they felt in watching the process; and what needs of theirs were met.
Illustration Needs Each student can choose one of the Needs words off the poster and make an illustration of what it means to them; and then share aloud with the class. Each can decide what they want to do with their illustration. You can join them in choosing a Need word and draw your own illustration.
Needs Skit Invite groups of 2-3 students to plan and demonstrate a skit that represents a NEED word of their choosing. (Not to worry if some groups choose the same word.) You and your aid or class adult volunteer can also take part in creating and presenting your skit.
Needs Prompts With your class divided into groups of 3, choose a NEED word for each group to discuss with prompts such as these below: (Then invited each group to share with class.)
• An example of when this Need was important to you in school (or home).
• Why do you like this Need? (or do not like it)
• What feelings do you have when you think of this Need?
• Would you like more of this Need met/satisfied? (at home, at school, with your friends)
Need Met that Day Invite each person in the family; or classroom to pick out one NEED card at the end of the day, representing a need that was satisfied during that day.
Engaging Curiosity About Needs can be used with the NEEDS poster and cards depending on the age and attention span of the children. Examples:
• Which Need/card reminds you something that happened in school (or home) today (or this week)
• Which Need/card reminds you something you were wanting in school (or home) today (or this week)
• Which Need do you like the best today and why?
• Is there a Need that has you feeling sad when you look at it or remember something?
• Which card(s) do you have happy feelings when you see it (them).
• Which card(s) express what you would like more of? (at home, at school, with your friends)
Conceptual Discussion of NEEDS, depending on the age and attention span of the group.
• What is a need?
• Why do we have needs?
• How do you know you have a need?
• Name some needs that are very important to you.
WAYS TO PLAY – ENGAGING WITH FEELINGS & NEEDS TOGETHER
Empathy Ask one child to share something that happened during their weekend or the day before. Ask the child to pick three feelings they feel about the situation. You can distribute the Needs cards to the class and have 5-6 children guess what Needs were important to that child. Check with the child to see which Needs worked for them.
Sharing Feelings/Needs Each child (or family member) chooses a NEED card and then the FEELING Card(s) for how they feel when the Need is met, and Feeling Card(s) for how they feel when they are wanting the Need met. Listen/talk about what is being shared.
Letter of Appreciation Invite the class to each write an appreciation letter to a family member or friend that describes what that person did or said, how the student felt, and the needs this met for the student. Show some examples you have written yourself of your own appreciation for someone in your family. (Optional: invite whoever chooses to read theirs aloud to the class.)
USING FEELINGS/NEEDS CARDS & POSTERS SPONTANEOUSLY
Connecting With Feelings and Needs If there is a situation in the classroom that has stimulated conflict, discomfort, or disruption you could invite the class to make guesses of the Feelings and Needs that might be present for the class, you, and individual students. Be sure to circle back for accuracy to any person experiencing the emotion.
Present Time Needs As you interact with children, guess their needs ‘in the moment’. When you guess, always make sure it a question, such as “I’m imagining when that happened, you would have liked to know your opinion mattered. Is that true for you?” (See section of guessing needs in the Ways to Play booklet, pages 3,4.)
Upsets When children are upset or frustrated, they may act out by throwing things or even hurting themselves or others. When this happens, you can have 8.5”x11” laminated ‘step-on floor cards’ to guide them (privately, not in front of the group) for each of these steps below:
- Relax body
- Take deep, slow breaths
- Name the FEELING(s) (using the cards or posters if they choose, or you can use them to make various guesses)
- Identify NEEDS (what I need/want) (using the cards or posters if they choose, or you can use them to make various guesses)
Ask the child if what they believe they can do to help them get that need met.
Discomforts When you notice that someone in the class is upset or unhappy or uncomfortable with something that has happened, you may decide to quietly invite them to go to the posters with you to explore/discover with them their feelings, and then the needs that were/are important to them. Of course, this is more for children who can read these words; or you might take the Kids GROK decks with you and sit by the poster together and go through the deck of cards to discover and acknowledge their feelings and need(s).
Option: invite or choose with that student, another student to sort together through the cards to discover the relevant feelings and needs.
Option: Only work with the FEELINGS chart and cards; or only work with the NEEDS chart and cards.
Conflict If there is a situation in the classroom that has stimulated conflict, discomfort, or disruption you could invite the group to make guesses of the feelings and needs that might be present for the class, you, and individual students. Be sure to circle back for accuracy to any person involved.
- Children Solving Conflict If 2-4 students (ages over 8) are experiencing a conflict; invite them to sit grouped around the Needs poster; facilitate (or invite a ready student) a process for each student to express their needs and others saying back what they are hearing; so that each person has spoken and has been heard. Then check in with each one to see if they have any requests of each other. (This may then require more listening, reflecting, and responding.) Now check in with each person to see if they want anything more from/with this group, the facilitator, or the rest of the class. Lastly, invite the class to share ‘what they witnessed this group do in resolving their conflict; and/or how they felt in watching the process; and what needs of theirs were met.
- Celebrating Needs Met If something unexpectedly pleasant happens, ask the children what they are feeling and what need was met.
TIPS FOR TEACHERS/PARENTS
Familiarize yourself with the cards/posters so you can readily access the words when you’re with children in naturally occurring situations. This will also support you to become increasingly aware of your own feelings and needs. (Remember that children will be learning through their modeling of YOU!)
Modeling Given that children learn by what they see and hear, share your own feelings and needs with them even if these are uncomfortable ones for you. In this way you will be modeling that even unpleasant feelings can be felt and dealt with, and are important ‘messengers’ bringing attention to our needs.
Engaged Learners As intuitive and knowledgeable parents and educators, we will have deep (and often accurate) sensing of what a child is feeling and/or needing, and will base many of our interactions and decisions on this sensing. Being engaged learners with children is our recommended stance when it comes to feelings and needs.
To help children connect with their own feelings and needs, look for clues by observing their behaviors and body language and listen to what they are saying.
We highly recommend an attitude of gentle, compassionate guessing of the feelings and needs of others; with an openness to explore and never to ‘diagnose’ or tell someone what we think they’re feeling or needing.
Respectful guessing/caring Children who receive this kind of thoughtful care can learn to put words to their experiences as they develop an emotional vocabulary. Encourage and acknowledge them when they identify and name their feelings and/or needs. When feelings are minimized or dismissed, they can often then be expressed in unhealthy ways (at any age).
Universality of Needs Our needs are universal (we all have them!) Needs have been described as life energy, wishes, wants, hopes, motivators, and our ‘internal guidance system’. Needs help us connect to our humanity and the humanity of others. Everything we say and everything we do is to meet a need.
Stimulus for Feelings/Needs It’s likely children will tell you that their feelings are a direct result of something that happened or was said (a stimulus). While this is true, the quality and intensity of their feeling is related to what they were wanting or needing at the time.
So instead of this sequence of cause and effect…
Event --> Feeling
…our feelings are experienced as a direct result of what need is important.
Event --> Need (met or unmet) --> Feeling (comfortable or uncomfortable)
Depending on what a child needs in any given moment, their feeling will either be comfortable or uncomfortable, relative to the need being met or not met. This explains why two children can have very different feelings after the same event.
Example: if two children are playing in the ocean and a wave knocks them over, one child might laugh and another might cry. Why? It’s likely the child who laughed got their need met for spontaneity or adventure and the child who cried may have needed safety and predictability.
Example: In a classroom, if a teacher calls on one child who did their homework and is prepared, the student may be happy because their need was met for recognition or acknowledgment. On the other hand, a child who is unprepared may be embarrassed or unhappy because they needed emotional safety or effectiveness.