Magnetic sign material works best for this project and is easily obtained from most sign shops. Some shops will give away their scraps if you tell them you’re a teacher and it’s for a school project. You can also buy sheet magnet at most hobby shops.
Begin by brainstorming all the different feelings your students may experience – happy, sleepy, cheerful, silly… you get the idea. This is a good way to get them thinking creatively. Next, each student will choose 6 (or more) feelings to use in their project. Draw a grid on the sheet magnet with pencil, allowing about 1 square inch in each box. Print one feeling per box at the bottom of the space. Illustrate each feeling above the word by drawing a facial expression. They may also choose to cut out a character’s face from the comics section of your local newspaper, or even from a coloring or comic book. Color in each expression and decorate the entire magnet.
Next, they will design a “picker” to select an expression. Cut a piece of magnet that is 1.5 inches square. Inside this piece of magnet, cut out a 1″ to form a small window, leaving about 1/4″ of magnet at the top to write on. On this top section write: Today I Feel… This “picker” can now be placed over an expression to indicate the kind of day they’re having.
Whether your students make these as fun gifts or use them on their desks at school, this is a great way to raise awareness about the way we perceive our own attitude and disposition. By becoming more aware that we are feeling sad, or mischievous, we pay more attention to our own actions that reflect this feeling towards others. Letting others know we they feel can also affect the way we are received. Have each student use the picker on his/her desk each morning, and as a teacher you can come in knowing how each child is starting the day. This gives you the opportunity to address any negative feelings and encourage more positive ones.
A fun twist for this on the classroom level, is to make one VERY LARGE grid of all the feelings your class has brainstormed. Have the class work together to illustrate each of the feelings. Then, have each student make a picker with their own name, for instance: “Today Megan feels…” They then have a vast array of feelings to choose from to describe their day. Because we all feel many different feelings, allow only one person per square. Then, if happy is already taken, Megan might have to determine that she also feels ecstatic!