SPARKLERS / Managing emotions

What's under the blanket?

A fun literacy (and emotional literacy) activity that can last the whole week!
Connections with the NZ Curriculum and Mental Health Education Guide (learn more)

Learning outcomes

Tamariki have knowledge of different emotions and take part in a relaxing activity.

He aha ai? – Why we love it

This activity evokes loads of emotions - curiosity, excitement, anticipation, maybe even trepidation! It's a fun way to explore emotions, use tamariki imaginations and end a big week, chilling out.

You'll need

  • A blanket
  • A book to read for the week - one attached to a movie such as the BFG, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter (for older tamariki), The Wizard of Oz, Where the Wild things Are
  • Movie snacks
  • You may want to create or print a poster for the movie too.

What to do

Before tamariki arrive at school hide the movie snacks under a blanket in your classroom, making sure they’re not visible. It’s also a good idea to arrange the snacks so they’re completely unrecognisable - bumpy and lumpy!

Let tamariki know that there’s a Friday surprise waiting for them under the blanket but they MUST NOT peek - we’ll leave it with you to go over the ‘rules of the game!’

Tell them that the surprise has to happen on Friday and you’re really looking forward to it. Remind them to be sure to read their book each day…

Kōrero with tamariki about what they think is under the blanket? Let them know this is pretty exciting and ask them for their advice on what’s the best ways to ‘wait’?

Come together the following day and discuss how tamariki are ‘feeling’ about not knowing what’s under the blanket! It will be pretty exciting!

Use this energy to write a short story beginning with… “I pulled the blanket off and ….”

Next, lift up a corner of the blanket so when tamariki arrive at school the next day there’s a little hint. You might choose to do a bit more - maybe put up a poster for a movie or suggest they bring a cuddly toy or a cushion on Friday. Kōrero about what this might mean.

You can give away a few more clues if you’d like, and then on Friday it’s the BIG REVEAL! Perhaps you could think about who might lift the blanket - who’s been kind this week? Who’s had a tough time? If you have a co-teacher, be sure to capture the excitement and smiles with photos!

And it’s movie time!

What next?

Kōrero more about emotions with the Emotional Rollercoaster

Or explore other ways to reflect on our emotions and the emotions of others using books. Tuning In is a great example of this.

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