Emotional intelligence (EI) is a very popular concept today, as many studies have shown that it brings multiple benefits to our mental health and performance.
Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to identify, understand and regulate one’s own emotions and those of others, And applies to both clinical, professional or educational settings.
Dynamic to educate emotionally
Emotional education should be compulsory in all schools, because emotionally intelligent students appreciate and will appreciate greater mental well-being and a stronger personality and prepared for any adversities that life may present to them in the future.
In this article, you can find different simple activities and dynamics for working with emotions.
Emotional activities for children
If you are a teacher and want to educate your students in emotional intelligence, below is a list of activities that will help little ones develop emotionally intelligent skills.
1. Group balance: the star
Objective: self-confidence and group cooperation
Duration: 15-20 minutes
Self-confidence is a psychological variable and an emotion that gives us strength and courage, it allows us to achieve new goals and overcome difficult times that may arise in our path. Having positive expectations about what we can do helps us set motivating goals and orient us toward problem solving.
This dynamic is simple. If this is done in class, all you need to do is make a circle with the group of students. Circle members should open their legs a little and shake hands, and the group should separate so that the arms are stretched out. Participants are listed with numbers one and two. People with number one will go forward and people with number two will back down.
It is important that participants move forward or backward slowly until they reach a point of balance. In addition, it is also possible to change those of number one to those of number two, and even do so without interruption. Once the dynamic is over, a series of questions are asked to the participants so that they can share their experience and better assimilate what has been learned. For example, have you noticed any difficulties? How would you represent what you’ve learned in real life when it comes to trusting a group?
2. The name game
Duration: 15 minutes
This game is ideal for children. Also, although simple, it is useful for them to know their positive qualities, which promotes self-knowledge.
Children are given two sheets of paper and are asked to write their first and last name. Then, on one of the sheets, they are asked to write with each letter of their name the qualities that they consider to have (if the name is very long, they can be asked to do it only with the first name or Last name). For example: if the person is called Bea Salta, the qualities or virtues can be: good, energetic, kind, confident, kind, intelligent, hardworking and assertive.
On the other sheet, the children are asked to write the name of someone who has influenced their life. so what they should write words that express how they influenced them. In this way, a connection is created between the concept of self and the positive values that have been associated with oneself, generating an autobiographical account of the development of one’s personality which helps to consolidate these memories.
3. Respond to a charge
Objective: emotional regulation
Duration: 25 minutes
This dynamic is ideal for teachers to educate their students in emotional control.. In the classroom, the teacher should read the beginning of this story aloud.
“Pepe is very happy in the park, when he suddenly sees Rafa coming to meet him. Rafa has a very strange look. Pepe wonders what must happen to him. They approach and greet each other, but immediately Rafa begins to scream. He says Pepe made him very bad with the other boys in the neighborhood, that he’s a bad friend, that he’s to blame for everything that happens to him. Then Pepe … “.
After reading the story, students should individually think about how they would act if they found themselves in Pepe’s situation. Then, the responses are divided and classified into two groups: those which allow conciliation and seek a peaceful path and those which promote greater conflict. In the form of a debate, we conclude why the former are better than the latter.
4. Write a story
Duration: 45 minutes
Identical to the previous exercise this activity aims to enable students to distinguish between ways of responding to a charge and, in addition, to learn to control its emotions and to resolve the conflicts by training by the imagination vis-a-vis hypothetical situations which go beyond the social spheres to which one is accustomed.
The group of students is separated into pairs, then they imagine a conflict situation. Then each couple writes a short story that should contain these elements:
- Teenagers talking or texting each other
- an accusation
- Solution that leaves the way open for dialogue
Stories are shared and a group assessment of the pros and cons of resolving the conflict is done, so that one understands what one end or another means emotionally for those involved in the conflict. ‘history.
5. Protective screens
Duration: 25 minutes
Through this activity, the student is expected to verbalize his ideas, beliefs, values and variables. related to emotional intelligence. Knowing others and sharing their ideas and beliefs with us is ideal for respecting and understanding their way of life. The goal of this dynamic is to produce effective communication that respects all members of the group.
The teacher therefore presents a wide variety and a large number of photos or magazine clippings and invites each participant to choose 2 p.m. In turn, each student describes to the others what the photos they have chosen mean to them, what they suggest, what values and ideas are reflected in the pictures and what is the reason for the choice.
Activities for young people and adults
Emotional intelligence activities aren’t limited to the little ones. Young people and adults can also benefit from emotional learning, since education is an ongoing process.
6. Focus group
Goal: self-awareness and teamwork
Duration: 30 minutes
The purpose of this dynamic is to create a discussion group to discuss and find a common solution.. The participant should share their ideas, beliefs and thoughts on a topic that has been proposed that deals with the topic of emotional intelligence or values education. For example:
- Volunteering is a great way to learn to be responsible Why yes and why not?
- The only person I compete with is “myself”. Why yes and why no?
- If I am part of a group, the needs of the group must be more important than my wants. Why yes and why no?
From these discussion proposals, synergies are generated to arrive at a solution that satisfies most sensitivities.
7. The wheel of life
Duration: 20 minutes
The wheel of life is a tool widely used in coaching, because it allows us to know our desires or needs. It gives us the opportunity to have a clear vision and to think on paper about the aspects that we consider important in our lives and that we want to work on. Now the rough of life is a flexible technique that can adapt to the situation that best suits us. For example, for our personal development or to look for work and find out what skills we need to work.
To carry out this dynamic, we delivered a sheet of paper containing a circle with a space to write the variables on which we want to work. These spaces will be filled by the participants. For example, if happiness is being worked on, participants should to highlight the aspects they feel are most important: partner, friendships, work, hobbies, etc. Then, it is evaluated from one to ten each aspect to know when it considers it.
With this tool the person becomes more aware of the areas on which they must work in order to have a more fulfilling life, And it is possible to design the necessary actions for each point you have chosen. For example, if the participant thinks their relationship is low, they can devise different strategies to improve it: communication, spending more time together. etc. This activity is ideal for teenagers and adults.
8. Conversation 1 to 0
Objective: active listening and interpersonal communication
Duration 15 minutes
As a study by Albert Mehrabian concludes, in a face-to-face conversation, the verbal component is only 35%. Therefore, over 65% is non-verbal communication, that is, the communication of our emotions, body posture, eye contact or gestures. This activity aims to develop active listening and improve interpersonal communication.
To achieve it, you need to place a row of chairs in the shape of a circle. In front of each chair, another chair should be placed, so that the participants sit facing each other. The idea is for each student to sit for two minutes, then move on to the next chair.
During these two minutes, they are seated, one of the two participants sitting in front of them speaks first, while the other listens actively, that is to say paying attention to non-verbal language (emotions, gestures, etc. .). After a minute, the roles change and the other is talking while his partner is actively listening. After two minutes, each participant changes chairs. Logically, one member of the couple will go one way and the other another.