Implementation of ‘What Would They Say?’ (SOI-MT-127)

Two men are having a discussion about a broken pot as other people sit and listen. Engraving.

I’m Ayrton Curmi, a primary school teacher of students aged 9-10 years in Malta. In our School Development Plan, we want to promote emotional literacy and help our students develop skills such as self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation and social skills. While planning a language oracy lesson, I noticed that this Europeana Learning Scenario created by Karoliina Mutanen from Finland, was an effective way how I can link oracy with writing and emotional literacy. I chose to implement this learning scenario because I believe that students are at the centre of their learning while promoting 21st-century skills.

Circle Time

I implemented this lesson in the school library and my students were instantly engaged since the lesson was not taking place in their classroom. I introduced emotional literacy during a circle time activity, where I presented two flashcards ‘Emotions’ and ‘Feelings’. Some students were distinguishing between the two while sharing their own experiences. The main aim of this activity was that the students would be able to associate feelings and emotions with the characteristics in painting and create an environment where the students feel comfortable enough to express themselves.

I adapted this learning scenario by focusing more on emotional literacy activities. One of these activities was that the students were given various friendship cards and we discussed them together while sharing our ideas.

Circle time- students sitting in circle
Circle time- students sitting in circle
Students using the Friendship cards.
Students using the Friendship cards.


During this learning scenario, students were given various opportunities to develop their collaboration skills. In a particular activity, they worked in pairs – each pair was given a set of flashcards consisting of various feelings and emotions. Each student had to act out a facial expression of the particular feeling/emotion flashcard, whilst the other student had to guess that feeling/emotion. It was clear that the students were enjoying this activity which also resulted in building a positive relationship in an environment where they feel safe.

Another particular activity which promoted collaboration skills was that students grouped in fours and they were given some images from the Europeana collection. Each group had to answer the following questions from this learning scenario:

  • What could this person in the image say?
  • How are they feeling?
  • What is the situation they are in?
  • Why do they look like that?
  • What can you notice about the background of the painting?

The students managed to associate background colours with various emotions.

Students working in groups
Students working in groups

The use of technology

Digital resources are a powerful tool to engage and motivate students in today’s educational system. During such a learning scenario the students were allowed to research the Europeana platform. After investigating various Europeana images they chose a particular image to create their meme.

The students used ‘WorkSpace’ app on their Learnpad tablet to create their memes. I was very pleased with the outcome of their creative memes. During this activity, students were engaged in doing something relevant for today’s culture while developing 21st-century skills such as critical thinking, media and technology skills, collaboration and communication.

Working on 'WorkSpace'
Working on 'WorkSpace'

Assessment for Learning

During this learning scenario, some assessment for learning strategies were used. Different questioning techniques were implemented throughout this learning scenario. In order to gain feedback from students, I opted for an exit ticket at the end of the session.

Final remarks

After reflecting on this learning scenario, I was very satisfied with the process of this lesson. It was evident that the students felt comfortable sharing their personal experiences and emotions with the whole group. In my opinion, I think that by making use of a talking object during circle time aided the learning process.

As an educator, I truly believe that Europeana resources help us shift from traditional teaching to a more student-centred teaching by using innovative contexts and ideas. I’m sure that this particular learning scenario helped my students in developing the main characteristics of emotional literacy.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?

What Would They Say? by Karoliina Mutanen

CC BY 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and provided by the Wellcome Collection.

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