Implementation of ‘Emotional Intelligence and Teenagers’ (SOI-GR-211)

Teenagers change mood frequently. But why do they get so emotional? In this context, Greek students were introduced to Europeana to raise their Emotional Intelligence and redefine the way they perceive reality and manage emotions.

The Rationale

My name is Athanasia Kakali and I have chosen the particular Learning Scenario, first and foremost, because it caters to my students’ needs. Our school has switched again into distance-learning mode. This made students feel worried and uneasy. Furthermore, students recently participated in a school event to celebrate World Anti-bullying Day on the 6th of March. So, they had the opportunity to realise the utmost importance of managing feelings.  Emotional health is intricately linked to our physical well-being. As a result, I think this Learning Scenario will be valuable. Teenagers are going to learn more about emotions. At the same time, they are expected to develop mechanisms of managing their feelings. Therefore, they will enhance their emotional intelligence.

Class Profile & Learning Mode

I implemented the learning scenario with an EFL class of 18 students at the Junior High School of Schimatari, an industrial town near Athens, in Greece. The students constitute a mixed-ability class of Β1+ CEFR English level and are computer literate. Students were acquainted with Europeana, as we had already devoted a whole session to it.

Regarding the mode, I implemented the learning scenario in synchronous distance learning mode via the Webex platform. We deviated a bit from the planning since the 1st teaching session didn’t suffice for the last activity. In this context, I developed an Emotional Vocabulary Bank in Quizlet to aid learners acquire new vocabulary and trigger background knowledge. I exploited also two short videos to provide students with meaningful relevant input.

Implementation

Initiation into the topic

In the warm-up stage, I felt the need to use the short video Six Basic Human Emotions, in order to initiate students into the topic and prepare them for the activity that follows. As a result, my question How do you feel today? in the AnswerGarden comes naturally and becomes more meaningful.  As students’ answers reveal, there is a diversity of isolation’s impact among teenagers; some may feel imprisoned, whereas others may get inspired.

Then, students use Popplet to create a mindmap of feelings. In the meanwhile, they discuss the roots of each feeling. Not only do they gain knowledge about the importance of managing emotions, but they suggest ways to help them cope with negative feelings. The latter is crucial because students grow feelings of boredom, fatigue and stress during the Covid-19 crisis.

Image 1: Creating a mindmap of emotions in Popplet

To prepare students for the activity that follows, I exploited a second short video about Emotional Intelligence. Students realise that we don’t all judge people in the same way. Therefore, the activity where they guess feelings in Europeana pictures becomes meaningful.

Europeana Emotion-Detection Activity

After the ice-breaking session, I familiarised learners with Europeana’s Gift Project. Students experienced feelings of surprise to hear that a special emotion-detection application at the Munch Museum can ‘test’ pictures. In this context, the next activity flows naturally.

Regarding the Europeana pictures activity, I tried to make it more structured and created a GoogleDocs Form Quiz. In this quiz, students had to be detectives of emotions. First, they recognised feelings in people from five Europeana pictures: Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, Picture 4 and Picture 5. Then, I shared the activity results in class to prove that the way we perceive reality and other people’s feelings is subjective and varied. Last, we came into the conclusion, that Emotional Intelligence may help us understand people and their feelings better.

Expanding Emotional Vocabulary

Concerning the Quizlet activity, I created an Emotional Vocabulary Bank using cards. These cards served as vocabulary input for students. To help students practice emotional vocabulary, I did not manage to create a quiz in Quizlet with a free account, so I created an interactive Emotions LiveWorksheet, where students had to work asynchronously. This worksheet served as an activity of assessment, as well. I preferred LiveWorksheets instead of the suggested Google Form on purpose. The particular students are more motivated when they work with this Web 2.0 Tool since they find it really enjoyable.

Image 3: Practicing & assessing emotional vocabulary

Spicing up Quarantine Time

For the activity on how to overcome boredom, students collaborated in breakout rooms and all teams provided their answers in our Let’s Think Pink Padlet. I used Padlet instead of the suggested GoogleSlides or PowerPoints because Padlets are more straightforward in use. So, I wanted to lay more emphasis on the process of collaborating and discussing rather than structuring the final product.

Image 4: Collaborating in teams to come up with anti-boredom activities

As a follow-up activity, students used their ideas from the Padlet activity to create an anti-boredom wellness game on WheelDecide. Shortly after, they played the Let’s Think Pink game. They spun the wheel and this cheered them up.

Image 5: ‘Let’s think pink!’ anti-boredom game.

Last, students used Padlet as a canvas of creativity. Their poster is more structured. It has the form of a Feelings Gallery. Students worked in 6 groups, equal in number with the six basic feelings. Each group dealt with a particular feeling. All groups browsed Europeana Art Galleries and detected feelings. Under each feeling, they attached pictures from Europeana. This activity allowed students to unleash their creativity. Not only did they develop critical thinking skills and emotional intelligence, but they cultivated visual literacy and artful thinking, as well.

Outcomes

Bearing in mind the implementation above, students exploited Europeana resources to acquire new knowledge in the field of Emotions. Moreover, they developed all 4 C’s of learning; critical thinking and collaboration skills, creativity in generating ideas and ICT skills. As a whole, the implementation of this learning scenario can be considered a fruitful experience for both learners and the teacher. It gave them the chance to reconsider the way they perceive others and manage their feelings. They now can view the world through a different lens. The same goes with their isolation due to Covid-19 crisis. One thing is certain; Europeana Galleries helped students view art as therapy. Now they can keep their eyes closed. And feel…

One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

And this recognition can only be a sign of raised Emotional Intelligence.

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

Emotional Intelligence and Teenagers created by Denislava Boycheva

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: The featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana has been provided by the Rijksmuseum.

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