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Studying Characters’ Emotions

One great book to use to help students understand characters’ emotions is The Way I Feel by Janan Cain. It’s a beautifully illustrated book. On each set of facing pages, there is an emotion represented in the tones and colors of the illustration. The text rhymes and does a vivid job of describing that specific emotion, showing kids when they might feel that way.
To make inferences using The Way I Feel during a read aloud, simply cover up the emotion with a post-it. Have students gather clues by recording the details the character says, does, and what other characters are doing. The illustrations make a great place to gather information too!
Then they can infer the emotion depicted on each page. If kids are stuck, provide them an Emotions List like this freebie I’ve made for you on Google Drive



Then we worked with making inferences on some character emotions task cards. I handed out the cards to students and they highlighted evidence on the card that helped them infer how the character was feeling in that instance.

After they marked their evidence, they sorted the cards into different headers of the emotions. Students used their lists for this, too, to help them think of different ways to describe how the character felt in the card. Rather than always saying, “The character was angry,” they learned words like “furious,” or “upset.”



We also have students gather clues during shared reading. During our reading of Wolf, students recorded evidence and made inferences about the wolf’s emotions.




Grab these ideas in my Character Emotions Unit 
and my 41 Characters Analysis Tools.


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