The Guess What I’m Feeling game in therapy
13 June 2016
Ewa Kochańska
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The Guess What I’m Feeling game featured in the ABA DrOmnibus app helps develop a child’s ability to recognise emotions based on facial expressions.


‘Guess What I’m Feeling’ is the seventh game available in our DrOmnibus application, which helps develop a child’s social functioning, in particular, the ability to recognise emotions based on facial expressions.

During classes devoted to this subject, we often use:

– coloured pencils and paper,

– graphical representations of the facial expressions of emotions,

– sheets that help read the facial expressions of emotions, such as ‘Tell Me WhatYou Feel’,

– the ‘Guess What I’m Feeling’ game,

– a mirror

Before we start developing the child’s ability tot recognise emotions, the child should take a test to determine his or her basic ability. The test can involve a graphical representation of the facial expressions of emotions or Level 2 of the ‘Guess What I’m Feeling’ game. Ask the child to indicate which character is happy, which one is sad, and which one is angry. Depending on the test results, two courses of action are available now.

First option

If the child can’t recognise emotions based on facial expression or recognises them with no apparent regularity, we can use Level 1 of the game as a learning aid. In Level 1, the child learns three selected emotions and their facial expressions.Other learnings aids we can use are the graphical representations of facial expressions of emotions, such as a set of emoticons in which each expression shows up three times. First, the child should indicate all emoticons with the same emotion. Next, ask the child to create his or her own worksheets: help the child draw three very expressive faces showing a particular emotion. Use a mirror to teach the child that he or she also experiences the same emotions, and how they affect his or her facial expression. Play ‘making faces’ with the child. Name each emotion as it appears, paying special attention to whatever emotions the child expresses. In the next stage, the child plays Level 2 of ‘Guess What I’m Feeling’, in which the player recognises emotions based on isolated faces. The emotions appear in random order, which prevents the child from simply memorising the correct answers.

Second option

Once the child has learned to recognise all emotions correctly, we can move on to the second stage of learning. The second stage is dedicated to children who were able to complete their tasks in the initial test. Ask the child to say what emotion the character in the picture is experiencing. It is important here to focus on the situational context. The child is no longer shown isolated faces, but a whole character at the end of a particular situation that provokes a given emotion. We use  Level 3 of ‘Guess What I’m Feeling’.

To make learning more interesting for the child, we can also use newspaper clippings featuring specific events that involve emtions, or sheets showing specific situations with ‘Tell Me What You Feel. As the child improves his or her performance in the game, which can be tracked through DrOmnibus, we introduce picture-based stories, that is, Level 4 of the game. The child is expected to be able to understand and sympathise the situations in which the characters are involved, and to explain what the characters feel without seeing their facial expressions. For an adequate assessment of the child’s ability to recognise emotions, compare his or her results in ‘Guess What I’m Feeling’ with those obtained with other learning aids.


 

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