Name That Feeling

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Emotional Overexcitability

    Dr. Emily Mofield of Lipscomb University has published several articles on social emotional needs of gifted students, with one of particular interest about gifted overexcitabilities. One of those overexcitabilities is with emotions. Emotional overexcitability is often first noticed by parents. It is reflected in heightened, intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions, identification with others’ feelings, and strong affective expression.

    Emotionally overly excitable children have a capacity for deep relationships; they show strong emotional attachments to people, places, and things, according to Dabrowski.

    Your gifted students may show compassion, empathy, and sensitivity in their relationships. They may be expressly aware of their own feelings, of how they are growing and changing, and often carry on inner dialogs and practice self-judgment.

    These same gifted students may appear to overreact to everything. Their compassion and concern for others, their focus on relationships, and the intensity of their feelings may interfere with them daily.

    For people who are not highly emotional, observing their response to events may seem peculiar. We need to accept their emotional intensity and help them work through any problems that might result from this depth of feeling.

Feelings List

Here is a feelings list for your students to consider or they can think of their own:

Accepting

Calm

Content

Fulfilled

Patient

Peaceful

Relaxed

Serene

Trusting

Enthusiastic

Joyful

Amazed

Excited

Free

Happy

Glad

Inspired

Lively

Playful

Refreshed

Bitter

Disgruntled

Edgy

Exasperated

Frustrated

Furious

Grouchy

Hostile

Impatient

Irritated

Irate

Moody

Resentful

Upset

Courageous

Strong

Brave

Capable

Worthy

Loving

Accepting

Determined

Empathic

Safe

Warm

Worthy

Curious

Sad

Disappointed

Involved

Gloomy

Heartbroken

Hopeless

Lonely

Sorrowful

Unhappy

Upset

Bored

Confused

Withdrawn

Embarrassed

Trapped

Powerless

Trusting

Worried

Terrified

Paralyzed

Exhausted

Frazzled

Rattled

Rejected

Shaken

Worn

Unsettled

Doubtful

Apprehensive

Appreciative

Worried

Unsure

Skeptical

Suspicious

Unsure

Weary

Perplexed

Activity: Name that Feeling!

Adapted from Han’s Christian Anderson’s classic tale Thumbelina by K5 Counselors

Read one scenario at a time. As the readers’ theater goes along, have your students take turns reading aloud. Make sure to give your students a moment to silently read each passage first. you must stop and Name That Feeling! You must choose a different feeling—no repeats! You will also tell about a time you had the same feeling.

NAME THAT FEELING 1

Woman 1:

Once upon a time I very much wanted to have a little tiny child but didn’t know where I could get one.

NAME THAT FEELING 2

Woman 2:

I searched the barleycorn. I found a seed, took it home, and planted it. I placed it in the sun and watered it.

Woman 3:

Very soon a fine flower came up that looked just like a tulip, but the petals were closed tight as if it were still a bud.

Woman 4:

I gave it a kiss on its pretty red and yellow petals. Just as I kissed it the flower gave a loud crack and opened.

NAME THAT FEELING 3

Woman 5:

I could see it was a real tulip, only right in the middle of it sat a tiny little girl, as delicate as could be.

Woman 1:
She was only a thumb-length long, so I called her Thumbelina.

NAME THAT FEELING 4

Woman 2:

I gave her a splendid walnut shell for a bed, blue violet leaves for a mattress, and a rose-leaf for a quilt.

Woman 3:

There she slept at night, but in the day time she played around in a wreath of flowers on a plate.

Woman 4:

On the water floated a large tulip-leaf on which Thumbelina could sit and sail from one side of the plate to the other.

Toad 1:

One night, as she lay in her pretty bed, I came hopping in the broken pane of a window.

Toad 2:

I was covered in warts and was big and wet. I hopped right down where Thumbelina lay asleep under her rose-leaf.

Toad 3:

She would make a lovely wife for my son.

NAME THAT FEELING 5

Toad 4:

I took hold of the walnut-shell where Thumbelina slept and hopped off with her through the window and down into the garden.

Toad 5:

Through it flowed a big broad stream, but just at the edge it was marshy and muddy, and there I lived with my son.

NAME THAT FEELING 6

Toad Son 1:

Koäx, koäx, brekke-ke-kex.

Toad 1:

Don’t talk so loud, you’ll wake her, and she might run away from us. We’ll put her out in the river on one of the broad water-lily leaves.

NAME THAT FEELING 7

Toad 3:

There were many water-lilies growing out in the stream, and she was on the leaf that was furthest out.

Toad 4:

To this leaf I swam out and put the walnut-shell with Thumbelina on it.

Thumbelina 1:

I woke up very early in the morning, and when I saw where I was, I began to cry! For there was water all around the big leaf.

NAME THAT FEELING 8

Toad 5:

I stayed down in the mud and set about decorating her room to make it nice and neat.

Toad 1:

Then I swam out with my toad son to the leaf where Thumbelina stood. I present my son to you. He is going to be your husband, and you will have a delightful life down in the mud.

Toad Son 2:

Koäx, koäx, brekke-ke-kex.

Thumbelina 2:

So they took the beautiful little bed and swam off with it while I sat all alone on the green leaf crying, for I didn’t want to live with the horrid Toad or have her ugly son for a husband.

NAME THAT FEELING 9

Fish 1:

We were swimming beneath in the water, and saw the Toad and heard what she said, so we put our heads up. We wanted to see the little girl.

NAME THAT FEELING 10

Fish 2:

As soon as we saw her, we thought her so pretty that it grieved us to think that she had to live with the ugly Toad.

NAME THAT FEELING 11

Fish 3:

We swarmed together down in the water, all around the green stalk that held the leaf she was on, and gnawed it with our teeth; the leaf went floating down the stream, and took Thumbelina far away from the Toad.

NAME THAT FEELING 12

Thumbelina 3:

I sailed past many places, and the little birds in the bushes saw me and sang.

Thumbelina 4:

The leaf floated further away with me, and I went on my travels.

Thumbelina 5:

A beautiful little white butterfly kept flying around me, and at last settled on the leaf, and I was very happy, for now the Toad could not get me, and everything was beautiful where I was sailing.

Thumbelina 1:

The sun shone on the water and made it glitter. I took my sash and tied one end of it to the butterfly, and the other end I fastened to the leaf, and it went along much faster with a sail.

Beetle 1:

Just then I came flying by and caught sight of her, and in an instant, I grasped her slender body in my claws, and flew up into a tree with her.

Thumbelina 2:

The green leaf went floating downstream and the butterfly with it! How frightened I was when the beetle flew up into the tree with me.

NAME THAT FEELING 13

Beetle 2:

I alighted with her on the largest green leaf on the tree, and gave her honey out of the flowers to eat, and told her she was very pretty, though she wasn’t in the least like a beetle.

Beetle 3:

All the other beetles that lived in the tree came and paid calls. They looked at Thumbelina, and the young lady beetles brushed their feelers.

Female Beetle:

She’s only got two legs! a wretched sight! She’s got no feelers. She’s quite thin in the waist. Dreadful! She looks just like a human being! How ugly she is!

NAME THAT FEELING 14

Beetle 4:

When all the rest said she was horrid, I came to think so too at last, and wouldn’t have anything to do with her.

Beetle 5:

I flew down from the tree and put her on a daisy, and there she sat and cried.

NAME THAT FEELING 15

Thumbelina 3:

All the summer through I lived quite alone in the big woods. I plaited a bed of green stalks and hung it up under a large leaf to be out of the rain.

Thumbelina 4:

I picked the honey out of the flowers and ate it and drank the dew which lay every morning on the leaves.

Thumbelina 5:

There I spent the summer and the autumn; but then came the long cold winter.

Thumbelina 1:

All the birds flew their way; the trees and flowers withered, and I was terribly cold. I was likely to be frozen to death! Then it began to snow.

NAME THAT FEELING 16

Thumbelina 2:

I was only an inch high. I wrapped myself up in a dead leaf, but there was no warmth in it, and I shivered with the cold. In the morning, I started through the cornfield that was like a forest.

Thumbelina 4:

At last I came to a Field Mouse’s door, which was a little hole down among the stubble. I went up to the door and asked for a little bit of barleycorn.

NAME THAT FEELING 17

Field Mouse 1:

Poor little thing. Come into my warm room and have dinner with me. You can stay the winter with me, only you’ll have to keep my room nice and clean and tell me stories.

Thumbelina 1:

I did as the kind old Field Mouse asked, and had a pleasant time.

NAME THAT FEELING 18

Field Mouse 2:

We shall soon be having a visitor. My neighbor calls on me every day. How lucky you would be if he chose you for his bride.

Thumbelina 5:

I didn’t care much about this. I didn’t want to marry the neighbor, for he was a Mole.

NAME THAT FEELING 19

Mole 1:

I came and paid a call in my black velvet coat. My mansion was more than twenty times the size of Field Mouse’s house. I asked her to sing.

Mole 2:

I fell in love with her for her pretty voice; but I said nothing about it, for I was a very cautious man.

NAME THAT FEELING 20

Mole 3:

I dug a big passage through the earth from my house to theirs, and invited the Field Mouse and Thumbelina there whenever they liked.

Mole 1:

I told them not to be frightened at the dead bird that lay in the passage.

Mole 2:

I took a bit of touchwood in my mouth because it shines like fire in the dark and went in front and lighted the way through the long dark passage.

Mole 3:

When we got to where the dead bird lay, I pushed my broad back against the ceiling and lifted the earth so that there was a big hole which let in the light.

Field Mouse 3:

In the middle of this floor lay a dead swallow with its pretty wings close against its sides and its legs and head down among its feathers.

Thumbelina 1:

I felt very sorry for it. I was fond of all the little birds that had sung and twittered so prettily to me all the summer long.

NAME THAT FEELING 21

Mole 4:

I kicked it with my short legs. It must be wretched to be born a bird that twit, twits, and is bound to starve to death in winter.

Field Mouse 4:

What has the bird to show for all its twit, twit, when winter comes? It starves and freezes.

NAME THAT FEELING 22

Mole 4:

I kicked it with my short legs. It must be wretched to be born a bird that twit, twits, and is bound to starve to death in winter.

Field Mouse 4:

What has the bird to show for all its twit, twit, when winter comes? It starves and freezes.

NAME THAT FEELING 23

Thumbelina 2:

I said nothing, but when the others turned their backs on the bird, I parted the feathers that covered its head, and kissed its eyes.

Thumbelina 3:

Perhaps this was the one that sang to me so prettily in the summer. What a lot of pleasure it gave me, the dear little bird.

NAME THAT FEELING 24

Mole 5:

I now stopped up the hole through which the daylight shone in, and saw the ladies home.

Thumbelina 4:

That night I couldn’t sleep, so I got out of bed took a coverlet of hay and spread it about the bird.

Thumbelina 5:

Farewell, and thank you for your lovely singing in the summer, when all the trees were green and the sun shone on us.

Thumbelina 1:

I laid my head against the bird’s heart which I heard beating! The bird was not dead; it was hibernating, and being warmed, it woke again.

NAME THAT FEELING 25

Thumbelina 2:

In autumn, the swallows fly to the warm countries, but if one lags behind it gets frozen so that it tumbles down and the snow covers it.

Thumbelina 3:

I really shivered, so frightened was I. The bird was enormously big compared to me.

Thumbelina 4:

I took courage and folded a peppermint leaf, and put it over the bird’s head.

Thumbelina 5:

Next night I crept down to it again, and this time it was awake but so weak that it could only open its eyes briefly.

Swallow 1:

Thank you, pretty little child. I’ve been beautifully warmed. Soon I shall get back my strength and be able to fly about again in the warm sun.

NAME THAT FEELING 26

Thumbelina 1:

It’s dreadfully cold outside, snowing and freezing! You must stay in your warm bed, I’ll care for you!

Swallow 2:

Then she brought me some water in the leaf of a plant, and I told her how I had hurt my wing on a thorn bush, and I couldn’t fly as well as the other swallows when they set out to fly away to the warm countries.

Swallow 3:

At last I fell to the ground, but I can’t remember anymore.

Swallow 1:

All the winter I stayed, and Thumbelina was very kind to me, but neither the Mole nor the Field Mouse heard anything whatever about me.

NAME THAT FEELING 27

Swallow 2:

As soon as spring came and the sun’s warmth got into the ground, I said good-bye to Thumbelina.

Swallow 3:

The sun shone in and I asked if Thumbelina if she would not come with me; she could sit on my back and we would fly away.

Thumbelina 2:

I knew that it would grieve the old Field Mouse, if I left her like that.

Thumbelina 3:

No, I can’t. Good-bye. The swallow flew out into the sunshine. I stood looking after it, and the tears pooled in my eyes.

NAME THAT FEELING 28

Swallow 1: Twit, twit.

Thumbelina 4:

I was very unhappy; I got no chance to go out into the warm sunshine, because the corn that had been sown in the field was grown tall.

Field Mouse 5:

This summer you must make your trousseau since the Mole has proposed to you.

Field Mouse 1:

You shall have both wool and linen—something to sit in and to lie on when you are the Mole’s wife.

Thumbelina 5:

I had to spin, and Field Mouse hired four spiders to spin and weave. Every evening the Mole called in and talked about our wedding.

NAME THAT FEELING 29

Mole 1:

When the sun is not scorching the ground, we shall be married.

Thumbelina 1:

I wasn’t at all pleased; I didn’t like the tiresome Mole one bit. Every morning when the sun rose and every evening when it set I crept out.

Thumbelina 2:

I wished to see the swallow, but he never came; he must certainly be flying far away in the beautiful greenwood.

NAME THAT FEELING 30

Thumbelina 3:

By the time autumn came, I had all my trousseau ready.

Field Mouse 2:

In four weeks’ time you shall be married.

Thumbelina 4:

I refuse to marry the tiresome Mole.

NAME THAT FEELING 31

Field Mouse 3:

Rubbish, don’t be pigheaded, or I’ll bite you. It’s a splendid husband you’re getting.

Thumbelina 5:

So the wedding was to be; already the Mole had come to fetch me, and with him I must go deep down underground.

Thumbelina 1:

I was bitterly grieved, for now I must bid farewell to the beautiful sunshine which I had at least had the chance of seeing from the door.

NAME THAT FEELING 32

Thumbelina 2:

Farewell! bright sun. I stretched my arms upwards and stepping a little way outside the Field Mouse’s house, for now the corn was harvested.

Thumbelina 3:

I threw my arms about a little red flower. Give my love to the dear swallow for me if ever you see him.

Swallow 2:

Twit! Twit!

Thumbelina 4:

I heard the sound at that moment above my head. I looked up and there was the swallow flying by.

NAME THAT FEELING 33

Swallow 3:

I was overjoyed when I caught sight of her. She told me she didn’t want to marry the ugly Mole and live underground.

Swallow 4:

Cold winter is coming. I am going to fly far away to the warm countries; will you come with me?

Swallow 5:

You can sit on my back, only tie yourself tight with your sash, and we’ll fly far away from the ugly Mole and his dark home.

Swallow 1:

Do fly away with me. You saved my life when I lay frozen in that dark cellar underground.

NAME THAT FEELING 34

Thumbelina 5:

Yes, I will come with you. I got up on the bird’s back, put my feet on his outspread wings, tied my belt fast to his feathers, and off flew the swallow high in the air over forest and lake.

Thumbelina 1:

At last we got to the warm countries. There the sun shone far brighter, and in the ditches grew the loveliest clusters of grapes.

Swallow 2:

I flew still further, and the country grew more delightful. Under splendid trees, beside a blue lake, stood a shining palace of white marble. At the top was my nest.

Swallow 3:

Here is my house, but won’t you find one of the finest flowers below, and I’ll put you there.

Thumbelina 2:

That will be lovely.

Swallow 4:

I flew down with Thumbelina and set her on one of the broad leaves. But what a surprise for her!

Thumbelina 3:

A little man was sitting in the middle of the flower, with the prettiest gold crown on his head and the loveliest bright wings on his shoulders, and he was no bigger than me.

Thumbelina 4:

He was the angel of the flower. In each flower lived a little man or woman, but this one was the king of them all.

Prince 1:

I was quite alarmed by the swallow, which was a giant bird to me, tiny and delicate as I was, but when I saw Thumbelina I was delighted, for she was by far the prettiest girl I had ever seen.

Prince 2:

I took my gold crown off my head and laid it upon hers, asked what her name was, and whether she would be my wife, for then she would become queen of all the flowers.

Thumbelina 5:

Here indeed was a husband—very different from the Toad’s son or the Mole.

NAME THAT FEELING 35

Thumbelina 1:

Yes, I would love to be your wife.
Thumbelina 2:

Out of every flower there came a lady or a lord, so pretty that it was a pleasure to see them. Everyone brought us a present, but the best of all was a pair of beautiful wings that fit me perfectly.
Thumbelina 3:

They were fastened to my back, and then I could fly from flower to flower.
Swallow 5:

There was great rejoicing, and I sat on my nest up and sang to them as well as ever I could; but at heart I was sad, for I was very fond of Thumbelina.
Swallow 1:

I said good-bye and flew back, away from the warm countries, back to Denmark. There I had a little nest above the window, where the man who can tell stories; and to him I sing, “Twit, twit”, and that’s the way we came by the whole story.

Pause to Ponder

    Pose the following to your students: how are you feeling right now? Can you use a descriptor that you didn’t previously use in this activity? Can you explain why you’re feeling that way?

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