The Big Idea: Children build empathy as they learn to understand and accept both their own and others’ emotions.
- Read the story together, then ask kids how Oscar’s feelings differ from his friends’. You might say, “How do you think Elmo would feel if he got a sardine cake on his birthday? How would you feel? What treat would make you (or me, or a sibling) feel happy?”
- Point out that Oscar’s friends care about him and how he feels, even if his feelings are different from theirs. All feelings are okay, even grouchiness!
- After reading, encourage kids to tell their own emoji story. Using a phone or computer, challenge kids to find emojis that show each character’s feelings as you go along (you can start with the classic “Once upon a time…”). Kids can choose symbols for important events, too. How many different feelings can they include? When you finish, you might even share the story with a loved one in a text or e-mail. Can they name all the feelings?