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Thursday, March 12, 2020


Several years ago I read an interesting article in The New York Times by Tess Felder titled “The Way We Write Today!?!” Although the author states that many people think we are losing the art of writing and spelling because of “digital laziness,” she suggests that people are just sending messages in ever-changing ways. Emojis are an example of a way to express our emotions. Think of it as a new vocabulary to explore in your classroom.

Children are always interested in the adult world and many of them may already be familiar with emoji from playing with their parents’ phones and other devices. Show children some of the emoji symbols and encourage them to tell you what they already know about them. Why do people use the symbols? Download some of the most popular symbols and let children brainstorm what they mean.

Here are some sites that I found helpful for decoding the meanings of the symbols.


Classroom Management
Use these symbols for classroom management. “When I hold up the monkey with his hands over his mouth that means to stop talking and listen to me.” 

*Run off several beating hearts and pass them to children who are being kind friends.

Make two copies of emoji animals or faces. Glue one copy to a file folder and cut the other into separate pieces. Children match up the ones that are alike.

*Make a memory game from poster board cut into 3" squares. Glue two if each emoji to the squares. Mix up the pieces and place face down on the floor. Children take turns looking for matching pairs by turning over two at a time. They may keep the pairs they match up.


Discuss different emotions that emoji are illustrating. What makes you feel that way? Remind the children that we all have different emotions and that’s O.K.!

*Have children write their name under the emoji that reflects how they are feeling when they come to school each morning.

*Glue emoji to crafts sticks and let children use them to work out problems or create stories.

*Use emoji for descriptive writing.  Children choose one and then write about that expression.

Invite children to practice copying emojis with crayons, colored pencils, paint, markers, and other art media.

*Give children paper plates and let them create emoji masks. Can they describe their mask and tell why they chose that image?