If you’re looking for some of the best ESL feelings and emotions activities, then you’re in the right place. We have more than 20 of them, along with feeling worksheets, lesson plans, resources and more. Keep on reading.
Feelings and Emotions ESL Activities
Here are the best ESL feeling and emotion ideas for TEFL classes.
#1: ESL Emotions Word Association Activity
Unless students are absolute beginners, it’s likely that they already know a good number of emotion and feeling words. As a nice warm-up, it can be helpful to do a mind-map. Organize the words into happy, sad, mad words.
It’s a nice activity because it can help students activate their prior knowledge about a topic, which makes new words they might learn more memorable because they can associate them with words they already know. Check it out:
TEFL Word Association Activity.
#2: Dicto Gloss
This is a nice listening activity for higher-level students. Prepare a passage of someone talking about how they’re feeling. Sprinkle in a number of the key emotion or feeling vocabulary words. You might even find something suitable in the textbook you’re using in class.
Then, put students into pairs. Read the passage out at a faster than normal pace for the level of the students. They can take notes and try to replicate what they heard with their partner. Repeat the process and in the end, students can compare their version with the original one. Find out all the details here:
#3: Hot Potato
#4: Freeze Group Writing Activity
Try out this simple writing activity with your students. Prepare some different starters on each sheet of paper. For example:
- Tom was feeling sad because . . .
- Jenny was feeling so angry because . . .
Then, each student has to add a sentence or two and then pass it on to the next student. In the end, read out the stories to the class. Find out more:
#5: Emotion and Feelings Flashcards
I rarely come to any class with kids without some flashcards in my teacher’s basket! They are super versatile and can be used for a million and one games and activities.
When teaching kids about feelings or emotions, a set of related flashcards can be so useful. They mean that I don’t always have to make the relevant emotion with my face which can be quite tiring! Find out all the things you can do with them here:
ESL Flashcard Activities and Games.
#6: Me Too!
This is a simple speaking and listening activity for beginners. Students have to make a sentence using a feeling or emotion. For example:
- I feel happy when I eat pizza.
- I feel sad when my brother takes my toys.
Go around the class and each student has to say their statement. If anyone else in the class agrees, they can stand up and say, “Me too!” Learn more about it:
#7: A to Z Alphabet Game for Emotions
#8: Spelling Challenge
This is a nice activity for beginners who are just learning new emotion or feeling vocabulary words. It’s basically a race at the whiteboard to spell the word correctly first. Whoever does, gets a point for their team. Have a look here:
#9: Emotions and Feelings Role-Plays
I love to use role-plays in my classes with beginners because they allow them to kind of replicate real-life and gain some confidence with speaking. For feelings and emotions, I give students a starter like this.
A. Hey ____, how are you doing?
B. Oh, not great. I’m feeling very _____.
A. Oh no! What happened?
B. . . .
Or, you could do the role-play for something positive. Just change the second and third lines. Learn more about using this activity in TEFL classes:
#10: Video Clips
A nice activity to try out is watching a clip from a movie or TV show that displays some strong emotions. Play it for your students and then have them discuss the emotions the people are feeling.
#12: ESL Surveys
Just ask my students and they’ll tell you that I love to use surveys in my classes! They’re so useful for a wide range of situations, including ESL feelings.
On your survey sheet, include questions like:
- What makes you feel angry?
- When do you feel bored?
- What was the happiest period of your life?
Find out all the details here:
#13: Dictation Practice for Emotions
I know that dictation is a bit of an old-school language learning activity but it still has some value and I like to use it once in a while. I make up some sentences that contain the target vocab words. In this case, feeling or emotion words. Then, I read out the sentences and students have to write them down in their notebooks. Check it out:
#14: ESL Idiom Activity for Feelings
There are a ton of idioms related to feelings and emotions. Here are just a few of them:
- All the rage.
- Scare the living daylights out of someone.
- Get carried away with something.
- Mad as a hatter.
- At my wit’s end.
- Down in the dumps.
- Fly off the handle.
Here’s a nice activity to make these very memorable:
#15: Picture Prompt
#16: Man/Woman on the Street Interview Activity
This is a fun way to get students talking to each other in an interesting way! Get a pretend microphone and students have to talk to each other about emotions or feelings. They could start with something like:
- Tell me about a time you felt really happy.
- What makes you feel annoyed?
Then, depending on what the answer is, they could ask some follow-up questions. Learn more about this fun activity here:
Man/Woman on the Street Interview Activity.
#17: Odd One Out
Try out this very simple vocabulary activity with beginners students. Write down 4 words on the board and students have to say which one is the odd one out. For example:
- happy, sad, overjoyed, proud
Students might choose sad as the odd one out because it’s the only negative emotion of the group. Learn more about it here:
#18: Dialogue Substitution
#19: 3 Things Writing Challenge
This is a nice writing activity for intermediate or advanced students. Each student has to choose 3 things (one of them should be an emotion). Then, they have to tell their partner who has to write a short story about them. Check it out:
#20: A-Z Warmer Activity
If your students are at an intermediate or advanced level, they probably already know lots of feeling/emotion words. Help them activate this prior knowledge before jumping into your lesson plan with this simple warmer:
#21: Guess the Feelings Quiz for ESL
Expressing Emotion ESL Worksheets
Why reinvent the wheel, right? That’s where these ESL feelings worksheets can come in. Just print them off and them it to class. Yes, it really is that easy!
ESL Feelings Lesson Plans
Check out these ESL emotion and feeling lessons to try out with your students:
ESL Emotions and Feelings Vocabulary
Here are some of the key ESL feelings vocabulary words to consider teaching your students:
Did you like these ESL Feelings Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Smith, Jennifer Booker (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 134 Pages - 03/31/2016 (Publication Date)
Yes? Then you’re going to love this book that you can easily find on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities for Kids. The key to better English classes with children is a wide variety of interesting games and activities and this book will help you get there in style.
You can find it in a variety of formats. Pick up your copy today and get ready for better English classes tomorrow:
ESL Feelings and Emotions: Join the Conversation
Do you have any go-to ESL emotion or feeling games or activities that you like to use with your students? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts about it. We’d love to hear from you.
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API