Chapter 3: Teachable moments

Emotional literacy

What the educator says
Ruth Lindsey-Armstrong, ECE instructor, talks about fostering emotional literacy in the classroom.(3:22)
Ruth Lindsey-Armstrong, ECE instructor, talks about supporting and building children's emotional literacy.(3:22)Video transcript

“I think helping students identify their feelings is a good life skill”.  - Teacher
Teachable moments can be used to foster ‘emotional literacy’ in students. This is the ability to identify and name feelings. Your students will benefit enormously by learning that, as humans, we experience many different feelings, often within a short period of time. Just as important, they can learn that these feelings come and go. This learning is truly ‘lifelong’ and will help your students later when they experience difficult life situations.

The following feelings chart can (provided by Family Education Centre) be a useful visual tool to help your students identify and relate to the emotion they may be feeling. You can print and use this as a helpful tool with your students.

feelings chart


If a student seems upset or struggling in any way after a teachable moment, take time to check in with them discretely. Explore whether a part of the conversation was particularly difficult for them. If you feel they need more support than you can provide, help connect the student with appropriate supports within the school or larger community.