Saturday, June 22, 2013

Expressing Emotions and Feelings with Color

"My Many Colored Days" 


This is a fun and magical book that I would definitely recommend to all counselors! I had the pleasure of hearing the author, Dr. Robert M. Bowman, speak at a recent Peer Helper Conference. His workshop included several techniques and methods that he used during his school counseling career. He even shared some of his magic tricks to all of those who attended his workshop so that we could go back and use them in our lessons to grab students' attention. He shared this particular book and it definitely grabbed all of our attention!

What makes this book magical?!?
It's all in how you hold the book (but you never reveal that secret to the students).
1. If you hold the top corner of the book and flip through the pages, you only see the black and white pictures.
2. If you hold the book in the middle and flip the pages, it will only show the colorful pages.
3. If you hold the book at the bottom corner and flip the pages, the pages are completely blank.

How do you use the book?

You start the lesson by showing the students the black and white pages (by holding the top right corner of the book) and you talk about how each kid in the picture is feeling based on their expression and body language. After you discuss the pictures as a class, you close the book and ask the students what was missing from the book. *Most students will say, "words" and "color". We discuss how different colors remind us of different feelings. For example; the color red might remind us of anger, the color blue might remind us of being sad, etc. We talk about how we have many "color feelings" inside of us and that we share those feelings at different times based on what is going on in our lives. After talking about "color feelings", you ask the students if they can help you add color to the book by grabbing some of those color feelings from inside of them and "throwing" them at the book. After counting to three, everyone "throws" their color feelings at the book and when you open the book (holding it at the middle this time) all of the colored pictures will be revealed. My students always  "ooooh" and "ahhhhh" when I open it up and they see the colored pages and then the next question is usually, "How did you do that?" ;-)

After you "Wow" the students with the colorful pages, you close the book and tell them that you appreciate them being so kind to share their color feelings, but that you would like to give their color feelings back to them. On the count of three, the kids pull at the air as if to pull their color feelings back out of the book. You make sure to tell them, "Don't pull too hard!" But... by then, it's too late, because when you open the book again (holding the bottom right corner) the pages are blank! And, of course, the kids are in shocked and amazed once again! (Their expressions are hilarious to watch as you share this book!)

You tell the students, "Let's try that again, but this time I need for you to keep your color feelings with you and only throw the pictures back in the book." Again, on the count of three, the kids "throw" the pictures at the book and you open it for the last time, holding the top right corner to only reveal the black and white pages.

The kids ALWAYS ask me if we can, "Do it again!"
After sharing this magical book with my students, I share the video My Many Colored Days.

A great website that has great and FREE resources to go along with this book can be found at:

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