12 students, 5th and 6th grades, Ingeniero José Orbegozo Gorostidi School, Bilbao

12 students, 5th and 6th grades, Ingeniero José Orbegozo Gorostidi School, Bilbao

Artist: Zaloa Ipiña
Teachers: Itxaso Martin, Nagore Madariaga

This project was aimed at identifying, understanding, managing, and expressing emotions through art. It began with facial and bodily expressions, moving into more abstract self-knowledge concepts as it unfolded.

The students were asked to make a list of feelings and associate each feeling to a facial expression. How does your mouth look when you are angry? What do you do with your mouth when you are happy? How does your face show you are scared? Then, they had to draw the simplified mouth gestures and make an animated video with the drawings. The next step was to make abstract paintings using letters, colors, and gestures to express emotions. What color do you associated joy with? What about outrage? Are your brushstrokes different when you are angry?

Bodily movements enhance the expression of feelings. Watching people, the students were able to identify a bunch of different emotions from the position of the head, the distance from others, the walking speed, etc. This led to a game: show how you feel by walking. Each student had to pick a color, paint their feet with it, and stamp their footprints on a sheet of paper on the floor. The footprints were then brought together in a mural, showing different types of steps: fast, steady, joyful, relaxed, doubtful, nervous, etc.

When we ask someone how they are doing, what exactly do we expect them to reply? The students had to prepare signs with questions inviting reflection and a discussion about feelings. Some of the questions were: What is the nicest thing you have seen today? What is the most beautiful word you have heard today? What is the ugliest word you have heard today? Who do you think you could be kind to today? Who would you like to spend this day with?