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Communication Class Activity: Emotional Growth
Use the following classroom activity to help students develop a program of emotional growth and understanding of others. You should plan for 30 minutes or an hour.
Procedure: Begin the activity with a statement such as, “Understanding human behavior is an ongoing process. This activity is aimed at helping you start to develop your own program of emotional growth and understanding of others. Take time to reflect as you feel the need.”
- Have learners review the material in Chapter 4 of The Ethics of Touch, 2nd edition, particularly the section on strong emotions.
- Give the following instructions: “Write a brief emotional history. Choose either the significant moments in your life or your emotional fluctuations during the last week. Write as much detail as you can.”
After several minutes say, “As you’re doing this activity, notice the physiological responses in your body. What do you feel? Where do you feel it? Does it make sense? Does it matter to you if it makes sense? Are you comfortable with this process?”
Discussion: What did you discover about yourself? Did your physical sensations change during the course of this activity? How have your emotional responses changed over time (particularly for those who focused on an extended timeline, rather than a single week)? How might this experience increase your understanding or empathy for others? How might it change your responses to other people’s emotions? When you observe the emotional expressions of others in the future, what frame of mind might you choose to have to create greater rapport?