SEL Movement Game: What is Your Emoji?

In addition to offering programs that help students build SEL skills through dance, Dancing with Class has developed a series of movement games that any educator can use to reinforce SEL skills in a fun and active way.  “What is Your Emoji?” is a self-awareness game that help students identify emotions.

What is Your Emoji?

SEL Competency:  Self-Awareness > Identifying Emotions

Objective: To allow students to freely express their emotions through their motor skills using familiar emoji symbols.

Space:  Open floor space large enough to form a circle

Equipment: Chalkboard, or yellow poster board with crayons/markers, glue and popsicle sticks.

Minimum Preparation:  Draw 4 emojis on the chalkboard that represent happy, sad, OK, and mad and write the appropriate emotion next to each emoji.

Maximum Preparation:  If you want to be more creative, cut out 4 large circles from yellow poster board or construction paper. On the back of each circle, write out one of the 4 emotions: happy, sad, OK, or mad. On the front of each circle (using crayons or markers) draw in the appropriate face to match the emotion written on the back.  After you have created your “emoji,” take a large popsicle stick and glue it on the back of the circle being careful not to block the word. Let dry.

Follow the guidelines from the video.  

Dance Game:  What is Your Emoji?


  1. Have the students sit or stand in a circle.
  2. Each student walks to the middle of the circle and says Today, I am feeling (1 of the 4 emotions on board or from the handmade emojis). The student will then do a body movement that represents how they feel and repeat it.
  3. Every time a student demonstrates their movement, the class repeats that same movement back.


  1. If you have a larger class, then have 2 students express their feelings at the same time.
  2. Invite older students to provide one simple reason why they feel the way they do in addition to the movement. Example: today I feel OK because I came in 2nd place for the race that I wanted to win. 
  3. If students are more comfortable in expressing their emotions, invite them to choose 2 emojis instead of 1.    

More SEL Movement Games from Dancing with Class:

Additional Resources

EduMotion: SEL Journeys – experiential learning for  classrooms around the world.

Also, check out some of our videos from our programs!


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