Home of the Bear Cards

The Bear Cards® – Ideas for Teachers

Schools integrate health and personal / interpersonal learning into the curriculum as emotional well being is essential to positive learning outcomes.

The Bear Cards are all about facilitating conversations about feelings. There are many ways they can be used in the classroom to:

  • explore and discuss feelings,
  • build children’s feelings’ vocabularies,
  • improve children’s emotional intelligence (the ability to recognise, accept and express feelings in healthy ways).

Children with improved emotional intelligence and broader feelings’ vocabularies:

  • communicate more effectively,
  • show empathy toward others,
  • express their feelings in healthy ways,
  • manage and resolve conflicts,
  • deal with setbacks and disappointments,
  • are less disruptive,
  • have less mental health issues as teens and adults.

The Bear Cards Classroom Activities can be included in or used as an adjunct to your curriculum. Use your professional judgment to select which activities are appropriate for your particular class. Some of the Games and Activities on this site may be useful for small groups or be adapted for whole classes. Explore the possibilities of using The Bear Cards in Circle Time.

Some of the Classroom Activities require printable resources from The Bear Cards Downloads

Classroom Activities
Click on any of the titles below and/or scroll through the Activities.

  • Name That Feeling

    Name That Feeling

    Randomly pick a card from the set and show it to the class.
    Ask the children to name the feeling.
    You will most likely have a number of responses – different words with similar meanings.
    Write the words on the board and discuss the similarities and differences.
    Often the words will describe different intensities or levels of the same feeling.
    If so, ask the class to arrange them from least to most intense.

  • Lights, Camera, Action! 1

    Lights, Camera, Action! 1

    For this activity you need 2 sets of The Bear Cards or 1 set of cards and Download Posters.
    Display a set of cards (or posters) so that all the class can see them.
    Randomly deal a card face down to each student without showing the other students.
    The students take turns in imitating the body language of their own card.
    The others guess which of the displayed cards or posters is being acted out.

  • Graffiti


    Download The 48 Bear Cards Posters.
    Print the following selection of posters and enlarge to A3. No’s: 4,8,13,20,22,24,26,36,40,41,45,47
    Put them up on a wall and encourage students to write words or draw symbols or pictures on the posters that describe the feelings

  • Story Telling

    Story Telling

    In groups of 4 or 5, get students to each select a bear card.
    Get the groups to identify the feelings on each card.
    Ask each student to write down a reason why their bear feels this way.
    Now ask the group to write/tell a story that includes the feelings and reasons of each card.

  • This Bear Feels….

    This Bear Feels….

    Shuffle the cards and, without looking, place one face down in front of each student and yourself.
    Ask the class to turn over their cards. Show your card to the class and name the feeling on it.
    Ask each student to show their card to the class and name the feeling.
    If they are not sure, get the class to help.
    Now ask the students to think of a situation that would bring out this feeling in their bear.
    Start with your own bear and say “This bear feels ……… (eg very angry) because ……………..(someone took his honey pot).
    Ask each student to make a “This bear feels…..” statement.
    Your class may enjoy being asked to also imitate the facial expression and body language of their bear.

  • Angry Bears

    Angry Bears

    Select the angry bear cards no’s 41, 42, 43, 44 (or Download Posters of same) and show them to the class.
    Discuss the similarities and differences and ask the class to arrange them from least to most angry.
    Brainstorm words or phrases that may describe anger. eg annoyed, irritated, furious, mad, seeing red etc
    Brainstorm healthy ways to express or deal with feelings of anger.

  • Lights, Camera, Action! 2

    Lights, Camera, Action! 2

    Get students to work in teams.
    Give each team a pack of The Bear Cards and ask them to select a card.
    Give them time to discuss and agree upon a word for the feeling and then plan a dramatic representation of that feeling.
    The rest of the class need to guess the word.