Need a quick, light warmer to start your online class on the right note? Try this emoji warmer. It’s fun, easy, and integrates a little emotional awareness into the lesson, so you and your students can know if somebody is in a good mood… or might need to be given a wide birth.


It’s pretty simple: students must circle the emoji face that best represents how they feel in that moment, then make the face. The teacher should go first to break the ice, the goofier the better. This will get a good smile from the students, and make it easier for them to let their guard down and make the face.


This activity, while simple and a little silly, is not without a strong foundation in effective teaching practices. It is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), and allows the students to share how they are feeling at the beginning of the lesson.

It is modified for the online classroom from an activity described in the first book on Social and Emotional Learning, Promoting Social and Emotional Learning: Guidelines For Educators by Maurice Elias and others, which describes students choosing a piece of colored paper as they enter the classroom and manipulating it somehow to express their feelings. (p. 30)

Click below for a pdf file of the page. Enjoy!

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