Hula – Hoops and Feeling Faces

by Michaela Turner, BS Ed, CYKT

 I hold the Me-Land material as core to my success in the years I taught, first, in the inner city schools, then in the private school arena, and now as a certified YogaKids® Teacher and Trainer.  I discovered the Me-Land material in the middle of my career as an educator.  The classroom that year was particularly challenging in an inner city school.  The "My Space" songs and song book activities captured the children's attention.  Novel, the concept was to the children – that they had a space.  Once they knew that, the children modeled respecting the space of classmates.
     Two years later, I started the first grade school year in a new school with the “Me Tree” Draw and Color Pages.  The children experienced a foundation of who they are as they labeled the roots of their tree with the names of the people who are most important to them.
     The "Feeling Faces" page is used with a journal activity each morning. The children locate the face with the emotion the child feels that day, draws the face, labels his/her picture with the word printed below the face (like exasperated) line up at my desk and one by one, we talk.  The children write what they tell me.  Relationship is the foundation laid in these few minutes with each child upon which the learning relationship is built; and what a great way for children to learn how to read and write. They learn to read through writing about their favorite subject – themselves.  Children learn the core of Character Education, with lessons in emotional intelligence to boot.
     Expanding the outreach to children and families, I am now certified as a YogaKids® Teacher and Trainer.  Yoga in Me Land is the name the joyous lesson plan I developed using playfully, grounding yoga poses to integrate the Me Land songs.  The lesson plan is provided under separate cover for you to freely post on your Me Land Pages available for everyone to download and use. (Click here for Michaela’s yoga lessons)

Warmest regards,
Michaela Turner, BS Ed, CYKT
Author of the on line Yogi Parenting Course
Web address:


Later, Michaela wrote the following:

It is in allowing children autonomy to experience themselves as capable that they discover their true value and develop self esteem.

1.     When children experience themselves as capable, they are willing to take on responsibility because they know they can do it all by themselves -- like make their own beds, fix their own meals, put on their own clothes and shoes, and comfort others.
2.     By having an adult in their lives to listen to their feelings, children are acknowledged and feel "gotten".  Your feeling faces page is an integral part of identifying their feelings and when they are "heard" by an adult who truly listens, then they know how they feel.  This is the development of emotional intelligence and results in character education.
3.     Once a child knows how they feel, they can recognize that feeling in others by looking at body language and facial expressions.   Compassion develops, and kind acts are the result.
Each one builds on the other and they are all intertwined.

Love and respect,