Using Heart Talk

Using Heart Talk

There are very few things I remember about my school counselor when I was in elementary school, a few more things about my middle school counselor, and maybe one more after that about my high school counselor.

1. Elementary Counselor Memories

She was my mom’s very good friend. Seems about right considering my mom was a former counselor, turned principal. Because she was my mom’s friend, she knew I wore glasses and insisted each time she saw me that I turn around, dig them out of my desk, and place them on my face. Could have been an easier feat if they weren’t oddly shaped turquoise glasses with pink dots. Just one of those times you tell your kid NO, no matter how many times they beg you for those glasses . . .because you will inevitably wear them from 3rd grade until 6th grade with no going back. And lastly, “I messages.” I remember sitting there in 3rd grade, after being asked to put my glasses on, and listening to some puppet using “I messages.”

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2. Junior High Counselor Memories

Foreign language options, fine arts options, schedule changes, gossip, and “I messages.”

3. High School Counselor Memories

Foreign language options, fine arts options, schedule changes, college tours, career advise, and “I messages.”

I was so incredibly grateful to find that in Puzzle Pieces, they had renamed “I messages” to heart talk. Phew, what a relief, because the thought of teaching something taught to me way back in 1992 was scary and quite frankly  . . . outdated. The idea of talking from our hearts was right up my alley.

And all I can hope is that one day I’m remembered for more than “I messages.” And to all my former school counselors, my current self looks back and is ashamed at my past self for only remembering a very small fraction of what you taught us.

Heart Talk

Topics Covered: Communication Skills, Conflict Resolution, Interpersonal Effectiveness
Character Skill: Fairness

Puzzle pieces asks you to tell a story about a misunderstanding that occurs between two students. Here was my (1st grade) version (I encourage you to make your own version, as well, depending on the troubles you see in your classrooms):

The other day a boy, Sam, was building with legos during free centers. Along came another boy, Henry. He was running around flying a plane and knocked Sam’s legos to the floor, making the pieces break apart. Sam got up and yelled at Henry because he was so angry that all his hard work was ruined.

Sam got in trouble for yelling at Henry, but Henry didn’t get in trouble for running in the classroom.

When Sam’s mom and dad asked him what he’ gotten in trouble for, Sam said that feeling mad is what got him in trouble. But being mad wasn’t what got Sam in trouble. . . what do you think got him in trouble? What else could Sam have done?

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It’s okay to be mad, but we have to know ways to let out our anger without hurting someone or making them feel bad. I will show you something we can do to show we are mad WITHOUT getting in trouble.

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Heart Talk

Heart talk means telling people how we feel inside our hearts.

I feel _____ because _____. Please _________.

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Together, we practiced using heart talk with these situations (I also made them knowing the issues that usually happen in our 1st grade classrooms):

1.     Your friend is sitting to close to you during story time

2.     You are playing soccer and accidentally kick a friend when you thought it was the ball

3.     You are kicked during a soccer game and the other boy runs off without realizing it hurt you

4.     A friend excludes you from a game

5.     Someone cuts you in line at the water fountain right after P.E.


Draw a picture of something that upsets you.

Write a heart talk about what you would say to show someone how you feel inside your heart.

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