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Wisdom: The World of Emotions
Pros: Well-designed learning progression; corrective feedback and positive reinforcement help to encourage kids.
Cons: Some unclear mini-game rules may cause frustration; no option for cooperative learning.
Bottom Line: If they can get through the confusing bits, students will be able to identify, label, and perhaps manage strong feelings of anger or frustration.
Teachers can use Wisdom: The World of Emotions in multiple ways. Consider using it as an activity for whole-group instruction with your younger students (such as kindergarten or first grade). You could play as the main character and ask the class to choose a mini-game and then help guide the character through the game. You could use this as a station in a small group during social studies or social skills time too; small groups could work together to select and play through mini-games. Students could also use this app individually on personal devices.
Consider incorporating the game into purposeful social and emotional learning time after a morning meeting or for soft landings in the morning. Place the device and app in a calming corner for students to engage with when they need a break.
Wisdom: The World of Emotions is an app that helps kids recognize anger cues in themselves and others. In order to gain access to the app, potential subscribers must first submit a request for a free trial on the developer's website. Players are then oriented to the game by a demo. The player guides Wisdom, the main character, on a journey to help the citizens of the Kingdom of Anger manage their anger. To save the citizens, the player must win superpowers throughout a series of challenges. Players can work on earning powers by choosing mini-games, which were designed to teach kids how to recognize anger. Some mini-games teach body language by asking students to spot differences between happy, sad, or angry stances. Other mini-games teach vocal tone by having students pick which voice sounds angry, sad, excited, or happy. Each mini-game has five levels of difficulty, which adapts to the player based on how well he or she masters the content. As the player earns superpowers, Wisdom is able to rescue the citizens and move on to more levels. The app is available in both English and French.
Overall, Wisdom: The World of Emotions can be good for teaching children to correctly identify, label, appropriately express, and adequately manage strong feelings of anger or frustration. Kids will be able to identify the physiological responses in their own bodies with the help of very visual and expressive mini-games. Corrective feedback and positive reinforcement encourage kids to continue to make attempts in the games, and the feedback also allows room for kids to make mistakes in a safe and positive way. Kids will also learn the difference in intensity in strong emotions and how to react appropriately or manage those feelings. The visual appeal of the game is quirky and intriguing; however, some of the somber themes may overwhelm some younger students without adult support.
Wisdom: The World of Emotions encourages students to reconnect with positive choices and emotions after using the appropriate tools to express anger or frustration. Some of the mini-games can feel redundant or are a bit confusing, however. Teachers can extend learning beyond the app if they purchase either a personal, classroom, or school license; a curriculum is provided and each lesson includes 10 minutes of digital games and 30 minutes of hands-on activities. Posters, cards, puzzles, and other materials are included in these lessons as well. While the app is appropriate for teaching emotional regulation, there's still something missing in regards to collaborative learning. A future version may wish to consider ways to let multiple players guide their characters to work together to identify many emotions and corresponding regulation tools.