Using Books to Support Social Emotional Development
Glad Monster Sad Monster
By Ed Emberley & Anne Miranda
Little Brown and Company, 1997
Glad Monster Sad Monster is a book about feelings with fun monster
masks that children can try on and talk about times when they felt
glad, sad, loving, worried, silly, angry and scared—just like the
monsters! Each monster is a different color to represent specific
emotions. For example, the yellow monster is glad when he gets to
open presents, play ball, slurp ice cream and dance with his friend!
Examples of activities that can be used while reading Glad Monster Sad Monster and
throughout the day to promote social and emotional development:
• While reading the story, pause and ask children if they feel the same way the monsters do. For
example, do they feel glad when they get to play ball like the yellow monster? Ask what other
kinds of things make them feel glad. Do they think the same kinds of things that make them
feel glad would also make yellow monster feel glad?
• Show the monster masks while reading about each monster and have children talk about how
they can tell what the monster feels by looking at his face. For example, Blue Monster has a
frown on his face that makes him look like he might be feeling sad.
• After reading about each monster, have children try on the monster masks (or make their own
monster masks and talk about times when they felt glad, sad, silly, etc.)
• Have children make glad monster/sad monster stick puppets. Give each child 2 blank paper
circles (one yellow/one blue). Ask them to draw a glad monster face on the yellow circle and a
sad monster face on the blue circle. Help them glue their monster faces back to back with a
popsicle stick in the middle. Talk about or role play different situations and ask children to hold
up their glad monster or sad monster puppet according to how they think the monster would
feel. For example, explain that Purple Monster was playing with his favorite truck when Red
Monster came and took it away because he wanted to play with it. Ask how they think that
would make Purple Monster feel. Why? Have children think of other things that Red Monster
could try if he wants to play with Purple Monster’s truck.
• Make a chart that shows each color monster and emotion from the book (yellow/glad,
blue/sad, pink/loving, orange/worried, purple/silly, red/angry, green/scared), Encourage each
child (& teacher!) to put a mark, write their name or place a sticker beside the monster that
shows how they are feeling that day. Ask why they feel that way. With the help of the
children, count the number of marks to see how many children feel glad, sad, silly, etc. Talk
about/problem solve what they can do to change the way they feel if they marked that they are
feeling worried or angry.
The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning
Reading the same book for several days in a row is a great way to provide opportunities for infants,
toddlers, and preschoolers to develop a sense of competence and confidence, which is an important
part of social and emotional development. They become able to turn pages, point at and label
pictures, talk about the story, predict what will happen next, learn new vocabulary words, talk about
their own experiences in relation to the story and even make up their own story! Try reading Glad
Monster Sad Monster for several days in a row and use some of the ideas, activities, and teaching
opportunities listed below to enhance social and emotional skills.
Talk about the monsters in the book. Ask children if they have ever seen a movie or read a different
book about monsters. How did those monsters make them feel? Refer back to any books that you
have read in class that had a monster. Ask the children if they can remember some of the emotions
that the monsters felt in the book. What made the monsters feel this way?
Music/Movement: Have children create a name for 2 or 3 different monsters using feeling words
(Hank the Happy Monster, Allie the Angry Monster, Wu-Ying the Worried Monster, Sam the Silly
Monster, etc.). Write these on a chart that everyone can see. Together, talk about how each monster
might move. For example, Hank the Happy Monster might skip around and jump for joy, while Allie
the Angry Monster might move by stomping her feet and raising her arms above her head! Create a
game by telling the children that when you call out the name of one of the monsters, everyone will
move like that monster. You might want to play monster’s background music while you are all
moving like the monsters!
Art: Let each child make a “feeling monster” by using a paper cup or toilet/paper towel tube and
attaching various items to it (yarn, buttons, pipe cleaners, pom poms, ribbon, etc.). Children can
make “feeling” faces on their monsters and give their monsters a feeling name! Talk to children
about their monster—what is their monster feeling. Why does their monster feel that way? What
happened? They can also write a story about their feeling monster and make their own book!
Literacy/Writing: Have children create their own Glad Monster Sad Monster Book. Have a copy of
the book at the literacy/writing center. Remind children how each monster in the book talked about
activities or events that made then feel a certain way. Children can pick which emotions they want to
use for their book and then draw pictures of the monster as well as pictures of the things that make
them feel that way. For example, children might pick the pink monster (loving), they would draw
their "loving" monster and then draw things that make them feel loved such as being hugged by
mom and dad, baking cookies with grandma, playing ball with dad, reading a book with mom,
playing a game with their teacher, playing with their friend etc... Adults can help children write the
words in their book to describe the pictures.
This book nook was developed by Tweety Yates