Big Break Curriculum: Group/school version

Big Break: Act and Sing Game is a game that supports emotion learning. It can have even more of an impact if therapists, parents and teachers engage in the game with the player, and talk to the player about emotions. Below are some guidelines for emotion discussions to accompany gameplay. 

We recommend starting light, and allowing the player to continue to play as they wish. Many kids find the movie that is generated at the end of each level rewarding, because they get to see themselves acting out a scene. If they need more/external motivation to play, you could consider offering them a reward after each studio is completed (e.g., a sticker for younger children, or 5 minutes of a desirable activity for a teen). You can also see how many coins the player has earned after each studio. We recommend that a player complete a level (one entire studio) per day, 3 times per week. Studios involve 4 rounds of acting out 1, 2, or 3 videos per round, and identifying emotions in videos, or ranking the emotions in order of intensity. Kids are encouraged to play more studios per day as desired.

For classes, we’ve included suggested mini-assignments, as well as a final show which allows kids to perform a scene in front of a class or recorded for future video playback. Scripts for the scenes will be made available so kids can practice.

You can also look up emotion definitions using our companion app for iPhone and iPad: Big Break Emotions. This companion app is included in education packages or subscriptions.

Lesson 1

Big Break Gameplay Start by asking the player to complete “Bollywood” or “Rock Opera” on Level 1

The player is encouraged to try to get to the end of a level if possible, so that he/she can see his/her movie.

Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up Happy and Sad
Discussion Topics & Questions Talk about 2 emotions, happy and sad. 

  • Happy is an emotion we feel when things are good, or something good happens to us or someone we care about. Sad is an emotion we feel when something bad happens, or when we feel hurt, or sorry for another person who is hurt. 
  • How are they similar to each other? 
  • How are they different?
  • What happens when people are happy?
    • What happens in the face?
    • What happens in the voice?
    • What happens in the body?
  • What happens when people are sad?
    • What happens in the face?
    • What happens in the voice?
    • What happens in the body?
Mini-Assignment Look at expressions today, at home/school. See if you can notice a happy expression, or a sad expression. See if you hear a happy or sad voice. We can discuss tomorrow!
Draw an emoji of a happy face, a sad face

  • Think about different facial features to include – mouth, eyes, eyebrows, lines on face to show dimples, ‘smile lines’, eyebrow furrowing, etc.
End of Term Assignment Explain the end of term group acting assignment

  • Kids can act out different emotions in a group, using one of the Big Break skits. Scripts are available as handouts.
  • Kids can be placed in groups

Lesson 2

Big Break Gameplay Play another “easy” studio – player picks! If the player wants to play some more, feel free!
Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up Happy and Sad
Discussion Topics & Questions
  • What might you do if you notice that someone is sad?
  • What might you do if you notice that someone is happy?
  • Can you make a happy face? Can you say “yay!” in a happy voice?
  • Can you make a sad face? Can you say “boo hoo” in a sad voice?
  • Music can also convey emotions. Can you think of a happy song you like? What about a sad song?
Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask the players if they remembered an example of when they noticed that someone was happy or sad. Suggest corrections for emojis as needed.

  • Today, see if you notice someone who is smiling. Try smiling back!
  • If you see notice that someone is sad, maybe you can ask them what’s wrong.  
End of Term Assignment Get together with group and practice acting out your scene together. Choose who will be which part.

Lesson 3

Big Break Gameplay Play another “easy” studio – player picks! If the player wants to play some more, feel free!
Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up Happy, Sad, and Angry
Discussion Topics & Questions You’ll notice that some game tasks require the player to rank an emotion by intensity.

  • Emotional intensity: discuss how sometimes a person can be a little bit happy or sometimes very happy. 
  • Can you think of a situation that would make you feel just a little bit happy? What about something that would make you feel very happy? Can you make a happy face and say “yay” with just a small amount of happiness, and then a big amount of happiness?
  • What about something that would make you just a little bit annoyed, or very angry? Try saying “grr” in an angry voice, with an angry face. Try making a face that’s just a little bit angry, or very angry
  • What would it look like to be a little bit sad, or very sad? Try saying “boo hoo” with a small amount of sadness, or a big amount of sadness

Deciphering emotional intensity can be a challenging task, so have lots of patience, and let the player know it can be tough! You can continue to talk about intensity while you discuss other emotions and what they mean.

Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment: ask kids if they remembered an example of when they saw someone with a sad face or a happy face.

  • Did they smile back, or ask what was wrong? Why or why not? Have them draw an emoji of an angry face. See if they notice an angry face or voice today. 
End of Term Assignment Get together with group and try to pick which script you might want to act out together for the final project.

Lesson 4

Big Break Gameplay Play another “easy” studio – player picks!

If the player wants to play some more, feel free!

Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up Scared and Angry
Discussion Topics & Questions Talk about other emotions, such as “angry” and “scared”

  • What does it mean to be angry? Can you think of a time that something made you really angry?
  • Scared is an emotion that allows us to react to danger. Can you think of a time when you were a little bit afraid?
  • What’s the difference between anger and fear? How are they the same?
  • Try saying “ahhh!” in a scared voice with a scared face
  • Anger and fear can operate together – if someone is angry they might make someone else feel scared.
Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask kids if they noticed any angry faces or voices.
– draw an emoji of a scared face

  • What kind of facial features should be included? Raised/crinkled eyebrows, wide mouth, wide eyes

At home, look for examples of scared faces and listen for angry or scared voices, in people around you or on TV.

End of Term Assignment Get together with group and practice your lines. Talk about the emotions for each line. Play the game so you can get feedback on your emotions. 

Medium Level

If the player is ready for the medium level, you can use these discussions to go along with medium-level studios. In the medium level of the game, new emotions are added, emotions are a little less exaggerated, and the emotion choices are more similar, so it starts to get a little more challenging to distinguish different emotions. 

Lesson 5

Big Break Gameplay Play medium level – Bollywood or Comedy. If the player wants to play some more, feel free!
Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up Scared and Surprised
Discussion Topics & Questions
  • What is surprise? Surprise is an emotion we experience when something good happens that we weren’t expecting. 
  • What is the difference between “surprise” and “scared”?
  • Notice how these expressions look similar
  • But how are they different? Can you make a surprised face?Try saying “oh!” in a surprised voice, a little bit surprised, and very surprised.  What about a scared face?
Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask kids if they saw any examples of scared faces. Collect emojis and discuss the facial features. Suggest corrections as needed.

  • Draw an emoji of a surprised face, think about making it different from a scared face. Think about facial features; both scared and surprised have a wide mouth and wide eyes, but a surprised face might have a twinkle in their eye or the lip corners may go up more. A scared face may have more furrowed brows.

At home, look for example of surprised faces and voices, in people around you or on TV.

End of Term Assignment Get together with group and practice your lines. Talk about costumes. Do you like the costumes used in that scene in the game? How would you design costumes for your scene?

Lesson 6

Big Break Gameplay Play another “medium” studio – player picks!

If the player wants to play some more, feel free!

Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up Calm and Happy
Discussion Topics & Questions What is calm? Calm is an emotion we feel when we are relaxed and satisfied.

  • How is “calm” different from “happy”? How are they similar?
  • How should we react to someone who is calm? Maybe try to be a bit more quiet to let them stay relaxed. What about when someone is happy?
  • Try saying “ahhhh” in a calm voice, with a calm expression.
Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask kids if they saw any examples of surprised faces or heard surprised voices. Collect emoticons and discuss the facial features. Suggest corrections as needed.

  • Draw an emoji of a calm face. Think about facial features; the face muscles may appear relaxed, with a slight smile.

At home, look and listen for examples of calm faces and voices, in people around you or on TV.

End of Term Assignment Get together with group and practice your lines. Talk about where your movie should take place. Where does it take place in the game? And what would you do differently? Inside, or outside? What type of things would be around you? 

Lesson 7

Big Break Gameplay Play another “medium” studio – player picks!

If the player wants to play some more, feel free!

Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up Disgust, Anger, and Sadness
Discussion Topics & Questions
  • What is disgust? Disgust is an emotion we feel when responding to something toxic or poisonous, or a bad smell or taste, or to a bad action or unacceptable behavior. 
  • How is disgust different from anger, or sadness?
  • How is disgust similar to surprise? How is it different?
  • Try saying “ewwww” in a disgusted voice. Try being a little bit disgusted, or very disgusted. 
Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask kids if they saw any examples of calm faces. Collect emoticons and discuss the facial features. Suggest corrections as needed.

  • Draw an emoji of a disgust face. Think about facial features like a wrinkled nose, narrowed eyes and mouth.

At home, look for examples of disgust faces, in people around you or on TV.

End of Term Assignment Get together with group and practice your lines. Try standing and doing actions that would go along well with your lines. Were there actions in your scene in the game? Do you want to do the same ones, or new ones?

Hard level

At the Hard level, emotion choices become more difficult, and the emotions are even less exaggerated so they’re more difficult to tell apart. This will give kids an extra challenge. If they’re not ready for the hard level yet, they can keep playing studios over in the easy and medium levels.

Lesson 8

Big Break Gameplay Player can pick any hard level to begin with

If the player wants to play some more, feel free!

Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up each emotion
Discussion Topics & Questions Pick any hard-level studio to play. Talk about how emotions can be positive or negative.

  • “Happy”, “Surprised”, “Calm”. What do these emotions have in common? Would you say they are positive, or negative?
  • What emotions are more negative? 

Talk about how even though “sad”, “fearful”, “anger” and “disgust” are negative, they are still important

  • They help you act to get away from or stop something bad, or to show other people that you don’t like something

Ask kids if they have a favorite emotion. Why is that your favorite? Can you make a face like that right now?

Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask kids if they saw any examples of disgusted faces. Collect emojis and discuss the facial features. 

  • At home, look at faces around you and think about whether they are positive or negative. Try asking someone how they are feeling, and see if their response seems to match what you thought based on their expression.
End of Term Assignment Get together with group and practice your lines. Talk about costumes. Do you like the costumes used in that scene in the game? How would you design costumes for your scene?

Lesson 9

Big Break Gameplay Play another “hard” studio – player picks!

If the player wants to play some more, feel free!

Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; have all emotions available for reference
Discussion Topics & Questions As kids start to get more comfortable with the expressions used in the game, you can also discuss why emotions are important.
Why are emotions important?

  • They help us to act
  • When someone is happy, it leads them to keep doing whatever is making them happy
  • When someone is scared, or angry, they may avoid or fight the thing that’s making them scared or angry
  • Emotions are also important because they communicate
    • Let others know how you feel
    • Then those people can act too
    • For example, if you respond with fear to something dangerous, other people can see your fear and they will also know something is wrong and that they should help you, or join you in escaping.
    • Or if they see you smiling, they will know you are doing something fun, and be able to join you, etc.
  • Talk about how you might react if you saw someone who looked sad, or who looked scared. What about if someone looks calm? Or surprised?
Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask kids if they saw any examples of positive or negative faces. Which emotion was it? Today, watch out for an emotion that causes someone to act. Eg., if someone looks scared and then runs away, or if someone looks happy to see you and says hello.  
End of Term Assignment Get together with group and practice your lines. Try setting your scene and rehearsing in costume (if using). Get ready for final performance.

Lesson 10

Big Break Gameplay Player can pick any studio they like
Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up each emotion.
Discussion Topics & Questions Pets & emotions

  • Do you think your pet has emotions? How might they show them? (eg. a dog’s ears might go down if they’re sad, tail up if they’re happy, sometimes it wags when they’re excited, or when they’re angry/scared)
  • Can a pet tell how you are feeling? You can show your pet how you’re feeling with your face and your tone of voice, just like other people.
Mini-Assignment If you have a pet at home, try to see if you can tell how they are feeling. Or, look up an animal video you like on youtube, and see if you can tell how they are feeling.
End of Term Assignment Perform your scene for the class. Use costumes when possible, and create your scene when materials/space available, eg., inside/outside, props, and so on. Can also record scenes on video if desired.

Lessons 11 & up

Big Break Gameplay Player can pick any hard or hardest level to begin with

If the player wants to play some more, feel free!

Emotion Dictionary Open up the Emotion Dictionary companion app; look up each emotion.
Discussion Topics & Questions Keep track of whether there are certain emotions the player has the most difficulty with. Come back to these emotions and discuss them again. What do they look like? Why are they important? What do they mean?

  • Keep practicing different intensities of each emotion. What does it look like to be a little bit surprised, or very surprised? What about a little bit disgusted, or very ‘grossed out’? 
  • Try to remember a time when you experienced calm. What were you doing? Is there anything you do that helps you feel calm? Why is it nice to be calm sometimes?
Mini-Assignment Take up yesterday’s assignment, ask kids if they saw any examples of disgusted faces. Collect emoticons and discuss the facial features. 

  • At home, look at faces around you and think about whether they are positive or negative. Try asking someone how they are feeling, and see if their response seems to match what you thought based on their expression.
End of Term Assignment Remaining performances can take place today