Big Break Curriculum: Home/Parent Version

Big Break: Act and Sing Game is a game that supports emotion learning. It can have even more of an impact if parents 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 celebrate 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 2-4 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.

The player can also choose their level of verbal complexity; if your child has difficulty expressing emotions in full sentences, they may prefer to start with sounds or short phrases. 

You can also look up emotion definitions using our companion app for iPhone and iPad: Big Break Emotions. 

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 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?
Extra Activity 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.

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?
Extra Activity Review the previous activity, ask the player if they remembered an example of when they noticed that someone was happy or sad

  • Today, see if you notice someone who is smiling again. Try smiling back! 
  • If you notice that someone is sad, maybe you can ask them what’s wrong. 

Give corrections if needed on their happy & sad emoticons 

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.

Extra Activity Review the previous activity: ask the player if they remembered an example of when they saw someone with a sad face or a happy face. Did they smile back? Did they ask what’s wrong? Why or why not?

Today, try to watch for an angry face/listen for an angry voice.

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.
Extra Activity Review the previous activity, ask the player if they noticed anyone who was angry. Why were they angry? What did other people do?

  • Draw an emoji of a scared face
    Draw an emoji of an angry face
  • What kind of facial features should be included? Anger: Narrowed eyebrows, maybe lines beside eyes. Scared: Raised/crinkled eyebrows, wide mouth, wide eyes

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

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?
Extra activity Review the previous activity, ask they player if they saw any examples of scared or angry 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.

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.
Extra Activity Review the previous activity, ask the player if they saw any examples of surprised faces or heard surprised voices. Collect emojis 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. 

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

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. 
Extra Activity Review the previous activity, ask the player if they saw any examples of calm faces. Collect emojis and discuss the facial features. Suggest any 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.

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”, “scared”, “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 the player if they have a favorite emotion. Why is that your favorite? Can you make a face like that right now?
Extra Activity Review previous activity, ask the player if they saw any examples of disgusted faces. Collect emojis  and discuss the facial features. 

Today, 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.

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?
Extra Activity Review the previous activity, 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. 

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 pets have 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. 
Extra Activity Review the previous activity, ask the player if they saw any examples of disgusted faces. Collect emojis and discuss the facial features. 

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.

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?

Extra Activity Review previous activity, ask kids if they could tell how their pet (or youtube animal) was feeling. Why or why not? Why do you think they felt that way?

Pick an emotion that the player finds easy, and one they find challenging (eg., happy, and surprised). Have them try making each expression themselves.