North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Emotional and Social Development (ESD)

Subdomain: Learning About Feelings

Goal: Children identify, manage, and express their feelings.

Skill Progression: Emotional expression

Age: 33-36 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 33-36 Months.

Talks about past and future feelings as well as the causes and consequences of feelings

Situations for Observation of Skill

Have a discussion with the child about emotions.

Elicitation Strategy

A stimulus for discuss of emotions can be when the child experiences intense emotions or observes others doing so. Another stimulus is a storybook that may resonate with the child’s experiences (e.g., going to the doctor, having a new baby sister, etc.). These situations present an opportunity to compare what is happening in the story to how the child felt, feels, or may feel in the future.

Behavior Observed

The child relates emotions to personal past experience of self or others. She may describe actions, but needs prompts to relate the actions to emotions or vice versa. “I went to the hospital” may engender a question. “How did you feel in the hospital?” followed by, “What did you do so you didn’t feel scared anymore?”

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

The ability to think about the causes and consequences of past emotional experiences can assist children in dealing with present and future events. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to help children reflect on past occurrences and what worked or didn’t work in the previous situation. Generalization of learning from one situation to another is an important skill for adults to promote.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit