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Emotion Explorer

Interactive emotional literacy storybook for K-2nd grade students and educators, incorporating core ELA objectives
Emotion Explorer - An Interactive Storybook logo

Project Description

The Challenge

Even though a substantial amount of research emphasizes the important relationship between emotional literacy and academic success, the increasing focus on standards-based education makes it difficult for elementary-level educators to address social-emotional learning (SEL) without losing vital instructional time.

Our Response

Using our dynamic narrative generation, game, mobile, and web technologies, we conceived and created Emotion Explorer: Adventures in Emotional Literacy, an innovative and engaging web- and mobile-based interactive storybook for K-2nd grade students and educators. Incorporating English Language Arts (ELA), International Society for Technology Education (ISTE), and American School Counselor Association (ASCA) standards, Emotion Explorer storybooks will allow educators to provide scaffolded and individualized student support in five critical emotional literacy skills without losing core instructional time. Educators will access implementation resources and support via an Online Implementation Center and track individual students’ progress and performance with a user-friendly dashboard.

The Phase I project focused on one animated and narrated interactive storybook with synced highlighting to guide students through the text as they listened to the story. The storybook included ten interactive activities giving students the opportunity to demonstrate and practice their emotional literacy skills with customized feedback, which provided a secondary benefit by making students active participants in the story’s plot and reinforcing core academic competencies. The research for Phase I included usability testing with students and feasibility testing with educators.

The final product (Phase II) will include six interactive storybooks for each grade (K-2nd) as well as an Educator Dashboard to monitor student progress and performance and individualize the program based on student needs. Implementation supports will be provided for educators and the product will be tested to demonstrate efficacy in educational settings.


Aligns with core instructional objectives

Makes time for SEL instruction because it also meets ELA, ISTE, and ASCA standards.

Fun, developmentally appropriate approach

Fully narrated, interactive storybooks provide students with self-paced, personalized, skill-building activities for enhanced socio-emotional learning and outcomes.

Teacher dashboard and implementation center

Educators can monitor and document student progress and access implementation support tools.

Covers five key emotional literacy skills

Emotion recognition, emotion labeling, emotion understanding, emotion expression, and emotion regulation.