I work with a large population of students with autism and pragmatic language disorders. Since many of my students do not intuitively understand many emotions or states of being (other than happy, sad, mad, sick), explicit instruction is necessary. I am in the process of creating several sorting lessons. This lesson is a sort of the emotions: lonely, sorry, embarrassed.
Here is how to conduct the lesson. You can vary this process to suit your teaching style.
1. I take a large piece of construction paper and glue the picture symbols for lonely, sorry, embarrassed (the symbols that include these words) in three columns. I do this prior to the lesson.
2. When I introduce the lesson, I explain to the students that we are learning about these feelings today and it's our job to help our characters find the right emotion. I discuss each emotion briefly, pairing my explanation with my own representations of corresponding facial expressions and intonation.
3. After the explanation, I introduce one of the characters (one of the 12 pictures - I have already cut these apart and they are sitting in front of me with accompanying sentences to explain the situation). I hold up a character and then read the sentence (I also show my kids the sentence as an additional visual cue. Many of them are good readers.) I use intonation in my explanation. For example, when I say, "He had to spend his birthday by himself," I use the appropriate tone of voice and facial expression for that situation. Hopefully the students will choose the right emotion, and if not, I tell them. After several repetitions and examples, they usually catch on.
4. After this lesson is complete, I usually choose a book to read that provides examples of one or more of the emotions we covered to apply what they just learned to a different context.