Each year we inevitably support our students through grief- loss of a pet, family member, friend, and now through COVID-19. So how do we support our students through their grief? Here’s how I’m supporting my students through small groups and beyond:
Grief Small Groups
Grief small groups are are wonderful way to reach many students at once and connect them as their travel through their journey of grief. I find groups so powerful because they unite students and provide a therapeutic experience they might not get in one on one settings.
I like to keep groups as interactive as possible- reading, games, discussions, making connections through teamwork, etc. As with my entire program I limit the use of worksheets. I find this keeps students more engaged and provides a much needed break from the classroom.
After my amazing intern led a spectacular grief group with 4th-5th graders last year, I put together their favorite activities into this 6 week curriculum.
- Introductions and Icebreakers
- Ruff Feelings- feelings identification and connections
- Barks and Bounces- resiliency
- Sweet Memories
- I Can Make It!
- Mindfully moving forward.
You can get a copy of the curriculum here!
Here are some books I use when working with groups and individual students. Looking for more titles? Read this list of books I like to partner with making a memory box.
DOG HEAVEN AND CAT HEAVEN by Cynthia Rylant
HOWARD B. WIGGLEBOTTOM LISTENS TO A FRIEND by Howard Binkow and Taillefer Long
THE INVISIBLE STRING by Patrice Karst
SAMANTHA JANE’S MISSING SMILE: A STORY ABOUT COPING WITH THE LOSS OF A PARENT by Julie Kaplow
Grief Bags To Go!
Looking to continue to the learning and help students transfer their skills while providing support to families at home?
I created these grief to-go bags for my families to check out.
You can read all about them over with the Confident Counselors.
Click here to access a letter to parents and the document I typed to with suggestions for use. Here is a PDF of information for parents.
You can also use these feedback forms in paper format (PDF below) or via Google Forms to gather data!
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