Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
When you greet students in school on mornings after terrible news stories reach across the globe and bring sadness to so many hearts…
…you have a big opportunity to help children cope in troubled times.
Let’s face it…the world can sometimes be a sad, scary or lonely place.
Research cites distressing numbers of children who go hungry when they’re away from school, face abuse, and endure other hurtful hardships; this in the face of continuing news that grips families worldwide.
Most adults have developed strategies for managing stressful situations and feelings of loneliness, but many of us still need “a shoulder to lean on” sometimes.
Experienced educators know that children are less skilled at dealing with negative feelings.
Hurting children – all children – benefit from guidance we can offer, including the admission that we sometimes feel hurt, lonely or sad, too.
Sadness, loneliness and hurt know no age limit.
Any gesture that communicates care will catch and keep kids’ attention.
Use gentle humor to help hurting children heal.
Share my funny poem that addresses worry with your whole class or in a one-on-one conversation with a child who seems sad or upset…
vowed that he
would live his life
Whenever a problem
tested his resolve,
Dennis B said,
“Problems can be solved.”
“Worry only slows us down,”
Dennis said with poise,
“Let’s figure out solutions,
instead of making noise.
Grinding our teeth
until our jaws are sore,
will only make us
“Simply put,” said Dennis B,
“I feel much better
Help heal hurting children by introducing loneliness busters.
Loneliness busters help children in grades K – 5 get past bad feelings.
Keyboards and pencils make good outlets for feelings for students in grades 2 – 5.
Invite students to write on a computer when one is available, or with pencil and paper.
To introduce this activity, read my poem about loneliness.
Tell the class that the title asks a question.
Talk for a minute or two about why questions attract attention. Everyone knows the answer…a question needs an answer – that’s why!
Ask the class to listen for the question and think about their answers to it as they hear my poem…
Am I The ONLY One?
Am I the only one
Who sometimes feels lonely?
You feel lonely, too?
Then, that makes two who feel blue.
It’s not always easy to say
What makes me feel this way.
What exactly spoils your day?
People who don’t seem to care?
People too busy to stop and see
How lonely you may be?
At least now I know
That I am not the only one
Who feels I miss out
On some of the fun.
Thanks for telling me
That I’m not the only one.
Maybe it will help
For us to learn
How to better share what we feel.
Finding ways to be happier,
Now, that’s a BIG deal!
After you read aloud Am I The ONLY One? offer your class a choice:
- warm up to writing by talking together for a few minutes about the focus of the poem.
- immediately “climb into private, quiet writing zones” to compose poems about loneliness.
Plan a later time to share students’ poems, on a voluntary basis.
When teachers creatively work to heal hurting children we create communication lines that help students gain a more positive sense of themselves and the world around them. In the process, teachers help children re-focus on learning in school so that they can be successful.
Please send comments about how you help heal hurting children.
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet