Education Coffee Break
Teaching About Death: Grief in the Classroom
Teaching About Death in the Classroom
Teaching about death and sadness become necessary because it effects our classroom now and again. It makes it necessary to approach the sensitive subject of teaching about death. It is not a topic we discuss daily and many of us might feel unsure of how to help these students dealing with grief or how to address the concerns of others within the classroom. When there is an incident of death of a pet, student, or student family member in your classroom, how do you deal with this sensitive topic? Young children are always curious and full of questions and emotions. We as teachers need to be mindful, helpful, and caring when helping students deal with their grief in the classroom.
Should I Say Anything in the Classroom?
Many teachers may feel uncomfortable teaching about death or grief in the classroom. Not teaching about death with a child could demonstrate to them that you are not interested or that you are unwilling to help and comfort them. It is important to talk to students if they are dealing with grief. This shows them you are interested in them and are there to support and help them. By allowing them to work on some of the activities in the classroom, especially when they are feeling sad, helps young children find a meaningful way to express their feelings and deal with their grief.
Teaching About Death – Lesson on Dealing With Grief
I have created a lesson plan based off the book “Storm of Joy” by Sherri Sengsouvanna. The lesson plan can be adapted for other books as well dealing with grief. I have also created some creative ways that children can express their feelings and ways that students can remember their loved one or pet in teaching about death. The lessons can be used as whole class, if you need to address a tragic event that happened to a classmate or classmate’s family. You can also use these lessons in small group or with school counselor groups when teaching about death. These activities can also be given to families to create and talk about at home.
Storm of Joy
Based on Sherri Sengsouvanna’s true story, Storm of Joy is a fairy tale. The Sengsouvanna’s goal of the children’s book is to offer a message of hope for audiences of all ages. Storm of Joy was inspired by Sherri’s personal journey through grief combined with her on-going relationship with her son Todd. This children’s book is set in a magical kingdom where a Queen experiences the death of her son. The Queen overcomes the grief and eventually finds a way to reconnect with her lost son.