The Magic Hat – Mid-Week Focus – Comforting Kids

Hats off to teachers…it’s time for Mid-Week Focus!

Mid-Week Focus is all about quick and easy ways to approach teaching to keep kids on task in any instructional setting.

Let’s share insight and practical ideas. let’s blend fun with function, and LET’S LOOK FOR WAYS TO COMFORT KIDS WHEN THEY NEED IT!

What's under the magic hat today?

What’s under the magic hat today?

What’s under the magic hat today?

I wish it were a magic wand that could wave away hurt and pain, not just in a community that has suffered city-wide horror, like Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut (US), but also in every child’s corner of the world when personal or collective pain punches a heart.

Lacking that ability, I can only offer some attention-getting tools that may hopefully:

offer a little comfort when children (and adults) need it.

♥ help students return their focus to learning.

You may have read about or even been part of an organized effort this week to send teddy bears to the children of Sandy Hook ES.

Comforting Teddy Bears – My blog pic below offers a poem about the comfort that teddy bears give children.

Kids find comfort hugging a soft teddy bear.

Kids find comfort hugging a soft teddy bear.

You can print the poem and make copies for your kids. Just click the image and a full size version will open for printing or downloading.

Invite them to color the white parts of the bears to personalize the poem and draw a frame around the page.

Comfort isn’t just for kids – Have you found, as I have, that teachers who use tools and tricks to offer comfort to students that need it end up feeling comforted too?

Give Kids a Tool to Find Comfort – Plan a writing activity in the new year that introduces a useful tool for kids to use when they need to express feelings for someone they’ve lost. Choose an approach that is age-appropriate for your class.

Open the activity with a question,“Have you ever lost a pet, a special member of your family like a grandmother, or a friend?

Offer this thought, “As hard as it is to lose someone we love, it’s important to know how to find and feel comfort when we’re sad.”

Lead into the writing activity saying, “When we love someone, we can keep them with us even when they aren’t present through our memories of them.”

Pass out notebook paper and instruct students to follow these steps:

1) Write the name of someone you loved who is now gone, or (if a child has yet to lose someone special) that you don’t get to see as much as you’d like to.

2) Write words, phrases (more than one word but not a full sentence) or sentences (teacher’s choice depending on grade level) that describe your best memories of that someone special.

3) Write your name at the bottom of the page.

4) Optional: On a voluntary basis only, invite students to read their writing aloud to the class.

Heart of Flowers Frame for the poem, Extra Heart

Heart of Flowers Frame for the poem, Extra Heart

Send an Extra Heart – K – 5 children are all bundles of love, aren’t they…even when we’re sometimes inclined to say, “They’re sweet… when they’re sleeping!”

When a sad situation occurs in your community, some of your students might find joy and comfort in coloring and cutting out the heart in my blog pic here, if you can print and copy it, and framing my Extra Heart poem, printed below.

Steps to Follow:

1) Color the flowers in the heart frame.

2) Cut out the flower frame along the dotted lines.

3) Draw a box 5 in. x 5 in. on a sheet of white paper.

4) Print the Extra Heart poem (below); make the writing fit inside the box, using single spacing.  Note: I’ve printed the poem below with double spacing for clarity.

5) Cut out the box and tape or glue it to the back of the heart frame.

6) Trim any part of the  poem box that shows around the outer edges of the frame. Be careful not to cut the frame itself.

7) Optional: Glue the framed poem to a piece of colored card stock and trim again. Attach a magnet square (available in craft stores) to display the framed poem on any magnetic surface.

8) Give or send the framed poem to someone special or in need of comfort.

Extra Heart

Everyone needs a little extra heart

When the going gets tough,

When things fall apart.

If I could frame this poem for you

I’d create a heart of flowers,

An extra heart to help you through.

I’d color the flowers a golden hue,

Then place the heart with special care, sending

Blessings and love from me to you!

Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers will return on Monday, December 31. Happy Holidays to all who will be celebrating between now and then,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet


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