4th Grade - 6th Grade
I often provide small group lessons to help students cope with divorce. Each small group gets 6 sessions. These lessons can easily be adapted for older or younger students.
If you need more sessions or perhaps more of a variety, here are some additional lessons for you to try:
Animal Projection Technique
Submitted by Vicki McGill
This lesson is for one of the last sessions in the series of 6-8 sessions in your small group meetings. I used this with a group of all girls who were meeting for Parental Absence (due to divorce, death, abandonment, foster care, etc.)
1. Review small group’s rules and contract (what goes on in group stays in group, friendliness, respect, participation, etc) as at the beginning of every group.
2. Draw a large T-Chart on white board or colored bulletin board paper. Label one side: “Things that I have enjoyed/that have helped me most”; label the other side: “Things I wish we could do/I think would help me”. Proceed to get input for the first side only, recording their responses. Then list responses for the second side of the T-Chart.
3. Remind students that one of the concepts of helping ourselves change from negative emotions to positive emotions is to first change our thinking (a prior lesson in one of our group sessions). When we catch ourselves feeling down, blue, sad, upset, we can examine what our thoughts have been. If we have something to help us remember to replace our negative thinking with positive thoughts, perhaps that would help. Therefore, in this session, we make an item that they take with them. Students make bracelets using stretchy beading twine and alphabet beads (dollar store items - can get enough for 10-12 bracelets for about $3-$4) or they can make significant designs, with words if desired, on smooth stones using colored permanent markers (more dollar store items for very cheap).
4. Drive home the idea that changing thought patterns is very effective for helping to relieve negative feelings. Restate this idea in many ways while the children work. Give them examples and ways to use the crafted item they are making for a reminder to think happy, be grateful, etc.
5. Close by summarizing the session’s activities and concepts. Remind the students again that confidences of other children need to remain a confidence. We can tell others that “We talk about things that bother us in group”, etc.