Coping with Tragedy: Activities to Support Students During Times of Trauma for Kinder, 1st, and 2nd Grade:
Not sure what to do, say, or how to help your students when a tragedy occurs? Traumas like natural disasters, acts of violence, or losing a valued member of the community impact your classroom in so many ways. This packet gives you a handful of activities, tips, and book suggestions to help you navigate tragic events with your students. This product was created for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd-grade students. If you are looking for the complementary product for 3rd, 4th, and 5th-grade, please check here:
This product pairs well with these books. Depending on the tragedy you are facing, some books will be better than others. A Flicker of Hope by Julia Cook and A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M Holmes are beneficial for any trauma, for example, but some of these titles are specific to certain tragedies. Check these titles to find what you might need:
- A Flicker of Hope by Julia Cook
- Worry Says What? by Allison Edwards
- A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret M Holmes
- Flood by Alvaro F. Villa
- The Memory Box: A Book About Grief by Joanna Rowland
- Listening to My Body: A guide to helping kids understand the connection between their sensations and feelings by Gabi Garcia.
- I Can Handle It (Mindful Mantras) by Laurie Wright
- Help Your Dragon Deal With Anxiety by Steve Herman
- In My Heart: A Book of Feelings (Growing Hearts) by Jo Witek
- Coping Skills for Kids Workbook: Over 75 Coping Strategies to Help Kids Deal with Stress, Anxiety and Anger by Janine Halloran
- Please be aware that this resource is NOT intended to replace mental health services for students in need. Depending on the tragic event, the proximity of the trauma, and other factors, students may need help on a more individual basis.
- Teachers and counselors should closely monitor students’ reactions to activities. Students respond to situations, activities, and feelings differently. Make decisions in the best interest of students. If that means some students refrain from participation in an activity, that is okay. It might also mean that some students require a referral to the school psychologist or school counselor.
- Be very clear with students about your intention to share (or not share) the final product(s) with others. If you intend to display or send any part of this home to parents, students should be aware of that before the activity begins.
- This activity pack was created for communities experiencing an acute trauma. This might include a natural disaster, the loss of a community member (including a teacher or student), or an act of violence (including a school shooting) or terrorism.
- Though it was not intended to be used for students who experience (or are experiencing) chronic trauma or who have traumatic experiences in their past, you may find that some of the activities and discussions are beneficial.