When was the last time you felt brave?
This is the icebreaker question I have been using during my Author’s Visits in K to 3rd grade classrooms. The first time I rode a bike or asking a new friend to play were some common answers from the students. The answer that I was looking/hoping for, “I felt brave the last time I talked through my feelings”, is not typically something that comes to mind of a 4 to 8 year old when you ask about their bravery- but that is what I have been hoping to change.
Once a few students share their thoughts, I present and read the eBook version of It’s Brave to Cry. The read-aloud is usually about ten minutes long and I always leave a few minutes at the end for Q&A. We then continue to the It’s Brave to Cry Workshop Activity that I have developed based on my discussion questions offered at the end of my story:
- What are some things that make you cry?
- Have you ever wanted to cry but thought that you shouldn’t?
- Why do you think it’s brave to cry?
- Have you ever laughed at someone because they were crying?
- Can you think of five brave people? Write a letter asking if they cry, and why!
Depending on the discussion question that the teacher selects, the students could be drawing, writing, or talking through their feelings. I can truly say that the drawings, letters, and discussions I have been seen or had with these young learners have been inspiring. They have not yet shied away from an opportunity to be brave in a new way.
If you are interested in scheduling an Author’s Visit for your classroom, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send over the 2021-2022 School Year Information Packet. After the session I can guarantee that your students will understand that having and expressing your feelings does not diminish your strength, it in fact amplifies your bravery.