HOLIDAYS: Often Happy, Sometimes Sad
This usually happy season may also bring up negative feelings for some students--perhaps because of family tensions or divisions, health problems or financial stress. It's important to take this into consideration as we talk about the holidays in the classroom. This classroom activity is aimed at raising students' sensitivity and providing some encouragement for those who may be facing hardship during this holiday season.
By Marieke van Woerkom
Read aloud and Pair Share
Read the following story to your class or ask a volunteer to do so:
Holiday stories from street corner and coffee shop
Ask students to break into pairs to discuss the story they just heard:
- What do they think about the story?
- Can they relate to any of it? If so, why?
- Can anyone relate to Melissa? How?
- What are some of the challenges Melissa faced over the holidays?
- Do you think these are any different from the challenges she may face at other times of the year?
- Why do things sometimes seem to be more intense around the holidays?
- Is it possible that people's expectations affect how things turn out over the holidays?
- What do you think about the idea of a family of chance and a family of choice?
- What did Melissa do when things got to be too much?
- Do you think the stranger Melissa met in the coffeeshop was able to help her feel a bit better?
- Do you know of people in your own life who might be struggling over the holidays? Are there ways you think you might be able to help them out?
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