Introduction: This plan can be utilized for a multitude of purposes. It can be used for counseling death, separation and divorce groups, as well as teaching children to think optimistically.
Book Needed: "The Jester Has Lost His Jingle" by David Saltzman
1 large sheet rainbow paper 1 large sheet gray paper 1 sheet construction foam ( red) Eyes ( 2 per child)
1 sheet construction (skin color) 1 sheet construction foam ( purple)
1 sheet construction foam (blue) Hole puncher
Jingle bells (3 per child) Glitter glue or sequins
Glue (Elmer's) 1 popsicle stick per child
Gold pipe cleaners
Begin by brainstorming with the children the definition of optimism and pessimism. Write "Pessimism" in capitial letters on gray paper and "Optimism" on colorful paper.
Words like mad, sad, cry for pessimism and words like happy, smiling, laughing for optimism.
Begin with explanation about the author David Saltzman. Let students know that he graduated with honors from a great school and that during his senior year he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's. Read the "Author's note" at the end of the book, as well as
the quote from his journal.
Proceed to read the book to the students.
Art Activity: Pre-cut using patterns, faces, heads and neck scarves of "Jester's." (saves wasting of the foam.) Have children glue the popsicle sticks to the back of head of the foam. Punch holes in top of Jester's hat and using gold pipe cleaners attach the bells to the hat. Have students glue eyes and decorate face, hat and scarves.
Tell student that when they are feeling Pessimistic (low) to rattle their Jester and think Optimistically.
Follow-up: (Separation and Divorce) Happy Things "Optimism"
Model 1. Parents don't fight anymore. 2. Get to spend quality time with both parents. 3. Meet new friends at Mom's and Dad's houses. 4. Meet Mom and Dad's new friends.
Sad Things "Pessimistic things"1. Mom and Dad no longer live together. 2. I feel torn in two. 3. Sometimes I wish things would go back to the way things were.
Other curriculum- Cartoon on Sarah; Things will get better activity. Poem " You Want Me to Be Happy."