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Worry Warriors & Courage Connections

Have you read Maya Angelou’s Life Doesn’t Frighten Me? What worries you? Turn your concerns over to a Worry Warrior and find courage to conquer them!

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Ask students what they think of when they hear these words: concern, connect, conquer, and courage. What does each word mean? Have students list worries that thy may have, such as pets, storms, bus rides, and friendship troubles. Read poetry and books including Life Doesn't Frighten Me. Discuss Jean-Michel Basquiat’s dramatic illustrations. Brainstorm ways to conquer worries.
    2. Students build a Worry Warrior. Create an imaginary creature or contraption to help gobble up your worries! Here are some construction ideas. You can use any handy craft materials to make it. Cut paper to fit a recycled cereal box with Crayola® Scissors. Decorate the paper with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils and Gel Markers. Attach paper with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the glue.
    3. To make a mouth, tape a container with a lid to the box. Tape two decorated craft sticks to the bottom of the box for feet. Cut recycled cardboard into a half circle for a forehead. Draw or glue on plastic caps for eyes and one for a nose. Attach to the box. Poke holes in the head and push in chenille stems or yarn for hair. Poke holes in the box sides and push through craft sticks for arms.
    4. Students feed their Worry Warrior. With Erasable Colored Pencils, students write something that bothers them. Put it into the Worry Warrior.
    5. Students create a Courage Connection. Students talk to a friend, family member, or teacher about a worry. Take the worry back out of the Worry Warrior and erase the worry. Replace it with an idea for conquering the concern--your Courage Connection!
    6. If you are comfortable with the idea, share your Courage Connection with other people. You may be helping them to conquer their concerns! Save your Courage Connections in a notebook--they might encourage you in the future!
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade level text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

    LA: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    LA: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Show how learning and physical development affect behavior.

    SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.

    SS: Analyze a particular event to identify reasons individuals might respond to it in different ways.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

  • Adaptations

    Invite a school counselor or nurse to visit with the class and discuss about how to cope with worrying, stress, etc. Prior to the meeting, ask students for questions they would like to answer or have them write questions on note cards. The counselor or nurse can then preview the questions and make the best use of the time with the class. Afterwards, students post learning to a class blog.

    Hold a "Worry Feast" for Worry Warriors. As a group, feed the warriors common concerns, such as worrying about bullying, making mistakes, disappointing parents, starting a new school year, etc. Collaborate to make Courage Connections responding to each type of worry.

    Encourage students to create posters or note cards reminding friends to 'let go' of worries. An example might be "Let Your Worries Fall" and illustrate the saying with colorful, falling leaves in autumn. Post student posters in the classroom. If students create note cards, these can be used when someone knows a classmate is feeling blue or concerned about something. Write a note and slip it on that person's desk.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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