LESSON 3: Feelings
Objective: Students learn to recognize, express, and cope with their emotions when someone they know is diagnosed with cancer.
Time Required: One 40-minute class period
1. Open up a discussion about feelings in class. Find photographs of children and adults to use as examples of feelings. Have the expressions in the photographs clearly labeled, so that students know the feeling that the people are expressing. Explain to students that they can understand how the people in the photos might be feeling by the expressions on their faces.
2. Ask students about their own feelings. Can they remember a time when they felt really happy? How did they express that? How about sadness—can students remember a time when they felt sad? Why were they sad, and how did they express it?
3. Use the “Jack” example from How We Feel Around Sick People to generate more discussion about feelings. After reviewing the comprehension questions, explain to students that when people are sick, everyone around them experiences a number of different feelings.
4. Distribute the Feelings worksheet, and read the dialogue along with the class, or assign certain students parts from the dialogue to read aloud.
5. After your students have finished Feelings, encourage them to ask any questions they may have about the dialogue or about cancer. Example discussion prompts include:
- How does Tommy react when he learns that Kim has cancer?
- Who helps Tommy understand what cancer is?
- What can Tommy do to help Kim?
- Do you know anyone who is sick like Kim? When you found out, how did you feel? How do you feel now?
6. Emphasize to students that it’s OK to feel worried or upset when we find out that a friend or family member has cancer or another illness. Tell them that it’s important to express ourselves, to talk about our feelings, and to ask questions about what confuses us.