Uplift Center for Grieving Children’s 8-week curriculum

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

Week 1. Introductions: Definition of grief. Play ice-breaker game with grief questions incorporated.

Week 2. Games: Play familiar games with grief-related questions added to help students begin to share about the death.

Week 3. Feelings: Identify feelings associated with grief.

Week 4. Coping skills: Identify various coping skills and use age-appropriate journals as a coping skill.

Week 5. Continuing bonds: Students discuss objects linked to the deceased and create a memory project to discuss how to continue the relationship with the person who died.

Week 6. Memories: Discussion of memories. Age-appropriate project on memories, writing of memory book.

Week 7. Expectations and looking forward: Timeline of grief is explored, and a grief self-portrait is created.

Week 8. Closing: Final student evaluations completed. Discussion of group ending and balloon-release ceremony outside.

Read: ‘Almost every kid has been exposed.’ Schools that seek out grief counseling
Read: Grief groups help children deal with all-too-common trauma and violence