Vol. 21 May 3, 2016

Being Brave!

Theme: Being Brave!

Book: Sheila Rae the Brave

By: Kevin Henkes

In class this week we will talk the concept of courage and bravery.

In our Book of the Week, the children will learn about the concepts of bravery and courage. The main character, Sheila Rae, considers herself a very brave girl. Her little sister, Louise, is not as confident in her ability to face her fears. Both girls learn an important lesson about trying to do something that is scary and trusting the people around you.

Social learning is often advanced by a child's willingness to try new things. There are times when trying something new can be scary. Especially if you are not confident in what you are trying to do or if what you are trying to do is something new. The ability to think about others, play collaboratively and establish friendships involves being willing to try new things or explore new concepts with others as we play. Our ability to change or switch roles as we play is an important part of establishing reciprocal social interaction in play.

We make the connection between bravery and trying new things because the most difficult thing to try is often something we find scary.

In small group, we will be exploring thoughts and feelings related to bravery and trying new things. We will explain that being brave means that you try to do something even though it's scary and that you trust the people you are with. We will explore vocabulary related to fear, bravery, trust and safety.


Objects/Things, place, activities: The Group, Lead, Brain, Heart, Thought, Feeling

Social: Think, Feel, Happy, Scared, Mad, Brave, Trust, Safe and Sad

Actions: think, look, listen, clap, jump, run, tap, touch, hold, feel, walk, trust

Attributes: calm, different, sad, mad, okay, scared, brave, safe

Song: Size of the Problem (the lyrics are in the picture on the left)

Small Group: The children will learn about thoughts and feelings related to bravery and courage.

Early Birds at Home

At Home Activity: Thinking Thoughts and Feeling Feelings

At home, it is important to remind your child of the times when s/he has tried new things and been successful in the past. Try to use recent examples if possible. Even something as small as excitedly remembering the time your child tried one bite of new food (it doesn't matter if they liked or disliked the new food) is often a huge confidence boost and creates a positive association that is often helpful motivation to try new things again!

When your child is trying new things, it's also helpful to remain very neutral about the outcome. The import act is the act of trying something new that might be scary.

For example, say a child had previously been apprehensive about playing soccer with a small group of children. If the child finally decides to play with the group and in the course of playing the game of soccer, scores a goal; the most important thing to celebrate and talk about at home is how brave he was for finally trying to play with the other kids.

You want to avoid associating a positive outcome with trying new things because in the real world sometimes we try new things and the outcome is neutral or even negative. If you associate a positive outcome with trying something new and the outcome happens to be neutral or negative then trying new things often becomes something unpredictable, scary, and something to avoid in the future.

In the real world, it is also far more advantageous to try new things for the sake of the experience rather than the outcome. A child's brain learns much more from failure than success. Success in an activity is not necessary or sometimes even advantageous for success socially.

The goal for this week's home practice is to celebrate the act of trying something new, no matter how small. It's also a good idea to point out when YOU are trying something new at home.

It's especially great if you can demonstrate trying something new, failing, and maintaining a positive attitude about your try while remaining neutral about your negative outcome.

Activity 1: Remember a time when you where brave...

Instructions: Use the thought bubble handout the previous newsletter. Have your child help draw a picture of you or you can draw a picture of yourself (or use a photo) and place it under the thought bubble. Then fill the bubble with pictures or drawings of something new you'd like to do (i.e. play catch, read a new book, play a new game). Draw another thought bubble and fill it with how you will feel after you try your new activity.

Activity 2: Feelings book about being brave

Begin by stapling four pieces of paper together on the left side, into book form. At the top of each paper, write a feeling word.

For this feelings book you'll want to include all the emotions associated with trying something new. Don't be afraid to include scared, mad, nervous, etc. We feel these emotions when trying new things frequently. Don't forget to include the positive emotions as well (proud, happy, safe, brave, confident, excited etc).

Either draw a picture or take a photo of your child making that facial expression. Together, talk about times the child has felt and experienced that emotion. Draw a picture, use photos from magazines, or personal photos of these times and add them to the page. Try to make up a story about the pictures you find. It's especially great if the story involves the person in the picture trying something for the first time.

As your child begins to learn and identify more emotions, add pages to increase the child’s emotional vocabulary. Examples may include:

  • Proud
  • Comfortable
  • Jealous
  • Disappointed
  • Uncomfortable
  • Tense
  • Frustrated
  • Curious
  • Surprised
  • Excited
  • Confused
  • Grumpy
  • Worried
  • Calm
  • Silly

Early Bird Illness Policy

If you fear your child may be coming down with something, has a fever or virus, or has had a fever or virus within the past 24 hours, please keep him/her home. When the kids are not 100% well, they have difficulty learning and benefit less from being at school. Also, keeping them home helps prevent epidemics! If you know your child will be absent, please call or text 214-864-3013. Thank you for your cooperation!!!!