Worry is a natural emotion linked to human survival instincts that prepares the mind and body for potential problems, threats, or danger. This can be helpful when managed properly; however, it can lead to serious mental and physical health issues when it gets out of control. In this lesson, pre-kindergartners learn how to manage their worries and how to keep these feelings from taking over.
Opening with a puppet play, this lesson starts with Squeak, the hedgehog puppet, worrying about something! He is thinking about the possibility of never learning to tie his shoes. He confides in Mimi and that is a good thing. Mimi makes him realize that he is worried about nothing. Hedgehogs and puppets don't wear shoes, anyway!
"It is important for pre-kindergartners to learn this lesson about how to manage their worries to help them perform better in the present, rather than fixate on unrealized ideas or situations that they have no control over."
After the play, a class discussion follows. Here, pre-kindergartners learn that worry is an emotion that is common to everyone. Worrying is normal, but they must learn to not let it have too much influence on them. Instead, it is healthier to control it to avoid becoming grouchy like their friend, Grumpy Grouch.
As the lesson continues, pre-kindergartners understand how worry feels, how it is expressed, and how it can be transformed into a positive feeling by following some positive actions. These guide the students to learn how to manage their own worries in a positive way. It uses the "Grumpy Grouch" and “Bright Sider” visual aids to help the students better understand the emotion of worry. Then, they listen to the “Grumpy Grouch/Bright Sider” song and engage in some fun SEL activities!
Constant worrying can take a toll on pre-kindergartners’ mental and physical health. It can interfere with their intellectual performance, lower their confidence, and cause problems with their physical health. It is important for pre-kindergartners to learn this lesson about how to manage their worries to help them perform better in the present, rather than fixate on unrealized ideas or situations that they have no control over.