Identifying Anxiety - 2

Foundational

Teachers

Goal: Given social situations, the student will identify two signs of anxiety and one positive response in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities, as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

Objectives:
1. Identify signs of anxiety in others, such as facial expression, body language, vocabulary, tone of voice, etc.
2. Identify triggers that may cause a peer or adult to have anxiety.
3. Use a learned positive response in a social situation with an anxious peer or adult.

Definitions of Key Terms: Anxiety is the feeling of worry or nervousness; an uneasy feeling.

Discussion Points:

  • Anxiety is a strong feeling of fear or worry.
  • Everyone feels anxiety.
  • It is ok to feel anxiety.

Discuss these points and consider sharing your own experiences of anxiety - such as going to the dentist, taking a test, etc.

Possible activities to review the discussion points:

  • The group should form a circle. Ask a question and allow students to toss a bean bag to those who would like to answer the question.
  • Play tic-tac-toe by dividing the group into teams. Write discussion questions on a sticky note and place them on the tic-tac-toe grid. Allow a representative from the team to select a sticky note and as a team develop an answer to the question. If they get it right, they may put their team's marker (x or o) on the grid.

Directions for In-Person or Virtual Learning: You have three options for students to complete this lesson.

  • Option 1: Print the Student Activity Sheet for each student. Complete the lesson as a group and assign the activity sheet to the students.
  • Option 2: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and post to your Learning Management System (if your school has one) or send the link to the student. The student may complete the activity sheet electronically within the classroom on a shared computer or device.
  • Option 3: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and send the link to the student. The student may access the link from a home computer, chromebook, iPad or other device.

Activity 1: Anxiety Scavenger Hunt

Discuss with students that everyone feels anxious at times. Be sure to explain what feeling anxious may look like, feel like and mean. Discuss that what is important is how we respond to our anxiety or to others that may be feeling anxious. Brainstorm with the students the facial features and body language signs or clues that allow us to know that someone may be anxious. Make a list of these signs on the board or chart paper.

Materials Needed:
  • Variety of picture books, list of approved websites if using electronic devices, and/or old magazines
  • Chart paper or interactive board

After the list of signs has been developed and posted for students to review, pair the students up. Ask them to work with their partner to complete a scavenger hunt through picture books, websites (appropriate or approved), or old magazines to identify photos of individuals demonstrating anxiety. Instruct them to also note what about the picture makes them believe the person may be anxious.

Gather students after they complete the scavenger hunt and ask them to share their pictures as well as what causes them to feel the person is anxious.

Activity 2: Recognizing Anxiety

Review the key ideas from Activity 1 and the discussion points. Be sure to review the definition of anxiety or feeling anxious. Distribute a copy of Student Activity Sheet A to each.

Ask the students to think of past situations they may have been in and felt anxious or someone with them appeared to be anxious. Instruct them to complete the top portion of Student Activity Sheet A.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per person
  • Pencil for each student
  • Chart paper or interactive board

When the top portion is completed, ask the students to think of a situation when they saw a friend, classmate, or an adult who seemed anxious. Ask them to recall what the person looked like or how they acted. Instruct them to complete the bottom portion of Student Activity Sheet A.

Gather the students together and ask them to share their answers for the top portion of Student Activity Sheet A. So the same for the bottom portion. Record answers to each on the board or chart paper.

Some examples to be sure to record or elicit from students include:

  • People may feel anxious because they are unsure how to deal with a situation.
  • People may feel anxious because of the stress at school or work.
  • People may feel anxious because they fear germs.

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: Brainstorm or think about ideas or reasons a person may feel anxious.

Examples: Signs of Anxiety

Agitation Crying
Restlessness Unable to settle down
Unable to focus Picking at skin
Headaches or stomach aches Checking things over and over
Avoidance of situations Wanting to be alone

Have you observed other signs of anxiety in people you may know? List them here.

Activity 3: How does anxiety affect others?

Review key points from previous activities. Discuss how others feel when someone near them is anxious. Ask students to complete Student Activity Sheet B and then discuss when all are finished.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet B - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student

Student Activity Sheet B

Read the following situations. After each one, write down your answers to these questions:

  • Was that a good way to react?
  • How would you react in that same situation?

1. Silas is worried he will not pass his math test. He begins to cry.

2. Tori is anxious that she will not be invited to Anna’s birthday party. She feels very alone and sits on the curb by herself during recess.

3. Germs make Donny anxious. When someone bumps into him in the hall he brushes his arms and blows the germs off. He often yells at the person that bumped into him.

Lesson Extension: Listening Comprehension and Grammar Review

Explain that a script is a form of dialogue writing between characters in a movie, play, or broadcast. Students should listen carefully as the teacher plays the example scripts from the immersive reader. Replay the script if needed. Allow students time to answer the questions on Student Activity Sheet C.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet C - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Student Activity Sheet D - 1 per student
  • Red and purple colored pencil or crayon

After students have finished, discuss the answers to the questions together.

After completing the listening comprehension portion of this activity, provide students a copy of Student Activity Sheet D.

Point out to students the features of script text that indicate which character is talking. Remind students that this is a dialogue between characters.

Allow students time to complete Student Activity Sheet D.

Display the script using the immersive reader and highlight the nouns in the script. Students should self-check their work to determine if they correctly named two nouns. Repeat the process for verbs.

If time allows students may partner together and role play the script.

Example script of identifying anxiety:
Mr. B: Good morning Silas. I see you are restless.
Silas: Yes, and my stomach hurts. I just want to be alone.
Mr. B: Silas, I think you are feeling anxious. How about we take a walk.

Example script of dealing with anxiety inappropriately:
Mr. B: Good morning Silas. I see you are restless.
Silas: Yes, and my stomach hurts. I just want to be alone.
Mr. B: I think you are just making it up. You are fine.

Read Aloud Recommendations: Completing a read aloud with students is a great way for them to see and learn social skills as well as incorporating reading skills. Below are some books that could be used to reinforce the concept. Read and discuss as appropriate for your grade or students’ level and as time allows throughout the lesson.

  • A Boy and a Bear: The Children’s Relaxation Book, Lori Lite
  • David and the Worry Beast, Anne Marie Guanci
  • Don’t Panic, Annika!, Juliet Clare Bell
  • I Feel Worried!, Nadine Briggs and Donna Shea
  • Is a Worry Worrying You?, Ferida b Wolff
  • Little Mouse’s Big Book of Fears, Emily Gravett
  • Sea Otter Cove: A Relaxation Story, Lori Lite
  • The Worry Glasses, Overcoming Anxiety, Donalisa Helsley
  • Wemberly Worried, Kevin Henkes
  • What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, Dawn Huebner, PhD
  • What to Do When You’re Scared and Worried, James J. Crist
  • When My Worries Get Too Big!, Kari Dunn Buron
  • Wilma Jean the Worry Machine, Julia Cook
  • The Worry Glasses, Overcoming Anxiety, Donalisa Helsley

Student Activity Sheet C

Directions: Think about the script read/played for the class and complete the questions below.

1. Who are the characters in this script?

2. How did Mr. B know Silas was anxious?

3. What did Mr. B suggest Silas do to reduce his anxiety?

4. How do you think Silas feels when Mr. B. thinks he is making up his hurting stomach?

5. Can you think of a time you have been anxious?

Student Activity Sheet D

Directions: In the scripts below circle two nouns in purple that name a person and one noun that names a place. In red circle two verbs.

Remember:

A noun names a person, place, thing, or idea

A verb verb describes an action, a state, or an occurrence.

Example script of identifying anxiety:
Mr. B: Good morning Silas. I see you are restless.
Silas: Yes, and my stomach hurts. I just want to be alone.
Mr. B: Silas, I think you are feeling anxious. How about we take a walk.

Example script of dealing with anxiety inappropriately:
Mr. B: Good morning Silas. I see you are restless.
Silas: Yes, and my stomach hurts. I just want to be alone.
Mr. B: I think you are just making it up. You are fine.

Application Activity

Review and discuss example scripts from lesson extension.

In small groups, have the students create scripts identifying anxiety appropriately and inappropriately. Use the script sheet to create students' scripts.

Materials Needed:
  • Script sheet for each group
  • Pencil for each student

Have students record their scripts using SiLAS software for social skills. Remind students to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

Ideas for modifying this activity based on your students’ needs:

  • create a script as a class
  • pair or group students so that skill levels are varied and assign each a role or task that uses their skill
  • create the script by recording the dialogue with a phone or other recording device

Topic Checkout

Review the discussion points and key ideas from all previous activities.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Topic Checkout - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student

Distribute the Student Topic Checkout to each student. Instruct students to complete the Topic Checkout.

If time allows, discuss the answers as a group.

Student Topic Checkout

Directions: Determine if the individual in each situation below is feeling anxious. Write one or two sentences to support your answer.