What Makes Me Anxious - 2

Foundational

Teachers

Goal: In fewer than three prompts (visual or verbal), the student will use learned strategies to lessen his/her feeling of anxiety in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities, as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

Objectives:
1. Identify what feeling anxious means and/or feels like.
2. Identify activities or situations in which the student may feel anxious.
3. Use a learned strategy to lessen the feeling of anxiety.

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

Discussion Points:

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

Review the discussion points with the students and consider sharing examples of what makes you anxious, 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: Knowing Your Signs

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.

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

Brainstorm with the students what clues and signs from our facial features and body language allow us to know that someone may be anxious. Make a list of these signs on the board or chart paper.

Distribute Student Activity Sheet A. Instruct students on how to complete it and provide time to do so. Gather students together after they have completed the worksheet and share answers.

Optional extension activity: Using bulletin board paper or newsprint roll paper, trace the student’s body and allow them to indicate on their “body” the areas that warn them they are becoming anxious.

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: It is important to understand the signs your body gives that help you know you are getting anxious. Circle the signs below that help you know you are becoming anxious.

Some signs you may be getting anxious could be:

You may be agitated You may avoid others
You may become restless You may cry
You may be unable to focus You may not want to go to school
You may have trouble falling asleep You may be fearful of being alone
You may be picking your skin You may be biting your nails

My signs that I am getting anxious are:

Activity 2: What are your causes of anxiety?

Review discussion and key ideas from Activity 1. Encourage students to think about what makes them fearful or worried. Answers could include places, situations, things, types of movies, books, or other items.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet B - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Optional: chalkboard, smartboard or chart paper

Share with the students a few situations, places, or things that make you feel anxious or nervous. You may want to record answers on the board or chart paper.

Distribute Student Activity Sheet B and instruct students on how to complete. After they have completed the Activity Sheet, gather the students to share their answers with the class or pair them up to share with a partner.

Student Activity Sheet B

Directions: Think about what causes you to be fearful or worried. An example is a big test. Rate how anxious each situation causes you to feel; 5 being very anxious, with 1 being slightly anxious.

Activity 3: Coping Cards

Prior to starting this activity, click the link below for Student Activity Sheet C. Print it and make a copy for each student, one for yourself, and some extras.

Materials Needed:

Review discussion points and key ideas from Activities 1 and 2. Explain to students that coping skills are strategies we use to help us in situations that make us feel strong emotions, like anxiety. Have students share their ideas or strategies they may have used in the past to lessen feeling anxious. Record these ideas on the board or chart paper.

Distribute Student Activity Sheet C to students and review the coping skills/strategies listed. Ask students to select the ones that they feel help them when anxious. Instruct students to cut those strategy cards out and put them in a place where they can use them when they start to feel anxious.

Examples of where students could place their set of strategy cards: tape on student’s desk, string onto a lanyard, place in a communication notebook, hold up as visual cue for student as needed or other places.

Student Activity Sheet C can be found at https://www.silassolutions.com/files/Silas/Lessons/52.pdf .

Student Activity Sheet C

Directions: Coping skills are strategies we use to help calm down. Look at the coping skills on Student Activity Sheet C. Which ones help you calm down when you are becoming anxious? Cut out the ones that help you the most. Put them in a place where you can use them when you start to feel anxious. You can create your own cards/strategies if you would like.

Examples: tape on students’ desk, wear them on a lanyard

Student Activity Sheet C can be found at https://www.silassolutions.com/files/Silas/Lessons/52.pdf .

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 D.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet D - 1 per student
  • Pencil for each student
  • Student Activity Sheet E - 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 E. Point out to students the features of script text that indicate which character is talking. Remind students that this is a dialogue between characters.

Ask students to complete Activity Sheet E.

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 of appropriately coping with anxiety:
Silas: Chris, I’m worried about our math test this afternoon.
Chris: Have you tried using some coping tools such as taking some deep breaths or listening to some music?
Silas: No, that’s a great idea! I think I will try some deep breathing.

Example of inappropriately coping with anxiety:
Silas: Chris, I’m worried about our math test this afternoon.
Chris: Have you tried using some coping tools such as taking some deep breaths or listening to some music?
Silas: (yelling) That won’t help. I cannot do it. I know I will fail my test.

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

Student Activity Sheet D

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

1. Who are the characters in this script?

2. What is Silas anxious about?

3. How does Chris suggest Silas deal with his anxiety?

4. How do you think Chris feels when Silas yells at him?

5. What coping skills would help you if you were anxious about a test?

Student Activity Sheet E

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

Remember:

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

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

Example of appropriately coping with anxiety:
Silas: Chris, I’m worried about our math test this afternoon.
Chris: Have you tried using some coping tools such as taking some deep breaths or listening to some music?
Silas: No, that’s a great idea! I think I will try some deep breathing.

Example of inappropriately coping with anxiety:
Silas: Chris, I’m worried about our math test this afternoon.
Chris: Have you tried using some coping tools such as taking some deep breaths or listening to some music?
Silas: (yelling) That won’t help. I cannot do it. I know I will fail my test.

Application Activity

Review and discuss example scripts from lesson extension.

In small groups, have the students create scripts demonstrating appropriate and inappropriate ways to cope with anxiety. 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

Discuss appropriate responses to the following prompts:

  • PJ is fearful that he will be home alone after school. He starts to cry.
  • Anna’s mom has reminded her that she has a dentist’s appointment tomorrow. Anna asks to talk to her mom about ideas she can try to be less anxious about going to the dentist.

Allow students time to practice their coping skills with a partner.

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

If time allows, discuss the answers as a group.

Student Topic Checkout

1. Write the signs your body gives to let you know you are getting anxious.

2. Write what makes you most anxious.

3. Write what makes you a little bit anxious.