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					I AM A PERSON WHO MATTERS A Support Group for Children Whose Parents have HIV or AIDS

Karen Landmann, C.S.W. 936 West End Avenue, #F7 New York, NY 10025 U.S.A. tel. 212.866.2822 e-mail:


TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction Group Rules General Materials The Sessions 1) Sharing Who I Am My Family Self-Esteem 2) Exploring Feelings Sharing Feelings 1 Sharing Feelings 2 Sharing Feelings 3 Sharing Feelings 4 Sharing Feelings 5 Thoughts and Feelings Feeling Centered Anger Shame Sadness/Depression Happiness/Joy 3) Creative Expression Art (Show My Feelings) Music (Show My Feelings) Theater Dance/Movement Photography 4)AIDS Education (Health Education) A Sickness in My Family AIDS Education Sex and Sexuality My Body 1 Alcohol and Drug Abuse Death and Dying 5) Self Care Nurturing 1 Nurturing 2 Stress Reduction

Mindfulness My Body 2 Preventing Sexual Abuse 6) Advocacy Problem Mastery Conflict Resolution Helping Others Advocacy Appendix Stretching Snacks Nutrition Guided Relaxation Techniques Feelings Worksheet Feelings in My Body Quiz Shiatsu Pressure Points Family Questionnaire Nurturing 1 Total Body Relaxation Breathing: Healing Light Meditation: Self-Esteem Relaxation: Feeling Safe


INTRODUCTION Group Purpose The children‘s support group is designed to help children cope with the emotional issues involved when a prent has HIV or AIDS. The aim is to assist children first in coping, second in protecting themselves and others from becoming positive, and third, to bringing their insight to advocacy work to fight for social change. Through their participation in the group, children obtain a forum in which to articulate their experiences, to reduce isolation through participation, to enhance self-esteem, and to identify options. Curriculum Structure The curriculum is a series of independent units that work together as a whole. If a child can only attend one session or attends intermittently, there is still much benefit to be gained. The design is for children aged 7-10; however, many units can be adapted for children of varying ages. In addition, some units are only suitable for adolescents. The sessions are 90 minutes in length, but this may also be varied according to need by shortening some segments. The format is very flexible in order to meet the needs of families with multiple problems, including parental illness. While the group is based on an American setting, it can be easily replicated for use worldwide. Suggestions for such cultural adaptation are included in certain units. In addition, while materials are suggested for each unit, the curriculum can be implemented with very few resources, making it ideal for use in rural areas or developing countries. The curriculum can also be easily adapted for use with other populations at risk. Since children of HIV-positive parents frequently exhibit symptoms of anxiety, many units concentrate on alleviating stress. The connection of stress to the body is central, as many children both absorb stress quickly and have a capacity for recovering rapidly. To achieve this aim, alternative healing methods are incorporated, including yoga, shiatsu massage, and meditation techniques. There are six sections to the curriculum: Sharing, Exploring Feelings, Creative Expression, AIDS education (which can be called Health Education if the label ―AIDS‖ is undesirable), Self-Care, and Advocacy. The sections can be interchanged with the exception of the Sharing component, which is desired to provide an introduction to group work. Within each section, groups can also be omitted or the order chnaged as the leader feels is appropriate. Exploring Feelings aims to help children to identify feelings and learn ways to process those emotions. Craetive expression uses techniques from various art forms to faciliatate eemotiuonal expression. AIDS education provides basic facts about AIDS and offers an avenue for children to process issues regarding their parents‘ illness and learn how to protect themsleves, as children may feel hopeless about maintaining HIV-negative status when a parent is so ill. Self-care teaches self-soothing and nurturing skills. Advocacy brings all of the skills learned in the group to the outside world to help effcet social change. Group Format The group format includes: (1) an introductory activity, (2) stretching exercises, (3) the educational component, (4) a relaxation exercise, (5) a closing exercise, and (6) a snack. The introductory activity affords the children the opportunity to introduce themselves and share a non-threatening personal aspect of their lives. It helps to ground them in the moment, alleviate anxiety, and help them to bond with other children. The introductory activity gives the children a chance to enter into group space and time. It also provides continuity with the previous week as themes are repeated and followed up on. The introductory activity becomes a forum for reinforcing group themes and ideas.


Stretching exercises are repeated each week. Writing them on a colorful poster board or other paper and posting them in the room helps the children to remember and follow the exercises. When the children become accustomed to the exercises they can be asked to demonstrate for other children, thus teaching leadership skills and helping children to make the group theirs. Taking responsibility can bring increased self-esteem and confidence. The educational component is the central part of the group. Themes vary from week to week. While themes build upon each other, each group is an individual unit. If children are unable to attend due to parent‘s illness or other factors they are still able to return to the group without being confused. In addition, if chidren are only able to attend one or two groups they will still receive benefits. Children may repeat the entire cycle if they desire. The material can be explored on several levels simultaneously, so children are not bored. The relaxation component is critical. Children who are under stress tend to store it in their bodies. Teaching relaxation on a regular basis assists in combating this phenomenon. It also helps to teach self-care skills. Snack and nutrition discussion solidify the lessons on self-care and health. While income may be a large factor in nutrition, children are taught ways to eat more healthily with the resources they possess. If financially possible, group leaders provide the members with a healthful snack, such as fruit and cheese.


GROUP RULES The establishment of group rules is essential to establishing an atmosphere of safety and trust in a group. It is critical that children feel that expression of feeling will be supported and not criticized. The rules should be posted in a place where all members can see them. They should be reviewed periodically and when any new member joins the group. When possible, the rules are stated in positive format rather than stating what cannot be done. An open format for this works well: the children are given basic rules but provided with a chance to develop their own rules, putting ownership of the group in the hands of the participants. This works well for beginning sessions as it is a good group builder. Rules can be repeated at the beginning of each session: not only does this solidify safety, but it provides an extra element of predicatability which helps children feel secure. Following is a partial list of Group Rules.        no ―dissing‖ (no criticism) everyone gets a turn to speak let everyone finish speaking listen to the group leader listen to each other respect other people‘s opinions no name calling


GENERAL MATERIALS These will depend on what is available. The group can be run with little or no materials, but should finances be available, the following are useful tools. Specific materials will be listed at the beginning of each group session.      poster board markers nutrition information (for snacks) plants. These can be used to create a relaxing, nurturing atmosphere. They also help create a link to nature. pencil and paper



1) Sharing 2) Expressing Feelings 3) Creative Expression 4) AIDS Education (Health Education) 5) Self-Care 6) Advocacy




Who I Am My Family Self-Esteem


WHO I AM Purpose: To introduce children to group concept. To promote healthy sense of self and identity. Materials:  Art Supplies: paints, construction paper  Multicultural paints . These are available from teacher‘s supply stores and art suppliers. They are paints with the spectrum of human skin tones.  Cultural pride puzzles. These are available from therapy suppliers. They feature children of varying cultural and racial backgrounds. Introductory Activity: My name, My favorite food, Who is in my family Children introduce themselves and their favorite food. They describe their family. Children are invited to share as little or as much information as they wish; if children speak for prolonged periods of time the conversation can be focused and time-limited. Usually, in the first session the children are reticent to talk. It may be helpful if one of the group leaders speaks first. Stretching (see appendix) Activity: My Family Using multicultural paints and construction paper, children cut out and paint pictures of their family. Children show pictures to the rest of the group. If materials are not available, children can use crayons and pencils to draw pictures. If magazines are available, children can use cutouts from magazines Discussion topics:  who is in my family  brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins  "nuclear" vs. extended family  who I remember (who is gone)  culture/ethnicity: note differences, emphasize that there is no "better" or "worse", instill cultural pride  various degrees of ability For older children:  discuss racism, sexism, ableism in society.  how they feel about their race, culture, level of ability Children also may complete cultural pride puzzles (and discuss their relevance) Relaxation: I am great just the way I am (see appendix for instructions on general guided relaxation techniques). Include these statements in the relaxation. ―You are a wonderful person. You know that just by being yourself. You are a wonderful person. With every breath you take in you say to yourself: ―I am great just the way I am. I really like myself. I like all things about

myself, the things I do well, the things that are hard for me, all things. I like myself just the way I am. When you open your eyes, you will keep saying those things to yourself.‖ Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I am most proud about


MY FAMILY Purpose: To identify family makeup. To have children find similarities and differences in their families. To open the door for discussion of more serious issues. Materials: family puppets, doll house and dolls. Culturally relevant toys and dolls may be substituted here. Local materials can be highly effective and also inexpensive. Introduction: The person I am closest to in the world Children discuss who they feel is very close to them. Stretching Activity: Children are invited to play with the puppets and doll house or dolls. Discussion:  what did you play?  How did you feel?  Did you notice anything anybody else was doing?  Does anybody's family remind you of yours?  What makes a family?

Relaxation: I am a special person ―When you keep breathing you feel very relaxed. You remember how you say to yourself ‗I am great just the way I am‘. You keep saying that to yourself, yes, keep saying that to yourself. And you know that you are a very special person. Yes, you are a very special person. Keep saying to yourself ‗I am a special person‘. When you open your eyes, you will keep saying to yourself ‗I am a special person. There is nobody like me. I am a very special person‘.‖ Snack and Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I like and don't like about my family


SELF-ESTEEM Purpose: To enhance children's sense of self and boost self-esteem Materials: Books In many children‘s and educational book stores, books are available which focus on children‘s self-esteem. As an alternative, culturally appropriate materials on self-esteem (e.g., mementos the family is proud of, tokens and indicators of cultural pride such as artwork, depictions of cultural events, shared societal traditions). High Self-Esteem Game (available from children‘s therapy suppliers) Introduction: My Favorite Thing About Myself Children tell the group their favorite thing about themselves. This is a chance for children to self-affirm. Children who have experienced trauma or whose parents are ill often have reduced self-esteem. If the child is awkward or unable to give themselves compliments. If children have difficulty with this exercise, encourage the other participants to say something nice about the child. Activity: Building self-esteem Read Self-Esteem books Play self-esteem game If these are not available, a discussion can be facilitated    who is proud of themselves what do we do to be proud of ourselves do we need to do something to feel good or can we feel good just by being ourselves?

Relaxation: ―I am a good person‖ Keep breathing and remember what a special person you are. With every breath you keep remembering what a special person you are. Breathe in, and out, and remember that you are a special person and a good person. Keep saying to yourself ‗I am a good person.‘ When you open your eyes you will keep saying to yourself ‗I am a good person‘. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: Five more things I like about me



Sharing Feelings 1 Sharing Feelings 2 Sharing Feelings 3 Sharing Feelings 4 Sharing Feelings 5 Feelings in My Body Thoughts and Feelings Feeling Centered Anger Shame Sadness/Depression Happiness/Joy


SHARING FEELINGS—PART 1 Purpose: To help children identify feelings. To realize that feelings are OK. Materials: Feelings Worksheet (appendix) Feelings Poster. These are available from many therapy suppliers. They show various feeling states illustrated by photos of children. If these are not available, facilitators can draw pictures to represent emotions. Introduction: How I Feel Today. Using the feelings poster, children point and identify how they are feeling at the moment. Stretching Activity: Feelings worksheet (see appendix). Children are given the paper with the list of feelings. They are given time to circle the feelings. The feelings are gone through one by one, discussing:  Who feels happy?  What's it like to feel happy?  How do you know when you feel happy?  How can you tell when other people are happy? The process is repeated for the other feelings. Any feelings that arise are normalized, using the phrase: ―Feelings are neither good nor bad. It‘s what we do with them that counts.‖ Relaxation: Restful meditation: feelings As you breathe in and out, you feel very rested. You feel relaxed, and refreshed. You rest, rest, rest. All the feelings you discussed today are inside you, but you can rest, and feel very relaxed. You feel good because you talked about your feelings. You know that every time you discuss your feelings you will feel better. You feel very good and very relaxed because you discussed your feelings. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I Feel Right Now


SHARING FEELINGS-Part 2 Coloring Feelings Purpose: To show children that many different feelings may be expressed at once and that these feelings are OK. Materials: Paper, Colored pencils, crayons, or markers Introduction: My strongest feeling this week Stretching Activity: Coloring Feelings Children are given coloring materials and instructed to color in all the feelings they have (or have ever had, depending on age and confidence with dealing with emotions). This a free exercise; tell the children tp draw their feelings as they see them, using color, size and shape as they see fit. Pictures are shared with the group and discussed. **emphasize-there are no right or wrong feelings. Each person's feelings are valid. Feelings are not good or bad. It's what you do with them that counts. Relaxation: Color Meditation Breathe in and out. Remember how comfortable you are with your feelings. Keep breathing in and out, and feel comfortable with your feelings. Notice how each of your feelings has a different size, and shape, and color. Go over to each of your feelings and make friends with your feeling. Even if it is a scary feeling, you can be friends, because now you can talk about your feelings. Breathe in and out. Notice the color of your feelings, Shake hands with your feelings. Now you feel good, good, good. When you open your eyes you will feel rested and good. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I feel right now


SHARING FEELINGS-Part 3 Purpose: To further assist children in identifying, sharing, and coping with feelings. To identify how feelings are stored in the body and to provide tools for coping with them through alternative healing methods. Materials: Feelings Poster Feelings in my body quiz (see appendix). Introduction: The feeling that‘s hardest for me Activity: Feelings in my body quiz (see appendix) Children are given the questionnaire to fill out on their own. When they are finished, the questionnaire is brought back into the group as a whole. The children are invited to share their answers to the questions and also add thoughts and feelings of their own. This questionnaire can be shortened for work with younger children. Relaxation: Feelings in My Body As you take your deep breaths in and out, notice how the feelings are in your body. Notice which part of your body is tight, or loose, or where there are hurts in your body. As you notice where the hurts are, take a breath in, right to where that hurt is. Breathe in warm, red healing light to the hurt, and breathe out blue, cool light with all the hurts in it. Keep breathing this way until you feel very good and very realized (pause). Keep breathing this way until you feel very good and very relaxed (long pause). When you are ready, open your eyes and slowly sit up. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I learned today about feelings in my body


SHARING FEELINGS-Part 4 Purpose: To further assist children in identifying feelings, sharing and resolving feelings. Materials: Feelings Poster, Feelings cards These materials are available at therapy suppliers. They delineate various aspects of processing feelings. They can be used as s springboard for discussion. The feelings cards can be played like regular cards. Introduction: What I think about having feelings Activity: Feelings Cards, feelings poster Various games can be played with the feelings cards—for example: concentration As the children use the cards, conversation can be facilitated using the pictures of the children on the cards. As an alternative, regular cards or other culturally appropriate toys may be used. As the children engage in play, the group leader can facilitate discussion:       How are you learning to deal with your feelings since starting this group? What has gotten easier? What is still difficult? If you could change one thing about your feelings, what would it be? How can feelings help you? How can feelings make life harder? Do you notice how other people deal with their feelings? What‘s good about it? What‘s not good?

Relaxation: Taped relaxation script: Total Body Relaxation Commercial tapes with soothing music and relaxation scripts are widely available at health ffod stores. As an alternative, there is a script for total body relaxation in the appendix. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I learned about feelings today


SHARING FEELINGS-Part 5 Purpose: To explore feelings more deeply Materials: Doing, Talking, Feeling game This game is available from therapy suppliers. Introduction: What I learned about my feelings this week Stretching Activity: Talking, Doing, Feeling Game This game is played and the feelings discussed. Relaxation: Healing As you breathe in deeper and deeper, you notice yourself getting more and more relaxed. You notice yourself sinking deeper and deeper. You feel all parts of you that don‘t feel well healing and feeling better. Your body hurts are healing and feeling better. And your hurt feelings are healing and feeling better. Every time you breathe in you feel your body and your feelings healing. Heal, heal, heal. You keep breathing and you keep feeling your body healing (pause). You will soon feel very good (pause). When you feel very good, you slowly open your eyes and sit up. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I will do in the next week to heal my hurt feelings


FEELINGS IN MY BODY This session was adapted from Irene Clouse Newlon‘s ―SKIT: Support for Kids in Transition‖ Purpose: To identify where feelings are stored in the body and to provide to tools to promote relaxation and stress relief. Materials: Boy and Girl Drawings (no clothes, no anatomical detail) Introduction: Where I hurt today Stretching: Pressure Points. As a variation on the stretching children the usually do, pressure points for shiatsu are taught (see appendix). The children can then do shiatsu massage on themselves in the future. Because of the large incidence of trauma and abuse in this population, shiatsu massage on others is not permitted, nor does the group leader demonstrate on the children. While neither may be abusive, touch can both trigger memories of past abuse and be misinterpreted, especially by children. Preserving boundaries is a key feature of the group. Activity: Boy & Girl Pictures The children are given a picture of a boy and a girl with no anatomical detail. The children are encouraged to color in the parts of their body when they hurt. Children then share their pictures with the group. They discuss what causes them to feel pain. Connections can be made between emotions and pain. For example, how do you feel in your body when you are angry, scared, sad, lonely? Connect this to the previous ession which explored feelings in the body. Relaxation: Provide stretches/relaxation for hurt body parts The children are given directions about how to cope with various body aches. Breathing exercises can be given for tense body parts, such as shoulders or stomach. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I will do in the next week to take care of myself


THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS Purpose: To expose children's negative thought patterns (cognitive distortions). To explain how these thought patterns affect one's emotional state and to set the stage for new, more adaptive thought patterns. To illustrate how these thought patterns arise in everyday life. Materials: Positive Thinking Cards These are available through therapy suppliers. They explore cognitive distortions with children and teach them to work with these distortions. Introduction: One good thing I say about myself. How does it make me feel? One bad thing I say about myself How does it make me feel? Activity: Positive Thinking Brainstorm What is criticism? Criticism of others, criticism of ourselves. In what ways do we criticize ourselves? What are specific ways we criticized ourselves this week? Ask members to provide feedback on whether they think these criticisms are valid. Attitude Adjustment Prepare cards beforehand (copies) for children to take home. Review how children could use them in the coming week. Relaxation: Feeling Good About Me As you start to relax, you notice that you feel really good about yourself. You breathe in and out, and feel very good about all of the things you mentioned today. You realize that you are a smart, fun, happy person and that you can do anything you want to. You feel very good about yourself. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I learned about how I think. My positive thought for the week


FEELING CENTERED Purpose: To help children understand when they are being taken over by their emotions. To provide strategies to deal with overwhelming emotions. Materials: None Introduction: A Time When My Feelings Overwhelmed Me Stretching Activity: Feeling Centered Brainstorm  What is it like to feel off-balance?  What sorts of things make a person overwhelmed?  What happens when your emotion are all over the place?  How can you feel better when that happens?  What does it mean to regulate emotions?  What is meditation? Teaching Teach children the idea behind meditation: that it provides stability. When practiced, it can help you not to get overwhelmed by feelings and things that happen, so that you are steady and tall like a tree, not always being blown over. The relaxation they have been learning is a form of meditation. The stretching is also a way to get more in touch with the body. They can do these sorts of exercises any time they feel overwhelmed. They do not need to let their emotions take over. Being centered also involves being aware of everything in the moment, slowing down and taking breaths to be aware. When you are aware of your surroundings, you are better able to deal with emotions. Discuss these ideas with the children. Talk to them about how they will incorporate this learning in their lives. Ask for feedback about whether they have been able to do any breathing or stretching at home. Relaxation: Total Body Relaxation (repeat) Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I will do in the next week to stay centered


ANGER Purpose: To identify anger as a positive and healthy emotion when expressed appropriately. To teach children methods of coping with anger so that anger does not create behavior and relationship problems. Materials: Anger Control Poster Anger Solution Game Introduction: What makes me Mad. Where it is in my body Stretching: Time-out anger exercises--count to ten, deep breath, visualization Teach children to visualize their anger as something that can get smaller and blow away, or as a balloon that bursts, or how to do deep breathing while angry to get control of the anger. Activity Anger Control Poster-have children read poster, draw in Anger control game differentiate: controlling anger DOES NOT MEAN stuffing it down, pretending you're not angry, always pleasing others, not being in touch with your own emotions. It means recognizing it and letting go. --act opposite what do you do when you're angry with someone you love anger is OK it's safe to feel anger balance of feeling anger you are not your anger If time allows, play the Anger Solution Game. Relaxation: Anger Release Meditation Imagine yourself completely in control of your anger. Take a deep breath in and feel your anger going away, like dust in the wind. You can feel your anger shrinking so that you can mange it. You know that you will feel your anger just the right amount, so you can tell someone you are angry and talk about it, but not get too nagry. You realize that you are in complete control of your anger. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I will do to Control My Anger in the next week


SHAME Purpose: To teach children the difference between healthy shame and "toxic shame" (justified unjustified) Materials: Puppets (if available), paper and implements for drawing Introduction: The Last Time I Felt Shame Where it was in my body Stretching Activity Brainstorm  "good" shame and "bad" shame  What kinds of things make us feel ashamed?? (could bring in cultural/ethnic, ability, illness, stigma, feel shame about core self) Art Have children draw their shame (like an animal). Create dialogues with the "bad" shame/playacting with puppets. Give their shame a "face lift". Make friends with their shame. Show how shame can be helpful, when it is too much. Discuss also when shame is justified, as when you did something you know is wrong. Also review when shame is unjustified, as when someone criticizes you unfairly. In this case, you need to ―act opposite‖, by doing the opposite action than you feel. For example, if you feel like saying nothing, you should say something to the person. This needs to be repeated over and over again. Discuss with the group examples of when shame is unjustified and how to ―act opposite‖. Relaxation: I feel shame and I'm OK As you breathe in, you start to get relaxed. As you feel relaxed, you notice that you have al sorts of feelings. Find your shame feeling. Go up to your shame feeling, and talk to it. Shake its hand, and make friends with it. Picture yourself being friends with your shame. You feel very good that you are friends with your shame. You feel really good now because you realize that it‘s OK to feel shame. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I learned about shame today


SADNESS/DEPRESSION Purpose: To teach children that sadness is OK. To differentiate between sadness and depression. To provide tools to help children cope with sadness. To alert children that if they feel very depressed, they should seek the help of an adult. Materials: None Introduction: What makes me sad. Where I feel it in my body. Stretching Activity: Brainstorm  What kinds of things make you sad?  Have you ever felt so sad that you could hardly get out of bed?  Have you ever felt so sad you didn't want to eat?  Have you ever been so sad you couldn't sit still at school?  Have you ever felt so sad you wanted to die or kill yourself?  Have you ever felt so sad you wanted to hurt someone else? Make sure the children know that if they feel that sad they should tell a grown-up. But ... if you are feeling just really sad about something  cry for awhile  do something nice for yourself  talk to someone An additional art activity can be to have children draw their sadness. The pictures can then be shared with the group and discussed. Relaxation: I Feel Sad and I‘m OK As you breathe in very deeply, you feel more and more relaxed. You start to notice that you have emotions. Notice your emotions. You remember how you made friends with your shame. See your shame. Your shame is now your friend. Now look for your sadness. Go up to your sadness. Shale its hand, and make friends with it. Imagine being good friends with your sadness. As you get better and better friends with your sadness, you feel more and more relaxed. You know that you can have sadness and feel really good about yourself. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I'm going to help myself the next time I'm sad


HAPPINESS/JOY Purpose: To teach children how to modulate happiness/joy if they are experiencing overwhelming sadness or depression (so they don't "crash"). To teach children how to appreciate brief moments of happiness if they are having a hard time. Materials: Feelings cards (see appendix) Introduction: When I Feel Happy Activity: Happiness Discussion Brainstorm  What makes people happy?  Can you hold on to happiness?  Can you make happiness come if it‘s not there?  Can you ever feel ―too happy‖?  Would it be good to always feel happy? Bring out themes such as the contrast between depressed and happy feelings, that it‘s hard to go back to feeling sad after you‘ve just felt happy. Teach children to ―hold on‖ to a little bit of happiness by putting it in an imaginary bubble to remember. Art Draw a happiness bubble and put some happy things in it to remember when you‘re feeling sad. Share with the group and discuss. Bring out themes such as modulating emotions and living in the moment. Relaxation: My Feeling is Like a Wave As you breathe in and out, you notice feelings coming and going. There are all sorts of feelings. You don‘t need to hold onto any one feeling. The feelings come and go, and you don‘t hold onto them. You just notice them, coming and going. It is very nice to see the feelings coming and going. They come and go, like a wave. It is very relaxing to see the feelings come and go, like a wave. Snack/ Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will make friends with my feelings this week



Art (Express My Feelings) Music (Express My Feelings) Theater Dance/Movement Photography


ART--SHOW MY FEELINGS Adaptable for different ages due to different materials Purpose: To introduce children to concepts of art and help them express feelings through art Materials: colored pencils, crayons, ebony pencils, graphite crayons, beginner's pencil, charcoal, pastels, markers, erasers, artist's paper, art books, reproductions (from the Met, Basquiat, etc.). Reproductions or art from other cultures such as sculptures or drawings or beadwork could be substituted here. Introduction: What I see that I like. Activity: Being an Artist Brainstorm:  What is art?  Who can do art? Encourage the children to acknowledge that everyone can do art, that one does not have to be especially gifted to enjoy doing art and benefit from it.  Where do we see art?

Doing art Children are introduced to various kinds of art materials and instructed on how to use them. Discuss ways to express feelings through art. Let children free draw/color. Children share their pictures with the group and discuss what they were feeling. Discuss ways that they could use art to help them discuss their feelings and to help them calm, settle, and nurture themselves. Relaxation: My Creativity As you start to get relaxed, you feel very good. You know that you are a very smart, wonderful, creative person. You love to create things, and you have many ideas for creating wonderful things. You know that you will be able to use this creativity to help you with emotional problems. As you breathe and relax, you know that this creativity is your friend. You feel very happy because you are very creative. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will use art in the next week



Purpose: To show children the link between music and feelings. To teach children to express feelings through music. To provide tools and ideas for self-nurturing through music. Materials: Soprano recorder, sand blocks, maracas, snare drum, triangle, tambourine, melody bells, cluster bells, guiro tone block , drumsticks and drum pad. Instruments indigenous to the culture can also be used. Introduction: My Favorite Song Children are invited to share their favorite music and to sing if they feel inclined. Discuss how singing can help reduce stress and provide joy and increased self-esteem. Stretching Activity: Making music Brainstorm: Instruments people play Demo: Children explore sounds of instruments. Guide children in making rhythm and notes to reflect feelings-anxiety, depression, sadness, etc. Have children creatively use instruments to express emotions, describe, etc.      how I feel after I play music how music makes me feel how music can help me my favorite music and why what music shows what feelings (give examples)

Relaxation: The Greatest Love by Whitney Houston If this song is available on tape, play it for the children. During the snack discussion they can discuss how the song makes them feel, and what the song is about. Then themes of self-esteem and valuing children can be explored. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will use music in the next week


THEATER Purpose: To help children express their emotions through play-acting and charades. Materials: Costumes, if available Introduction: How I am feeling right now Stretching Activity: Leaders and participants can choose from or combine the following activities according to age and preference. 1) Charades Children pick from a hat or bag one of many emotions (pre-cut).They imitate the emotion and the audience needs to guess what it is. 2) Role Play Students are solicited to discuss a problem or situation that is bothering the. If no problem is brought up, the leader describes a situation. Children choose roles and act out the scenario. Discussion and debriefing follow. 3) Acting Have pre-made scenarios which require the children to express emotions (see appendix). They act out the parts. Discussion: What did it feel like to act that emotion? Did it change the way you felt inside? Was it easy or hard to get into the part? Did you enjoy this exercise? Do you ever think you act differently than how you feel in real life? How do you think that affects you? Relaxation: Implementing Creativity As you get more and more relaxed., you start to think about all the ways you can be creative. You feel your muscles relaxing, and you realize that you can do many many things. You feel really good about yourself right now. You feel very, very good. You know that you will think of many ways to be creative in the next few days. You are very relaxed, and very happy. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I learned about my emotions today


DANCE/MOVEMENT Purpose: To help children express themselves through the medium of dance Materials: None Introduction: My favorite dancer The best dance video I ever saw Activity: Dance Fever Brainstorm What is movement? What movements are connected to different emotions? (bring out-caressing as love, punching the air as anger, standing up tall as pride) How is movement connected to dance? What is dance? What makes a dancer good? Where do we see dance (bring out that it is everywhere, in movement, in nature, as people walk and go about their daily lives) How is dance connected to feeling (bring out that we have emotions in our bodies. Use examples of happy or angry dances) What movements do you like? (children can demonstrate) Children can also teach the other children particular dance moves and routines How do you feel when you dance? (emphasize dance as a stress reliever) Video If possible, bring a dance video to show. The children can talk about which emotions they think the dancers felt. Dance Your Emotions Similar to role play in the Theater segment. The children take turns dancing different emotions. The other children try to guess which emotions they are dancing. Relaxation: My body is my friend As you relax, you feel very good in your body. You feel relaxed, and comfortable. Every part of you feels good, good, good. You realize that you can talk with your body. You got up to your body and say hello. You realize that you feel very good. You realize that you love your body and you feel very good about your body. You make friends with your body. You feel good, good, good. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will use dance in the following week


PHOTOGRAPHY Purpose: To promote expression of emotions through photography Materials: Disposable cameras—one for each child Photography books and magazines Introduction: What‘s important to me Stretching Activity: Photographic Essay Brainstorm: Activism and self-expression What‘s important to you? What do you think needs changing? What sorts of things affect you/upset you? What do you see in your neighborhood that bothers you? If you could tell a story to the world, what would it be? Photography lesson Children are encouraged to look at the books and magazines. They pick images that appeal to them. The photos are then discussed to reveal why they are important to the participants. Discussion includes: Why the photo speaks to me What‘s important in this photo

Children are then given the cameras with basic instructions on using them. The assignment for the next week is to use up the film by photographing things that are important to them. The cameras are brought back the next week and the film is processed. The photographs are discussed the following week. Relaxation: Implementing Creativity (repeat from theater unit) Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: Some Ideas I have for My Project



A Sickness in My Family AIDS Education (Health Education) Sex and Sexuality My Body 1 Alcohol and Drug Abuse Death and Dying (Grief)



A SICKNESS IN MY FAMILY Purpose: To Provide a Forum for Children to discuss their experiences with illness. Materials: Hospital Gown, stethoscope, etc. In places where these are not available, drawings or cutout pictures of medical instruments may be substituted. It is important to meet the general knowledge level of the children and of the culture as a whole. Introduction: What being healthy means to me Children share how they enjoy good health. If children have not explored this issue before, the leaders may offer suggestions and education on the benefits of good health. They may model ways that being healthy helps them ―I have energy to do things I like‖, ―I can play with my friends‖, ―I feel good in my body‖. Stretching Activity: Family Questionnaire (see appendix) Children fill out the questionnaires. Time is given for discussion. Children come in and see the props. They are to be used to facilitate discussion and sharing of emotions and experiences. Relaxation: Total Body Relaxation (repeat) Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I learned today What I will do to take care of myself in the next week


AIDS EDUCATION Purpose: To educate children about AIDS and HIV-related issues. Materials: Skeleton model with muscles (if available) Introduction: What I Know About AIDS Stretching Activity: AIDS 101 Provide background information on the AIDS virus. Such information is available from the Dept. of Health. Use skeleton model to illustrate what happens with the AIDS virus. Content will depend on knowledge of status, age & maturity level. What is AIDS? How do you get AIDS? Can you get AIDS by touching someone? What happens to people with AIDS? What do people think about people with AIDS? Why are people afraid of AIDS? Do all people with AIDS die? Why is there no cure for AIDS? (link with advocacy) What‘s the difference between HIV and AIDS? Is it OK to have feelings about AIDS? How do you know when a person has AIDS? How many people have AIDS? Can you love someone with AIDS? Who cares about people with AIDS? Does AIDS kill you? Will AIDS ever be over? How do you tell someone that you (or someone you love) has AIDS? Discussion How do you feel about hearing this? How will you use this knowledge? Is it something you knew before or you learned today? Why is this important? Relaxation: Incorporating Information As you breathe in, you feel very relaxed. You can feel your brain and your mind relaxing. You feel very good. You can feel yourself taking in all of the information you just discussed. You feel very relaxed and you can absorb all of the information. You feel very good about what you have just learned. You feel very good and very relaxed. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: The Most Important Thing I learned today and Why

SEX AND SEXUALITY (adolescents) Purpose: To provide a forum for children/adolescents to discuss concerns about sex, sexuality, protection. How HIV is transmitted. Materials: AIDS Education Poster. These are usually available from the Department of Health.. Introduction: The most important thing about sex & sexuality to me Activity: AIDS education 1) FACTS OF TRANSMISSION  transmission-when to have sex  what stops AIDS?  condom demonstration  what is safer sex? Review vaginal intercourse, anal intercourse, oral sex, kissing, hugging. Discuss various levels of risk: first step—facts only 2) SOCIAL ISSUES AND DECISION MAKING  second step—how do I determine what level of risk is OK for me? Discuss cultural aspects, peer pressure, unsure and uncomfortable sexually, lack of knowledge as influences.  the safest sex is abstinence  debunk all myths -e.g. you can‘t get it if you‘re young (commonly thought of by adolescents—give examples. This can be used in countries such as South Africa where there is widespread mythology about AIDS transmission), it‘s not cool to think about it.  how to discuss this with a partner  why a person saying ―I don‘t have AIDS‖ or even ―I haven‘t been with anyone‖ may not be enough (geneder issues, people are embarrassed to admit it, some people may have AIDS from other ways or not know it but nobody wants to discuss it)  nothing but abstinence is totally safe. But if you do have sex you need to protect yourself and your partner. assessing your level of risk is a very personal decision as is whether or not to have sex-many people now want abstinence at least for awhile. Cultural influences assume everyone will have sex right away. True for adults as well. Not much support for someone who is not sure  even younger kids have sex early now  hard to figure out what is the right thing to do  families may be angry about a kid having sex  if you DO have sex—very important to use protection. Think hard before taking this step Relaxation: Feeling Good About Decisions As you relax, you start to reflect on decisions. You feel very much in control of the decisions you will make. You know that you are a very smart, capable person. You know that you will make the right decision. You know that you can absorb all of the information and think about it to make a good decision. You feel very good about yourself. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: The Most Important Factor in My Decision

MY BODY (Part 1) Purpose: To educate children on how the body works in order to encourage them to take care of it well. To illustrate the importance of proper nutrition, exercise, and relaxation. To connect taking care of themselves with issues of illness. If appropriate, to illustrate the effects of AIDS on the body and to understand what the HIV+ person in the family is experiencing. Materials: Pop-up human body drawings of body/body parts on poster board handouts from :The Anatomy Coloring Book Introduction: What I Like About My Body Activity: "Anatomy Lesson" explain various ways the body works. Illustrate on the model. Handout from Anatomy Coloring Book to color. * *make the connection of body health to nutrition, relaxation, taking care of yourself, nurturing. **also connect to: effect of AIDS on the body how does HIV/AIDS affect the body? What should a person with HIV/AIDS do to take care of themselves? Relaxation: Feeling Good in My Body As you breathe in, you feel very good about yourself and your body. You feel very relaxed. You breathe in to all of the places that make you feel hurt. You know that you are going to feel better and better. You breathe in to all the parts of your body that hurt, just like you have been doing. As you breathe into these hurt parts, you feel more and more relaxed. Snack/ Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I Learned Today


ALCOHOL AND DRUG DEPENDENCY Parts of this session are adapted from Irene Clouse Newlon‘s ―SKIT: Support fort Kids in Transition‖ Purpose: To educate children on alcohol and drug dependence. To provide a forum for children to articulate their experiences, concerns, and feelings about drug use. To highlight the importance of staying away from alcohol and drugs. Materials: Empty beer can/bottle/ wine or liquor bottle, syringe (no needle), empty prescription bottle, old magazines, scissors, pictures of crack, heroin, alcohol, pills, etc. (pre-copied and pre-cut). Introduction: What I know about alcohol and drugs Activity: Families and Substance Abuse Children are instructed to cut out pictures of "a family" and paste them on construction paper. We do not say "your family" because children may be reticent to discuss their family situation. If they wish to speak about their family, they will volunteer the information. The children are given cutout pictures of drugs and alcohol and asked to glue them onto the pictures of the family. The children show their pictures to the group and discuss. If materials are not available, discussion can be facilitated by asking questions about what contact children have had with drugs, where drugs are seen. If the leader begins by sharing personal recollections (e.g., there is a man on my street who I always see drunk‖, or ―I saw some people doing something I didn‘t understand but I think it is drugs‖ this will help the children feel safe to share. I strictly religious societies and cultures where discussion on drugs is taboo this discussion will require considerable sensitivity and care. However, it is in those environments that discussion is crucial because those children are at considerable risk. In addition, if there is substance abuse that is not being discussed, other children may be suffering. Relaxation: Total Body Relaxation (repeat) Snack/ Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I Learned About Alcohol and Drugs Today


DEATH AND DYING/GRIEF Purpose: To invite children to discuss death and dying and how it affects them. Materials: Death and Dying Game Introduction: Someone I have lost Stretching Activity: Death and Dying game Children play the game. Death and Dying Discussion Who do you know who has died? What was it like when they died? What did you feel? Do you miss them? If so, what do you do when you miss them? How do you help yourself feel better when you feel sad about this? Do you think it‘s OK to talk to other people about death? What do you think happens after you die? What would you do if someone you loved died? Relaxation: Peace, healing, letting go As you sink deeper and deeper into relaxation, you feel very good. You can feel yours;lef letting go. You feel very peaceful and restful. You feel very good. You are happy, and relaxed. You feel that you can accept even the most difficult things. You feel very strong and very capable. It is very nice to feel those things. You feel very much at peace, and it is very nice to feel that way. You know that you can go back to feeling this way anytime you want to just by thinking about feeling peace. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I learned today



Nurturing 1 Nurturing 2 Nature Stress Reduction Mindfulness My Body 2 Preventing Sexual Abuse


NURTURING 1 Purpose: To teach children how to soothe and care for themselves To build self-esteem Introduction: Why I am Important and Special Children describe ways in which they are important and special. Leaders provide positive reinforcement for each child and for the group as a whole. Exercise: Yoga If you are familiar with yoga, do basic postures such as spinal twist, downward facing dog, dog and cat stretches, thread the needle. Alternate Exercise: Stretching Activity: Brainstorm-- How I Take Care of Me Children give examples of how they relax, what makes them feel good, etc. If they give examples like watching TV, draw out the distinction between watching TV to distract from troubles (sometimes good) or for enjoyment, and watching too much. Also—accentuate the difference between soothing and distracting. Grab Bag Children pull out cut-outs of various activities to take care of ourselves and others (see appendix) These activities are discussed with the group. Handouts of ―goodies‖: bath beads, epsom salts, etc. Epsom salts are good for soaking in the bath. They help relax, energize, and get rid of stress and tight muscles. . Relaxation: Nature music –identify sounds Alternate Relaxation: Total Body Relaxation Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I will do in the next week to take care of myself


NURTURING #2 Purpose: To further children's self-nurturing skills Materials: Nurturing game (available at therapy suppliers) Introduction: How I take care of myself (what I did last week) Activity: Nurturing game Relaxation: Taking Care of Me As you breathe in, you find yourself relaxing. You feel very good right now. You realize that it is wornderful to take care of yourself. You want to increase the joy of taking care of yourself. You know that just by thining about caring for yourself you can go to a very relaxed, special place, and feel good. You know now that you want that for yourself. You know that you will do many things to take care of yourself over the next week. You feel very good. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will take care of myself in the next week


NATURE Purpose: To help children relax outdoors, to use nature as a means of self-soothing Materials: Plants Introduction: My Favorite Place Activity: Nature 1) Discussion/lesson on nature Using the plants, provide a brief lesson on plant growth. Include: How plants breathe Caring for plants 2) Trip to the park with meditation If there is a nearby park, bring the children to relax. A guided meditation can be led while the children are relaxing. Make the link between relaxation and emotions and using ―down-time‖ for self-care. 3) Art assignment in the park Have the children draw or paint a scene which relaxes them. They can paint from the scenery they see or from memory. If they cannot think of anything to paint, suggestions can be: beach scene, forest, garden. Fir children from low-income neighborhoods who may not have been exposed to nature, teaching children to appreciate even small amounts of nature, such as weeds growing in the sidewalk to reconnect them with nature Relaxation: meditation with nature theme As you relax, you imagine yourself in a wonderful, lovely place. You are in nature, in a beautiful place. You can hear the birds chirping prettily and you hear a stream bubbling. You go deeper and deeper. You can see soft green grass. You see a tree and go lie down under the tree. It is very sunny and very warm. You can feel the warm sun shine on you. You feel very good. You know that you can stay here as long as you want, and that whenever you feel like it you can return to this place. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will use nature in the next week to calm and soothe myself



STRESS REDUCTION Purpose: To furnish children with techniques and ideas for stress reduction Materials: Stress Reduction Book (many workbooks available in health food stores) Introduction: What stresses me out Stretching: Ease your stress Activity Brainstorm: my biggest stressors  exercises for stress  ideas on how to help with that  prioritize  say no  time out  take care of yourself Discussion How do we get stressed out? Why it is important to fight stress How to get help with others in fighting stress What are examples of grown-ups whom also have stress? How do they cope with their stress? Excerpts from stress reduction literature can be read here. Relaxation: Self-Esteem Meditation Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I will do to reduce stress in the next week


MINDFULNESS Purpose: To teach children the basics of mindfulness meditation. Materials: Write "mindfulness" on dry-erase board Introduction: Why I am a Good Friend Activity: Being in the Moment Explain to the children that mindfulness consists of being completely present in the moment, without thinking of anything else. When people are very distracted they make silly mistakes, and that is not being mindful. Also, when people are swept away by their emotions they are also not being mindful. The purpose of this unit is to teach mindfulness for self-care. It is a hard state to achieve, but they can get there by beginning to observe themselves: Interactive Exercise To perform this exercise, children should be lying down comfortably, or seated comfortably. The instructor explains that the exercise is designed to help them sow down and start being mindful. Observe your thoughts as they come and go Observe your breath as you breathe in and out The children practice this technique for several minutes. Afterwards, bring them together for a discussion on what they experienced. What was it like to observe your breath? Did you feel more relaxed? What did you experience? What was it like to observe your thoughts? Relaxation: Total Body Relaxation Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will practice mindfulness in the coming week


MY BODY 2 Purpose: To instill healthy respect for and love for their bodies. Materials: Fashion, Music, Lifestyle magazines (age appropriate) Introduction: What I like about my body Stretching Activity: Collage ―Beautiful People‖ The children cut out pictures of all the people that they find attractive. They paste them on a sheet of construction paper. They then discuss with the group what makes people attractive and why they chose the pictures Discussion topics Age Thinness/Size Facial Features Race Color of hair Hairstyle Clothing Rich/Poor (income) Material Possessions State of Health How does looking at those magazines make you feel? Debrief: Who doesn't like their body? Why? What do people say about bodies? Is there another way to look at bodies and appearance? Which is more important: how a person acts or how they look? How does illness affect how you look and what people think of you? Which is more important: being healthy or being attractive? Is it crucial to be perfect? Is it more important for men or for women to be beautiful? Or is it different? Brainstorm: People I admire who are not usually considered ―beautiful‖ by society‘s standards examples: people in my family (mother, father, sister, aunts, cousins) Rap and Hip-Hop stars A Different Way to Feel About the Body Learn breathing, massage, shiatsu for each part. Learn good foods to eat for each part.

Relaxation: A Different Way to Feel As you breathe in and out, you become much more relaxed. It feels very good to be this relaxed. You can feel every part of your body. Adjust each part of your body that doesn‘t feel quite right until you are very, very relaxed. Now notice how you feel in your body. YOU can feel all parts of your body working together so that you will be healthy. You feel very good because your body is doing everything it is supposed to. You feel very good in your body right now. You notice that having a healthy body that you feel good in is very very important to you. You take more deep breaths and you realize that you feel very good in your body. Snack/ Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I have learned today


PREVENTING SEXUAL ABUSE Purpose: To educate children about their rights to their own body. To provide a forum for discussing sexual abuse should it arise. Materials: Sexual Abuse Children's stories. These are available at children‘s bookstores. Introduction: What I did well this week Stretching Activity: Preventing Sexual Abuse Children take turns reading the stories aloud. At the end, discuss what options the children may have. Leave conversation open-ended so children can bring up other issues if they are comfortable. Discuss. Relaxation: Feeling Safe Closing: How I will keep myself safe in the next week



Problem Mastery Conflict Resolution Helping Others Advocacy


PROBLEM MASTERY Purpose: To give children skills in order to solve their problems. Introduction: What is my biggest problem? What would I like help with today? Stretching Activity Brainstorm: My Problems list our problems Action: Problem Improvement 1) define the problem 2) define severity of the problem -scale of 1 to 10. First, the children write down separately how severe they think the problem is. They then share with the group, starting with the child whose problem it is. This can be very tricky. It is designed to give perspective on the problem, but it is important to make sure that children are validated and that they do not feel either that their problems are not important or that they are impossible to solve. This can be done by reinforcing that all problems can be at least improved if not totally solved and that no matter what your problem is, it is important to you. This can also teach children the importance of respecting others, not judging, and understanding things from another‘s point of view. Discussion points  Nobody has the right to tell another person that their problem is too big or too small. It depends on how it affects the person.  People can perceive things really differently,. That‘s OK. You don‘t always know how another person feels about something, which is why it‘s important to discuss things  What‘s big to one person may be small to another 3) Problem Improvements It‘s important to say ―problem improvement‖ and not ―solution‖ because while some problems may be solved, some cannot be (such as being HIV+). The children brainstorm possible solutions to the problem and discuss them with the child. The child is then given the possibility to integrate these proposals through discussion, role play, and play therapy. Relaxation: Taking Control of My Life As you become relaxed, you feel better and better. You are very used to being relaxed. You notice exactly how your body is lying, and make any small adjustments you need to feel more comfortable. You realize that you can make any change that you need to to make things better in your life. You feel very powerful now, very powerful. You know that you will do everything you need to do to make changes in your life. Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I feel about my problem now. What I will do in the next week if I have a problem.

CONFLICT RESOLUTION Parts of this session are derived from William J Kreidler‘s ―Creative Conflict Resolution‖ Purpose: To teach children effective skills for coping with conflict and achieving resolution. Materials: an additional staff person is needed. Introduction: Planet Literallia The purpose of this game is to help the alien from Planet Literallia tie her shoe. She understands things only very literally. For example, if you say "pull out the tongue on the shoe", she will pull out her own tongue over the shoe. She can only understand one person at a time and cannot understand the same person twice until she has heard from everybody. An additional staff member is brought in to play the role of the alien. Activity: Conflict Skit The additional staff member returns to the room. The two staff members begin talking. The conversation escalates until there are insults, raised voices, harsh tones, climaxing in one leader storming out of the room. The leader returns and it is explained that this was not a real conflict; the session is debriefed.  volume  tone of voice  insults  baggage  climax conflict escalator is drawn. Relaxation: Feeling Safe Snack/Nutrition Discussion Closing: What I will do to prevent conflict


of it as keeping both people safe.





HELPING OTHERS Purpose: To assist children in seeing the value of their experiences. To help them translate this experience positively into helping others. Introduction: How I solved a problem this week. Stretching Activity: Helping Others Brainstorm: Problems I've had Participants describe problems they have had . Problems are listed on a flipcart or backboard or simply discussed if these materials are not available. Discussion Bring out points, such as:      How are we changed when we have problems? How can our experience help others? Is there a good side to having problems? Would I be the same person if I hadn‘t had these problems? Who do we know who has had a problem that we admire? (use examples such as Greg Louganis, Magic Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Nelson Mandela, etc. These can be adapted to different cultures)

Relaxation : What I have learned from difficult things As you breathe in and relax, you feel your muscles getting very loose. Your mind feels loose, and ready to take in new information. You realize that you have learned a great deal in your life so far. You realize that every difficult thing you have experienced has helped you in some way, because now you are stronger. You know that you will take this strength to the outside world to help other people. You think about his and you feel good, good, good. Snack/ Nutrition Discussion Closing: How I will help someone this week


ADVOCACY Purpose: To help children link their problems to society at large. To empower children to work toward initiating change. Materials: plain t-shirts, fabric paint, paper, pens Introduction: Helping Others (link to last week): How I helped someone this week. Exercise: Body Language The children act out various emotions at the cue of the leader. Body postures and positioning are then discussed, as well as the impact they have, and the emotional reaction they instill. Activity: What is Advocacy/ Why it‘s important On t-shirts, children paint designs, ideas, feelings, or other words about AIDS and its effect on them. The theme could easily be modified from AIDS to the aims of another organization. Letter Writing Children write letters to their congressman or other public figure who influences lawmaking. A detailed guide and pertinent local addresses can be found in a Kid‘s Guide to Social Action (see bibliography) Relaxation: Feeling Safe Nutrition Discussion/Snack Closing: What I can do to be active in my neighborhood, community, school, etc.



Stretching Snacks Nutrition Guided Meditation Techniques Feelings Worksheet Feelings in My Body Quiz Shiatsu Pressure Points Family Questionnaire Nurturing 1 Total Body Relaxation Breathing: Healing Light Meditation: Self-Esteem Relaxation: Feeling Safe



STRETCHING 1. Reach for the sky. 2. Reach to the side. 3. Rag Doll (flopped over with loose knees and loose neck) 4. Hamstring stretch with loose neck 5. Stretch side of neck; other hand reaches for the floor 6. Runner‘s stretch 7. Ankle and wrist exercises

Where is the hurt in your body? Find a stretch for that. Breathe in. As you do, feel a warm red healing light coming into your body and taking away all your stress. As you breathe out, a cool blue light takes all of the stresses and worries away and comforts you. Directions: 1. Hands reach up; shoulders are down. 2. Reach out to the right with both hands. Stretch the left side of your body. Keep aligned, as if you were between two panes of glass. 3. Flop over from the waist, and let your whole body be limp, including the knees. 4. Straighten legs and gently stretch hamstrings, the muscles at the back of the legs. 5. Take your left hand and place it over your head so that it‘s on your right ear. Gently pull down your head to the left, only enough to feel a slight stretch. The right hand reaches gently for the floor. Repeat on other side. 6. Bend your left knee at a 90-degree angle, placing your right leg on the floor behind you. Straighten the right leg. You should feel this in your left quadriceps (top of leg). Reverse legs. 7. Gently rotate your ankle all the way around, making as complete a circle as possible. Complete two circles. Rotate in the other direction.


SNACKS Healthy Snacks Rice Cakes Whole Wheat Crackers and Peanut Butter Cheddar Cheese Celery with peanut butter inside carrot sticks/mini-carrots grapes (different colors and types) oranges/tangerines pepper slices bananas peanuts pomegranate healthy potato chips (Terra Chips) fruit salad watermelon cantaloupe honeydew melon grapefruit kiwi fruit mango pineapple juice –orange, apple, grape milk water

rice meat bread popcorn peanuts pretzels Not Healthy, But OK for a Special Treat candy chocolate donuts cake french fries hamburger

soda iced tea lemonade kool-aid


NUTRITION: What’s in Food Vitamins: Vitamin A B Vitamins: Vitamin B3, B6, B12 (good for stress) Vitamin C (good for preventing colds) Vitamin D (in milk) Vitamin E Vitamin K Minerals: magnesium potassium selenium and many others! Other Important Ingredients: Calcium (for good bones and teeth) Protein (for strong muscles) Avoid Too Much of: Sugar Cholesterol Fat (although some is necessary) Chemicals

FEELINGS WORKSHEET (Sharing Feelings #1)























FEELINGS IN MY BODY QUIZ (Sharing Feelings #3)

When I feel angry: I feel tension in my shoulders true/false My stomach feels tight true/false I breathe more shallowly true/false I also feel _______________________ When I feel sad or very sad: I feel empty inside true/false I feel very tired true/false My legs feel weak true/false My heart feels heavy true/false I also feel _________________________ When I feel happy My chest feels light true/false I have butterflies in my stomach true/false I want to smile true/false I also feel_____________________ When I feel scared My knees feel weak true/false My stomach feels sick true/false My heart beats fast true/false I also feel __________________________ When I feel worried: I get a headache true/false My neck feels tight true/false My arms feel tingly true/false I also feel __________________ When I feel nervous My stomach is upset true/false I can‘t sit still true/false My head feels light true/false In discussion, encourage children to participate with questions such as: Do you have the same feeling? How do you experience this emotion? How can you tell if you are feeling this same emotion? What do you do when you feel this emotion and it‘s too much to stand? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by emotion? What other emotions do you feel in your body?



NURTURING 1 Cut up construction paper or poster board in interesting shapes with the following suggestions for self-nurture:              read a book take a warm bath talk to your mom go to a friend‘s house listen to music sing a song laugh tell someone a nice story tell people you care about that you love them watch your favorite TV program draw or paint deep breathing to the tummy say ―I love myself and I am a wonderful person‖


TOTAL BODY RELAXATION Have children lie on the floor. If this is not possible, have them sit in chairs, eyes closed. Feel all of your muscles relaxing. As you feel the hard surface of the floor against you r body you feel all of your muscles sinking down, so you are flat against the floor like a pancake. Feel your feet relaxing. First your toes are loosening, going to sleep, then the tops of your feet, the bottoms, the arch, the ankle. Feel your feet completely relaxed. Now feel the bottom of your leg relax, and sink into the floor. Now your knees and the tops of your legs bare relaxing and sinking into the floor. Feel your hips relaxing and sinking into the floor. All your internal organs, your back, your spine are all relaxed, the muscles turning to rubber as you go deeper and deeper into relaxation. You are starting to feel very good. Now relax your arms—the shoulder, the top of the arm, the elbow, and forearm. Every part of your body is feeling warm and relaxed, relaxed, relaxed. Your writs, hands, and fingers are all relaxed—the tops of your hands and the palms. Every part of your body feels a warm glow and is very relaxed. Now your neck is slowly becoming relaxed—the vertebrae and the muscles. You feel the muscles f your back loosening. Your head become relaxed and all the parts of your face—mouth, eyes, cheeks, jaw. Even your brain is getting a slow, soothing massage. And you lie now, relaxed and happy, feeling your body rejuvenate itself. You rest now and you know that when you get up, you will feel better than ever before. Sand you know that you can return to this relaxed state any time you need to rest. [Leave silence for 2-5 minutes, depending on how the children are reacting.] Now slowly you feel all of your body waking up. Your head, face , neck, are waking up. Your hands, forearms, upper arms, shoulders, back and spine are waking up. Your hips and legs are slowly feeling more alive as you prepare to get up. Now your feet are awake, and ready to move. When you feel ready, sit up. Allow children time to rise; also provide some quiet time after they have risen for the to absorb and debrief the experience.


BREATHING—Healing Light

Have children lie down on the floor. If there is not enough space, have them sit in chairs, eyes closed. Breathe in a breath of fresh air through your mouth. Breathe in deep, so you can feel the air going deep, deep into your chest and ending up in your tummy. Breathe out through your nose, until all the air is out of your lungs. Breathe in again, this time imagining a healing red light going through your body, permeating every cell and taking all your hurts, worries, problems and stress away. As the light goes through your body, feel it healing you. When you breathe out, feel a cool blue light taking al of the worries and problems out. As you exhale, see all of the worries flying up into the air and bursts like a balloon, so there'‘ nothing left. Allow children to keep breathing for as long as they desire or are comfortable.


MEDITATION-self-esteem This can be done sitting or lying down, eyes closed. Breathe in a warm, red, healing light. As you breathe in, think about al of the wonderful things you have done today. Think of the people who like you, and how you have helped them today. As you breathe in that comforting air, know that you are the best person you could possibly be, and how you are right now is just perfect. You do not need to do anything else, because you are wonderful just as you are. As you breathe in, feel comfort that you are so wonderful. Know that you are a very good [person, and a very strong one. Everything that has been difficult for you and everything you have suffered has made you an exceedingly strong person. You are very strong, and others admire you for your strength. And know that that wonderful strength can be used to help others, to make their life easier. As you breathe in and comfort your body, know that you are fantastic just as you are. Any time you doubt how wonderful you are, you can breathe in and you will remember what a fantastic, smart, talented and strong person you are. When you are ready, slowly open your eyes and begin to look around the room. Remember where you are right now, and remember what an incredible person you are.


RELAXATION—Feeling Safe This may be done either sitting or lying down. The children may keep their eyes open if they wish, but closed is preferable. When you‘re safe you feel comfortable and protected, so that nobody can get you and nothing can hurt you. You are safe now. You know that you are the most incredible, wonderful person and I deserve to be safe and comfortable and happy. You know that any time you feel unsafe, you will do whatever you need to be safe again, because you are very smart and resourceful. Any time you feel worried or unsafe, you will just take a deep breath, and you will get clarity on what to do. You will feel you deserve to be safe and you will feel better.


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