As a classroom teacher, sometimes we encounter situations where students have suffered a loss. It can be challenging to address the grief that a child is feeling. We often talk about emotions in the classroom but rarely talk about grief. When a child suffers a loss, they are sometimes unprepared for that emotion. Teaching children about grief can be challenging but with the use of age appropriate books it can be manageable.
When using picture books we want them to be relatable for children. When I read this book, “An Emotion Called Grief” , I knew that this was a book that I wanted for my classroom book collection. I have had students who have lost a parent, a sibling, or even a pet and this is a great book to read one on one with those students. It could also be a book that is just out for students to choose during self-selected reading. Almost every child at some point will suffer a loss. Teaching children about grief isn’t something educators often do, but so many children have a connection to share. It’s time to normalize grief in the classroom and I believe that this book is a great way to do that.
The author of this book, Heather Eimers, suffered a loss herself. Her father passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. This loss was traumatic for Heather and her family. Heather struggled with how to help her children understand grief while she was also navigating her own pain. She decided to write this book as a means to help herself through the grieving process and to help her own children understand grief. As it turns out, “An Emotion Called Grief” is also a great book for teaching all children about grief. Heather wrote and illustrated this beautiful book along with her daughter Parker Boudreau.
I highly recommend keeping a copy of this book in your classroom library. It would also be great for a child and youth worker’s office, a social worker’s office, principal’s office, or a guidance office. I also purchased a copy to keep at my house to read with my own children.