Children are natural reporters; one of my daughters could hear a drop in tone from another room, stealthily positioning herself to soak up the concerns and interests of nearby adults. This is most children. So it should be no surprise to parents and teachers that our children have an interest in the results left behind by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. How can we address this in the classroom? With age appropriate truth, compassion, and action. My favorite means is through the use of mentor books that share effects, yet also share the spirit of caring neighbors.
For younger elementary students, I recommend Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans. This tale demonstrates one street sweeper’s spirit of community and strong work ethic to restore his hometown.
For older students, facts of how hurricanes work can be shared, alleviating fear through scientific knowledge.
Action can be as simple as sharing well wishes or thoughts on a classroom board, letters of encouragement, or a book from home to be sent to children affected by the storms.
My heart goes out to those affected by these natural disasters, as well as the fires on the west coast. Nature is to be respected for its beauty, as well as its strength, traits mirrored in the everyday citizens helping in the aftermath.