Grief Activity FREE : Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy

Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
Grief Activity FREE :  Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy
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Grief Activity-Helping Students Cope with Grief and Tragedy

Tragedy is unpredictable, but this resource addresses the teacher's role when tragedy strikes; whether it's ways to console an individual student dealing with the death of a family member, or whether a tragic incident rocks your school, or after a national or world-wide shocking or tragic event is on the news.

Healing for students when tragedy strikes can happen in the classroom.


I hope this FREE resource can help-I know it helped my students when we faced the unthinkable...

As a high school teacher I saw my share of grieving students during many tragedies that rocked our whole school community. My school had several student suicides over the years I was there, two high speed driving deaths, and several accidental deaths.

I have to admit I didn't quite know what to do as my students sat in my room grieving. I wanted to give them comfort and hope, but I wasn't sure how to go about it.

I asked my school counselor for suggestions and she gave me the idea for the "Head to Heart to Head" activity. It was fantastic for helping students open up and talk about the tragic events in a reflective and more productive way.


“Head to Heart to Head” is the perfect activity when there is shocking news, since it allows everyone to personalize the event and verbalize how they see it through our own experiences and emotions.

Students will be able to say where they were when tragedy stuck, or where they were when they heard about the tragedy, or how they felt, or what they’re thinking and how it's impacting their own feelings about it now.

Tragedies have a way of causing us to remember past personal grief, even if it's unrelated to the circumstances of the tragic event that happened, so this activity can help many students find hope and encouragement for their own personal grief as well.


The activity involves 3 scripted questions where students go around and answer (or say "pass"). Others listen.

The 3 questions following a tragedy are:

1) What was your first thought when you saw or heard the news about__________________?

2) What has been the most difficult part of this for you?

3) Share ways they think our school and students can pull together and help each other overcome this?


This resource includes:

1) "Head to Heart to Head" Activity

2) Additional questions to ask after a tragedy

3) Ideas to help schools overcome tragedies (i.e.: decorate a fence that can be seen from the road, play music at lunch, memorializing the lost..)

4) "Ways Teens Can Help Grieving Teens"

5) "Signs of Clinical Depression and Suicide"

6) "Ways Teens May React to Tragedy"

7) "Ways to Respond to Teens Who are Grieving" (for adults)

8) "DABDA Resource Sheet" (Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' 5 stages to deal with death)

9) Additional articles to help you help your students


As one of the included article states, " Remember that, as with everything you do as a teacher, you are teaching, and modeling, and allowing children to devise for themselves ways to handle challenges in a positive way. It’s a skill that will be as important in their lives as reading and writing, and worth your efforts to nurture when kids are in crisis."*

Sincerely, Mrs. S.


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FREE Grief Activity: Helping Students Cope with Grief

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
50 minutes
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