I am extremely thankful I get to host Dr. Zelinger on my blog today. Please join me in welcoming her. Her book on anxiety is a great resource for parents and teachers.
Tradebook Tips for Teachers from Author/School Psychologist, Dr. Laurie Zelinger
Welcome to Day 3 of the 6-day virtual tour for my new book Please Explain “Anxiety” to Me! This book has been endorsed by Dr. Herb R. Brown, Superintendent of Oceanside Schools, a district in a large suburb on Long Island. He writes, “This excellent book is perfect for parents to read and discuss with their children. It’s also perfect for school professionals to use in the school setting.” Dr. Zev Ash, a pediatrician who also endorsed the book indicated that on any given day, about 30 percent of his patients have anxiety related symptoms. Given this information, it is safe to say that significant numbers of children go to school with anxiety, and are placed in the hands of their teachers for nearly seven hours at a clip. When teachers know how to receive and respond to these children, they can make a world of difference in the day of that student.
This book can have relevance to several content areas. When teachers read the book aloud they can relate it to different concepts, depending upon the curriculum for that grade. For example, recently, many schools have utilized the holiday season to examine the differences between needs and wants. As such, pages 6-7 show how food is hard to find, but how dinosaur parents take care of their children’s basic needs by escorting them to the water source and bending down trees so that babies can reach the leaves. Stranger danger can be introduced with pages 9-11 when the threatening meat-eating dinosaur spies a baby dinosaur alone in the grass. Page 10 introduces the child to the freeze-fight or- flight concept while the biological sympathetic nervous system is explained on pages 12-19 and can be incorporated into lessons on the human body.
The take-away message of the book comes on pages 20-21 when anxiety is explained to the young reader, and is also appropriate for units on feelings or for children who have experienced a trauma. Page 22 can be a particularly good overture to a discussion about the various things that worry children, as the examples given are intentionally general and can apply to most children at some time. We write, “Noises, big things or remembering bad dreams can turn on the switch. Sometimes thinking about bad stories, bad guys, staying home alone or being in the dark can scare us. Sometimes school and our family can make us feel stressed, or new things can worry us. And sometimes things that aren’t even real, like monsters, cans scare us. Everyone gets scared of different things.” Nearly every one of a child’s concerns can fit into one of those categories.
Page 24 can be linked to a unit on families, as the connection is made that when we have anxiety, other people in our family likely experience similar feelings. Teachers can provide strategies for dealing with anxiety (i.e. test taking, being in the school play, going on a school trip or dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event) by using pages 26-31 as a resource. Reliance and trust in school counselors is given attention on pages 30-31. Finally, the lessons offered in the book are summarized on page 35 and the rhymes provided can be chanted as a choral response by the children.
Find out more about me and my book at the National Writing for Children Center, where the book is showcased all this month.
Follow Day 4 of my tour tomorrow at www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com Leave a comment every day of my tour and your name will automatically be entered to win a Gift Box Bundle – filled with books and other goodies – at the end of the month, provided by the National Writing for Children Center.