Heartful Leaders

This fun and empowering class is designed to help students learn about anxiety in a creative and light-hearted way. Students will engage with their worries and fears through play, story telling, creative writing, movement, art, and self-reflection. There will be no quizzes or tests. But, students will be given light homework each week to help take their learning out of the classroom and into their daily lives.

We will start each week of class with a question in order to promote critical thinking and discussion amongst students. Lecture will be broken up with fun games, music, and other activities to keep kids engaged. Each child will be given a journal/workbook to go along with the course. Workbook pages will be given in sections to help children follow along with the class and stay present rather than jumping ahead.

Parental guidance, participation, and support is highly recommended throughout this course. It is suggested that parents engage in the homework assignments with their children and establish an ongoing dialogue about the material. Small kids can have big worries. It’s not easy for children to manage anxious thoughts and feelings by themselves. A parent’s guide will be offered as a handout for the course designed to help parents better support anxious children.

Weekly Syllabus

Week 1: What is Worry?

The first class will begin with student introductions and discussion based on the question “What is Worry?”. Students will learn how to define, label, and recognize worry and anxiety in themselves and others. During the last portion of class, students will be asked to draw a picture of their personal “what if monster” and “worry warrior” in their journals.

Week 2: Why Do We Worry?

Class will begin with students asking themselves “Why Do We Worry?” and discussing their answers as a group. Students will then receive a brief introduction to the human brain, limbic system, and fight, flight, or freeze response. Students will be given a creative writing exercise at the end of this class to help them process and express what they learned.

Week 3: Where are Worries Anyways?

Class will begin with the question, “Where are Worries Anyways?”. Students will be asked to contemplate the nature of worry and where it happens (first in their imagination then leading to physical sensations in the body). After discussion, students will learn about the human mind, examine their thinking processes, and discover ways to recognize and replace unhealthy thinking with positive, healthy self-talk. We will also discuss the mind-body connection, giving students a chance to reflect on how they experience anxiety in their bodies.

Week 4: When Do Worries Happen?

Students will start class by discussing this week’s question, “When Do Worries Happen?”. Worries are about the future, but they happen in the present moment. Students will be introduced to mindfulness as a tool to stay present and reduce worry. They will learn deep breathing and movement exercises to help focus their mind and calm their bodies.

Week 5: Who is the Worrier & Who is the Warrior?

Class will begin with discussion on the questions “Who is the Worrier?” and “Who is the Warrior?”. Students will recognize that the one who worries and the one who overcomes the worry are both parts of themselves. They will learn how to listen to the worrier to recognize a problem and let the warrior take over and do the problem solving. Students will play a fun battle game with their “worrier” and “worry warrior” to help them process and integrate their learning. 

Week 6: How Do We Manage Worry?

The final class will begin with students sharing ways that they personally deal with their worries and discussing some of the coping skills they have learned throughout the course. Students will be empowered to create their own worry toolkit to help them remember to use their coping skills when they feel worried.

Course Materials

  • Students will be given a worry workbook and journal to use throughout the course.
  • A Parent’s Guide to Childhood Worry and Anxiety will also be provided.
  • Worry Warrior music playlist link will be offered for kids who enjoy music and dance.
  • Teacher will be reading Is a Worry Worrying You by Ferida Wolf and Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt during classes. Parents are welcome but not required to buy these books for their children.
  • Students are required to have access to a printer to print the workbooks. They will also need drawing paper, pencil, and some form of art supplies to use during some of the classes. Students can choose their preference of crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc.
  • Ideally students will have enough space for some movement in the room they choose to take the course. They will be introduced to some yoga postures and will even be given an opportunity to dance if they choose to during at least one of the lessons.

Worry Warriors is currently offered as a live course through the Outschool platform.

Click here to register for an upcoming course today!

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