One way to introduce the topic and get students comfortable with talking about anxiety is to bring in literature. Books that discuss stress or worry can be read a circle time or during one-on-one reading time with a specific student.
Here is our list of favorite books that deal with anxiety:
Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes
Wemberly is anxious about everything, including her first day of school. After meeting a friend, she learns that school is so much more fun when she’s not spending all of her time worrying.
Don’t Panic Annika by Juliet Clare Bell
When something doesn’t go as planned, Annika panics. In this story, children learn to navigate their way through stressful situations without overreacting.
Wilma Jean the Worry Machine by Julia Cook
Wilma stresses about missing the bus, doing a math problem wrong, and having any friends. Her teacher helps her realize what problems she can and cannot control and how to deal with each of those types of problems.
Back to School Tortoise by Lucy M. George
Tortoise is worried about his first day at school. This book shows students that everyone (including those they may not think) worry and that most of the time it’s completely normal.
David and the Worry Beast: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety by Anne Marie Guanci
David can’t stop thinking about the basketball shot that he missed. He dwells on the past. This story introduces coping strategies to help children manage their anxiety.
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