Book It, Part 19: Start the Year off with a Positive Attitude
This time of year, especially in the Northeast, it can seem
like everyone is struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, including our
students. It's cold, it's dark, and the smallest thing can set us off! As SLPs,
we can be good counselors to our students and encourage positive self-talk for
all sorts of occasions.
Self-talk is a tenet of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT),
which is well-grounded in research, but it is obviously also a language-based
approach to changing thinking and behavior. What we think, or the words in our head, can actually change
what we feel, what we do, and therefore the consequences we experience.
I recently was doing some Amazon-ing for some new picture
books and discovered a few books that I could use right away to touch on
positive thinking while reviewing language strategies around the book. The
first, What Are You So Grumpy About? (Tom Lichtenfeld) is a vibrantly illustrated
and whimsical take on the topic of bad days.
The book is essentially a series of questions: "Did you get
a package on your birthday? And it turned out to be BORING stuff?" The pictures
provide a lot to discuss, and the front and back cover pages feature an array
of "Sure Cures for Grumpiness."
The second book I found is One of Those Days
(Amy Krouse Rosenthal/Rebecca Doughty).
Simpler in text and illustration, the book lists different kinds of days that everyone
has: "You Think You're Right But No One Else Thinks So Day/Answer To Everything
Is No Day." Both books end with that positive spin that will help kids see that
we can think our way out of most problems!
These books lend themselves to a number of language-based
activities and strategies:
- Compare and contrast the
two books -- how are they similar and/or different in language, illustration,
type of problem?
- Make your own books in the
format of these, by writing a series of second-person questions about
possible daily problems, or "Titling" days according to problems.
- Use the book in
conjunction with the SuperflexTM Social Thinking program, particularly the Unthinkable
character of Grump Grumpaniny.
- Employ graphic organizers
and have kids list the problems that they have experienced, and "make
connections" while reading the books.
For a grown-up spin on bad days, be sure to check out Allie Brosh's post on the Sneaky Hate Spiral -- it's one of my favorites.