Families in Transition (FIT) Small Groups – 3rd & 4th Grade Activities

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To read more about why and how I run Families in Transition (FIT) Groups, read my previous post: Families in Transition (FIT) Small Groups


This week, I terminated my 3rd and 4th grade FIT groups after 6 sessions each. For these groups, I chose activities that were more developmentally appropriate than those I use with my 5th and 6th grade groups {which are described in post linked above}.

Here are some of my favorite activities from this rounds of groups!:

(1) Check-Ins

I start every group I run with at least a quick verbal check in, but for my 3rd and 4th grade FIT groups, I decided to use this Inside Out feelings sheet from Brie Brie Blooms:

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When the students come into my office, I have the feelings sheets on clipboards ready to go, so they know right away to complete a sheet. Then, we take turns sharing what we wrote with the group. I find this is an easy way to gather information at the very beginning of group. {Also, the kids really like it, which is a major plus}

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(2) Coping With Divorce “Cootie Catchers”

I’m sure we all remember making “cootie catchers” or “fortune tellers” as children, and it’s still a hit with the kiddos! {If you don’t remember how to make them, check out this YouTube tutorial.} I begin this activity by talking about the different feelings we might have when thinking about our parents’ divorce. The group members usually identify emotions such as sad, angry, embarrassed, lonely, and worried.

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The students then write four of those feelings on the outside squares of their “cootie catchers.” {For 3rd grade, I made them in advance, but I had 4th grade fold them with a little help from me.} On the inside of the “cootie catcher,” they write “If I’m {insert feeling here}” for each of the emotions they listed on the outside.

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Finally, under each flap, the students write 2 coping skills for each feeling.

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This activity seemed to be a group favorite, and I’ve actually seen my students using their “cootie catchers” in the hallway when they are upset!

(3) Divorce Advice Pages

This activity gives students an opportunity to help other kids who are going through similar things in their families. Each sheet has 3 sections: “Things I wish I knew when my parents got divorced, “Things that have been good that happened because of the divorce,” and “Things that help me whenever I feel sad about the divorce.”

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Students write 3 things for each category, and we use this page to spark discussion among group members. I tell the students that copies of their advice pages will be put into a binder so that other kids who are upset about their parents divorcing can look at them and hopefully feel better. The group members really liked the idea of helping others, and they didn’t even realize that this activity was helping them too!

I’ll be posting this worksheet as a freebie on my TpT store soon!

(4) FIT Group Books – Termination Activity

After each session, I collected everyone’s check-in sheets, as well as any other papers we generated during the session {drawings, worksheets, etc.}. During the very last session, I give the students back their work in the form of a book to take home. I also include a page for each session describing what they did that day {which is especially good for the sessions that didn’t have any handouts}. I encourage the students to share these books with their parents so they can what we did during group.

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The group members decorate a book cover, complete with a hand drawn picture of the group and 3 ways the group helped them. Then, we punch holes in the pages, and tie them together with yarn. We finish out with a discussion of everyone’s favorite things about the group, and I remind them that they can still come talk to me after the group ends. I also give a short anonymous survey at the end for my own data collection.

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{At first, I wasn’t sure why most students were drawing the group members with blue orbs around them, then I realized that they were drawing the blue bean bag chairs that we always sit on!}


 

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