Talking Death and Dying with Children – Part 1

A Teacher's Reflections

“Jennie, come quick!  You need to come right now!”

Vivian was wide-eyed and worried.  I knew this was serious.  I sprinted with her over to the bushes and around to the backside.  There lay a bunny.  It looked to be sleeping and very peaceful.

“What’s wrong?  Why isn’t the bunny moving?”, asked Vivian

I said, “Thebunny isn’t alive.  It’s dead.”

Vivian didn’t know what to say.  By now, other children were curious and coming over to see.  Another teacher thought I should take the children away from the scene.  After all, it was a dead animal.

I did just the opposite.

I called all the children over to see.  It’s okay to see death.  Children needed to see, to ask questions, and to be there.  It was up to me to guide the situation and open a discussion. First we looked at the fur and talked about how…

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