Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Good Grief!

Pam Lord
Santa Rosa District Schools


GOOD GRIEF! What better way to explain, demonstrate, and explore strategies related to a difficult topics? Through student role playing within family groups, the use of communicating strategies for managing grief will be explored.


The student knows communication strategies for managing grief caused by disappointment, separation, or loss (eg., counseling, talking, and listening).


-Handout of Role Play: GOOD GRIEF!
-Handout of Role Play: Family Scenarios
-Handout of Stages of Grief


1. Cluster desk/chairs or other seating arrangements into groups of three, four, and five.
2. Make enough copies of Role Play: Good Grief! Checklist.
3. Make enough copies of the Stages of Grief.
4. Make enough copies of Role Play: Family Scenarios.


Day 1
1. Place students in groups of three to five to simulate a family group.

2. Review and discuss information concerning communication, family structures, and the stages of grief.

3. Brainstorm, discuss, and model communication strategies of managing grief (show that you are interested by paying attention, avoid closed and leading questions, avoid feedback that evaluates or criticizes what the other person says).

4. Distribute three handouts: Stages of Grief, Checklist; Role Play: Good Grief; and Role Play: Family Scenarios with explanation of each handout.

5. Teacher assigns Role Play: Family Scenarios to each group. Family groups practice engaging in role play, demonstrating communication strategies of managing grief. Teacher is walking among groups offering suggestions and feedback as needed.

Day 2
6. Family groups review previous day from Role Play: Family Scenarios.

7. Have the scenarios of role play for class members. While the teacher monitors, role play with Good Grief checklist and assessing each student with each group presentation.

8. Collectively discuss after each presentation the types of strategies of managing grief after each family group presents their scenario. Here are possible questions from teacher: Which family member or group was the best listener? Did you sense that a particular group showed more empathy to members of the family when they spoke than others?


Formatively assess student's ability to use role play while communicating strategies for managing grief using a checklist. (See associated files.) Previous instruction has been given on communication, family structures, and stages of grief. Students absent or refusing to participate will choose a partner or (friend) and use # 6 Role Play: Family Scenarios.

Attached Files

Stages of Grief     File Extension:  pdf

Role Play: Family Scenarios     File Extension:  pdf

Role Play: GOOD GRIEF!     File Extension:  pdf
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