Healthy Goodbyes

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Learning Goal

Students will understand what makes for a healthy goodbye.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:

  • Understand why goodbyes are important and can be difficult
  • Say goodbye in a satisfying manner
Learning Summary

While it may not be everyone’s favorite topic, goodbyes are a part of every relationship we have. This topic can often cross into talking about the death of loved ones. If this happens, teachers can acknowledge that when someone dies we have to say goodbye and that it can be particularly difficult and also very important to do.

Start with a moment of mindfulness in which a student picks a breath they have learned and leads the class.Then as a class, discuss what goodbyes feel like and why they are important. The Munchy and Jumpy story is about the bunnies preparing to move and they choose not to say goodbye to their friends because it’s too sad. On the double-day, they go around and visit and say goodbye to all their friends. Students then participate in a community circle in which they share a memory from the year and say goodbye to a friend. The class discusses how it feels to say goodbye. Students end by reflecting on goodbyes in their journals.

computer icon Online Teaching Tips for Healthy Goodbyes

We all know goodbyes are important. If possible, try to make this lesson a live session so students can have time and space to say goodbye to their classmates and you. Use the Munchy and Jumpy story as the anchor of the lesson to teach students the importance and value of healthy goodbyes.

Start with a student led mindful moment. At this point in the year, students have learned quite a few different techniques. Have a student or two turn on their cameras and microphones and lead a mindfulness practice for the rest of the class. After the story is read, use the rest of the class time for students to participate in a virtual community circle sharing their favorite memories from the year. 

Lead a mindful moment of your chosen from a previous lesson or one you made up. After the story is read, have students draw a picture of their school or class favorite memory from the year. If possible, students can take a picture of their drawing and send them to the teacher to make a book of class memories. 

CASEL Competencies

Self-awareness: The abilities to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes capacities to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.

Self-management: The abilities to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation & agency to accomplish personal/collective goals.

Responsible decision-making: The abilities to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacities to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.

Relationship skills: The abilities to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups. This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed.

Social awareness: The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, & contexts. This includes the capacities to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.