Sample from Classroom Stories for SEAL KS1 and KS2 Theme 6 Relationships: Curriculum development resources Year 3

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1 Theme 6 Relationships: Curriculum development resources Year 3 Max s Bad Week Embarrassment (guilt) Happiness (proud) Story It was Saturday morning and Max was still in bed. He knew that Mum would soon be calling him to get up and have his breakfast and go shopping because that is what they always did on Saturdays. But this Saturday, Max didn t want to get up and he didn t want to go shopping because he felt terrible. He wasn t ill, he just felt miserable. He knew that Mum was upset with him and he knew it was all his fault. That s why he felt terrible. Max had had a bad week. It had all seemed to start on Sunday when Dad had told him that he was going away for a while. I want you to be a good boy, Max, and help Mum to look after Beth, he had said, I ll be back as soon as I can. But somehow Max hadn t felt like being good. On Monday he had got into a bit of a fight at school and the teacher told Mum and Mum had been very disappointed. On Wednesday he had jumped in a puddle on purpose and got mud all over his trousers and socks and shoes so that Mum had to wash them. She had been very cross. But Friday was the worst. When Mum had

2 asked him to turn his video off because it was bedtime, he had shouted at her. He had shouted very bad things to her. He had said that she was a horrible, mean Mum and he didn t like her at all. That was why on Saturday Max was feeling terrible. Can you describe the feelings Max was having? Why do you think he felt so bad? Mum was very quiet over breakfast and Max was quiet too. He didn t feel like talking much. Only Bethany chatted away in her baby language and nobody could really understand what she was saying. When Beth was ready in her buggy they all walked to the supermarket. Max saw Mum put Beth s comic and sweets into the trolley but he didn t see her put anything in for him like she usually did. He felt worse than ever. Why do you think that Max felt bad when he thought his Mum hadn t put anything in the trolley for him? On the way home they stopped at the park. Beth played on everything, but Max just sat on the swing feeling unhappy with himself. He looked at Mum playing with Beth and he thought that she looked unhappy too. At home, after lunch, Beth fell asleep and Mum began to clean the house. Usually Max watched his video when she did this but instead he thought he would try and cheer her up. So he said, Shall I help you Mum? Mum looked pleased. Well, Max, she said, you could go and tidy your room. That would be a help. Max hated tidying his room but instead of grumbling as usual, he just said OK, and went and did it. He even cleaned out Mario s cage. Mario was his hamster. When he had finished he asked Mum for another job and she let him vacuum the carpet and polish the table. Somehow, each time he did something to help his mum, he felt a little bit better.

3 Why do you think Max decided to help his mum? Why do you think that helping her made him feel a little bit better? After tea Mum gave Beth her sweets and read her comic to her. Then she cleaned her teeth and put her to bed. When Beth was asleep, to Max s great surprise, Mum gave him some sweets and his favourite comic. He couldn t believe it. I thought you wouldn t get me anything because of all the bad things I ve done, he said. Mum pulled him down beside her on the sofa and put her arms around him. I bought them for you because I love you, she said. The things you sometimes do don t stop me loving you and I know you ve been feeling miserable about everything. I have been feeling miserable, said Max, and I m sorry for all of it, Mum. I m sorry for getting in a fight, and I m sorry for jumping in a puddle, and I m specially sorry for saying I didn t like you, because I do. I know you do, she said, and she was smiling now. She squeezed him really tight. Max was beginning to feel almost all his bad feelings disappearing. There was just one little ache left at the bottom of his heart. What do you think helped Max to feel better? (Help the children to understand forgiveness in the context of the story.) Can you think why he might still have a little ache left in his tummy? The phone rang. It was Dad. Max heard Mum say, Yes, Beth is fine, she s been to the park. Max wondered what Mum would say about him. His heart was beating hard while he waited. Then Mum said, I think Max has found this week a bit difficult and I think he s been missing you rather a lot. But today he s been wonderful at helping me. He tidied his room and vacuumed the carpet and polished the table. Max heaved a sigh of relief.

4 What do you think that Max had been afraid of when Mum spoke to Dad? When Mum came off the phone she gave Max another great bit hug. That s from your dad, she said, he asked me to give it to you. He s coming home tomorrow. He said he s very proud of you for helping me. At that Max felt the last bit of uncomfortable feeling disappear, and when Mum said, Come on now, it s time for bed, he said, OK, Mum, good night, gave her a big hug and went off to bed without another word. How do you think Max was feeling when he went to bed? (Again, encourage the children to think of Max feeling forgiven.) What do you think he might do differently if Dad had to go away again?

5 Springboards Ideas for further exploration Max feels bad about how he has behaved. Is it his fault as he is feeling miserable about his dad going away? Explore the issue of personal responsibility for our behaviour if we feel bad is it OK to treat other people badly or behave in a way that makes them sad? Emphasise that we always have a choice about our behaviour, even when it is hard. In the story Max is horrid to his Mum, even though he loves her. Explore with the children how it is possible to like or love someone at the same time as feeling cross with them about something. Reassure children that this is a normal part of life and, if they feel safe enough to do so, encourage them to share when this has happened to them. Focus on feelings sad happy embarrassed miserable forgiven guilty terrible Max feels many feelings in the story. Ask the children what feeling they think the story is mainly about they will have different ideas but ensure that the feelings of guilty and forgiven are mentioned, if necessary by adding them yourself. Explore with the children how these feel, when they have experienced them. Talk to the children about how Max s mum loves him even when he does annoying things. It is important for children to realise that they are still lovable individuals to the people that care about them, even when they make mistakes, or bad choices. You might like to

6 explore the idea of forgiveness and how it makes both the person doing the forgiving and the forgiven person feel, if appropriate. Explore what effect Max s behaviour has on his mum. It is important that we realise that our moods and behaviour affect other people. Developing strategies and skills Sometimes it is hard to know why we are behaving the way we are. In the story Max doesn t really want to make his mum unhappy, but he carries on being naughty anyway. One of the things his mum tells him is that she understands that it is because he is miserable that he is behaving in this way. Encourage children to pay attention to their feelings - if they can talk about what they are feeling and why, they might not fall into the trap that Max did. In the story both Max and his mum do things to make things better discuss what these things are, and explore children s own experiences of making things better, drawing on the story as appropriate (e.g. being honest about how you are feeling, saying sorry, offering to help, being able to forgive).

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