Picture books are a wonderful resource to illustrate the various traits of writing with students. Recently, I read this book to my class to convey the use of descriptive words when writing. The book is about a Little Bear who finally gets to sleep in his own room away from Big Bear. As Little Bear snuggles down to sleep without Big Bear, everything feels different. His runaway imaginations lead him to be anxious and worried about who or what may be in his bedroom.
After discussing the descriptive words the author used in the book, I asked the class if any of them ever felt like Little Bear. Almost every hand went up. One of the girls stated, “I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and think I see someone in my bedroom too.” Another student commented, “I can relate to Little Bear because it takes me a long time to fall asleep since I worry about things.” Several more students shared how, especially at night, they feel anxious thoughts. We then brainstormed ways to help overcome these negative thoughts. Some of the suggestions were: play peaceful music, think of something that calms you, go to sleep with your mom or dad or turn on the lights and check around your room. My favorite response, however, was…”I pray and ask God to take away the bad thoughts and replace them with good thoughts and then I feel better.”
As we ended our discussion, I was reminded that no matter what age we are many of us struggle with negative thoughts and create scenarios and imaginations in our minds that can trick us into believing something that isn’t real. From a young age, we develop these thought patterns which follow us into our adult lives. These patterns can become habits and before you know it they disguise themselves as reality.
LIFE LESSON: It is so easy to be deceived into believing wrong thoughts, but it takes effort to think right thoughts intentionally. Our minds are powerful and whatever we focus on we tend to believe and become.
“Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise…Then the God of Peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9