Chapter 3: Teachable moments
Opportunities for teachable moments
“I was glad Mr. Kim had talks about dying in class. It helped when my grandfather did die. My parents don’t like to talk about hard things so I think it would have been worse for me”. - Student
One of the wonderful benefits of being an educator is that these moments provide many opportunities to connect with students.
Click on the arrows for more examples of teachable moments.
Acknowledging and discussing the death of a bird in the school yard with the kindergarten students who found it.
Exploring a primary student’s reference to a dead racoon they saw on the way to school.
Talking about the death of a pet or another animal.
Discussing the grief portrayed by a character in a movie or book and brainstorming grief support strategies.
Discussing community rituals following a death, such as a wake period*, funeral or a celebration of life.
Encouraging conversation about the life cycle of all living things on a nature hike.
Talking openly in the classroom about a tragic world event and its emotional impact.
*Wake period - A wake is a period of time (the time varies depending on cultural or community backgrounds) after the death before a service or funeral. In some cultures, it involves family members or close friends staying ‘awake’ through the night with the deceased. Wake practices vary from culture to culture.
See also:Teachable moments