A Lesson Plan for the children’s book, Amadito and Spider Woman, is posted on the Southwest Children’s Literature Web Site. The site is a collaborative project between undergraduate and graduate students in education, library science, and English and Tucson-area students and their classroom teachers, teacher-librarians, and public librarians. It is facilitated by literacies and libraries consultant Judi Moreillon, Ph.D.
Lisa Bear Goldman is available on a limited basis for readings and discussion. Amadito and Spider Woman provides children with a fresh and simple perspective: a template, if you will, for dealing positively with difficult and painful emotions. After the reading, the parables are cited and the children are asked whether they have ever tried these ways to feel better. Examples from the story follow:
“The ants are still hard at work. They stay busy and never stop. Some people try to avoid pain in this way”.
“See how sharp and harsh the cactus is, my Grandson. Some people try to cover their pain with anger, and they become like the cactus”.
“Some people build a strong protection around their hearts just as the tortoise has his shell. They believe they can avoid feeling pain in this way”.
Reassurance that it is natural to want to avoid painful feelings is brought up. Nana’s advice, not to be afraid of feelings, is reiterated and what happens when we ignore, or try to hide from our feelings is presented. The discussion is guided, emphasizing the advantage of keeping one’s heart open, and the joy and benefit brought by honoring one’s feelings.