Worry Moves On by Liz Haske

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Worry Moves On is the second book in Liz Haske’s “Worry Series” following When Worry Takes Hold. As pictured on the cover, Sophia is that kid who loves school and can’t wait to do it all again the next day. Unfortunately when Worry arrives, the once-confident Sophia crumples and doesn’t feel sure of what she knows or who she is. It takes a good friend to help Sophia move forward and for Worry to move on.

A Teacher’s Thoughts:

While her name isn’t Sophia, I have this student right now in my room. She’s got big life stuff going on. Her parents are separating, she’s had health issues and she’s acting out in ways teachers haven’t seen before. Like many of my social emotional books, I’ve had Worry Moves On on my shelf waiting for the right time. This week I sensed it was time.

We’ve been working on the comprehension skill of visualizing so I decided to cover up the book with black paper and I told the students I wouldn’t be showing them any illustrations. Their job was to listen and visualize what “Worry” looked like. They were intrigued and a few sat up a little straighter to see if they could see what I was reading.

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Students’ Responses:

At the end of the story the students turned and talked and shared out what they thought the message was. They said things like, “Worries are going to happen, so you have to figure out ways to not let them get you all the way down,” and “If you don’t fight worry so hard you might just learn something.”

What they had to say about the story was deep (I wished other adults were around to benefit from their wisdom), but more was revealed when they shared their drawings of what they visualized.

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Zari drew herself with a bound mouth and a black balloon. Xander drew a double-horned monster with scars and a “Worry is my name” button. Reggie asked for more time so he could sketch a “worry bomb” that was setting off a nervous system and asking questions, “What do I do?” and “What is the answer?”

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Several kids just started writing a cluster of questions:
What if my parents don’t have money?
Will anyone be nice to me?
Will I make friends?
Will my cat get hurt?
What’s going to happen?
Is he OK?
Will she still be my friend?

For a chatty class on a Friday they were quiet as each student shared.

“You have a profound understanding of worry,” I told them.

Charli asked, “What did you draw Mrs. Rader?”

I showed them my drawing of six connecting arms reaching and grasping and I explained that worry to me is never having enough arms to take care of everything.

“Which is why there’s courage,” Charli said.

“Which is why there’s courage,” I repeated.

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