The Grand Wolf (Change, loss and grief) accentuates a topic that is very difficult to present to a 4-7 year old child. Learning to deal with loss and grief is a composite of many of the emotions already discussed in the previous books including strong feelings, loss, anger, need to calm, etc. Since the child has had the opportunity to master exercises and activities that they already know and acknowledge, these exercises can be reworked around this concept. I like the idea expressed at the start of the lesson that states, “If we make grief less of a taboo subject, we can help children to become more open about feelings around loss”. Bravo to this idea. Parents, teachers, and others can present this topic in a caring and sensitive way to help children develop the social and emotional tools they need for mental wellness. I like how spider gives Wolfgang permission to cry, which is sometimes discouraged in small children. The characters in the story also continue on after learning of the loss to show what they can do next such as put up photos, tell stories, hold the person close in their hearts.
In the teaching guide, the exercises around how things change and helping others are excellent in operationalizing the concept of loss. The life of a caterpillar is often used as an example since its stages can easily be observed. Even more, the activity that promotes building compassion and empathy is critical to developing a sense of wellness. All children can develop these skills and the list of -˜how to do this' such as giving a hug, listening, etc. are important skills children can freely learn to give. Adults can benefit as well.