Stages of Grief: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Throughout life, there are events that happen that make us sad. In this lesson, learn the five stages of grief, and find out how to cope and get through each stage.

What is Grief?

Have you ever experienced a situation that made you extremely sad? If so, you probably felt the emotion of grief. You may feel grief when you have to move and say goodbye to your friends, or when you lose someone close to you - a friend, family member or even a pet.

The Five Stages of Grief

No matter what the cause, you will go through several stages and experience many emotions while you are grieving. Although these stages are given in an order, everyone's grief is individual, and not everyone will experience grief in this order. However, just knowing the stages and understanding the grieving process can help you get through your loss and feel much happier after some time has passed.


The first stage of grief is called denial. You want to continue to believe that everything is okay and that nothing bad has actually happened. Denial is a common reaction because it may help relieve pain. During this stage, you may also want to be by yourself for a while. It is okay to want some alone time so you can sort through your feelings and think about the situation.


After denial, reality will start to sink in. You realize that something sad did happen, and that makes you pretty angry. This is a normal reaction! You may actually get angry at people who have not done anything to you, or you may get mad at objects in your room or around your house.

After denial, you may start to feel angry about the situation that is making you sad.

During this stage, try to find ways to manage your anger. Exercise, music, and deep breathing can all be ways to help you control your emotions. Certainly be careful not to take your anger out on others.


Another stage of grief is bargaining, which is when you try to strike a deal with someone. This is where you may want to make a deal with God or with someone to try to make everything okay again. Although it is hard to avoid, try not to feel too guilty about the situation.


You've gone through denial, gotten angry, and tried bargaining. Sadly, nothing has changed the situation. Now it is common to go through a stage of intense sadness, called depression. During this stage, all types of things will make you sad. If you have lost someone or a pet, you may start to think about their characteristics and how you miss seeing them.

During the stage of depression, you may feel intense sadness and want to be alone.

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