Has your mind ever been filled with doubts or negative thoughts about your self-worth? It’s more common than you think! The Awfulizer is a story that helps show children that shame is a powerful emotion, but one that can be conquered with the right strategies and support. Here are some activities you can pair with The Awfulizer.
I received a copy of this book from the National Center for Youth Issues (NCYI) in exchange for an honest review.
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About This Book
James’ life changes the day he meets The Awfulizer, a strange monster who follows James everywhere he goes and reminds him of all the things he’s done wrong.
The more James starts to believe the lies The Awfulizer tells him, the more James withdraws and begins to change.
Fortunately, James’ parents notice the changes in his behavior. When they sit down to talk to James, he opens up about his feelings.
James’ mom shares her own experience with The Awfulizer.
Mom tells James all about the Shame Game.
James’ dad also gives advice on how to deal with The Awfulizer and the Shame Game. Over time, James shows that when he talks about his feelings with people he trusts, he can tune out The Awfulizer.
That’s when James uses his superpowers to become The Awesomizer. James realizes that even though the Awfulizer might be big and persistent, up against the Awesomizer, he will always lose.
Shame can be a powerful emotion for children and one they don’t often recognize. Students can easily get caught up in the Shame Game and start believing they are bad because of the mistakes they make. I love that this book gives shame a name and face. It shows children that many different people make mistakes and feel shame. But it also teaches kids strategies to deal with those feelings.
Activities for The Awfulizer
I have included several different activities that you can pair with this story. First, I have written a set of discussion questions to help guide your students through the book. Students can answer verbally, or you can have them respond in writing in a journal.
In the story, James learns that his superpower to fight The Awfulizer is to talk about how he’s feeling. That’s when he becomes The Awesomizer. Students can become superheroes with this Awesomizer activity. Have students brainstorm a list of people they trust to talk to when they are feeling shame and then write these names around their superhero. After that, students can color the picture.
Finally, I have added a few writing templates so students can respond to the text. These pages are a great place to write about the book’s message or the author’s purpose for writing this story. Students can also respond to one of the discussion questions or a prompt you have chosen. Since there is room for an illustration, students can either draw The Awfulizer from the story, or create their own version of this monster.
You can download all of these activities here.
If you like these activities, be sure to check out all of my book activities here.