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Bad news

Psychologists say people go through five stages of grief after receiving bad news. Discuss how to deal with these situations, and learn some expressions that are appropriate to console someone.

 

PRELUDE

What are some examples of bad news?

Can you please tell us?

  1. Fire
  2. Heart attack
  3. Fail major examinations
  4. Fired

 

FIRST

Think of some bad news you or a friend once received. Describe how you would deliver this news gently to someone else. E.g. You might want to sit down for this … (and you tell him/her the news)

Listen to your classmates’ descriptions of bad news, and show sympathy.

 

SECOND

Did you use any of these phrases?

Would you say these phrases before or after giving bad news?

  1. There’s nothing easy way to say this
  2. If there’s anything I can do
  3. I wish there was something I could say
  4. You might want to sit down for this
  5. I know this is going to come as a shock to you I understand how difficult this must be for you

 

THIRD

Now, tell another student some bad news. Be sure to be gentle when delivering the bad news, and show sympathy afterward.

 

FOURTH

Psychologists say people go through five stages of grief after receiving really bad news. Match each stage to its example.

  1. Denial: There’s nothing wrong. Everything’s fine.
  2. Anger: It’s not fair. How you dare tell me that!
  3. Bargaining with a higher power: Please, take me instead.
  4. Depression: What is life, anyway? What does it all mean?
  5. Acceptance: That’s life. There’s nothing we can do about it.

 

FINAL TASK

Student A: Gently give some bad news to Student B.

Student B: Respond to Student A using language illustrating one of the five stages of grief.

Student A: Follow up with sympathy and consolation.

 

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