Skip Navigation

Stress Dolls

Life Skills:

  • Communication

Time Frame:
1 class period that runs 45 minutes.

Group Size:
Small Groups


Students will compare responsibilities, opportunities and expectations of pioneer children to their own lives. Students will identify sources of stress and ways to alleviate stress.

Main Curriculum Tie:
Health Education - 3rd GradeStandard 1
The students will learn ways to improve mental health and manage stress.


  • Responsibility Worksheet (attached)
  • Doll Pattern (attached)
  • Fabric
  • Crayons/markers
  • Yarn
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue


Background For Teachers:
Familiarity with lifestyle of early settlers.

Web Sites

Student Prior Knowledge:
Familiarity with lifestyle of early settlers.

Intended Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to verbalize, discuss and list:

  • activities that cause stress
  • ways to deal with stress
  • reasons to act responsibly

Instructional Procedures:

Involve students in a class discussion of the of the lifestyle of pioneer children. Divide students into small groups. Assign cooperative learning roles to each student. (Suggestions = time keeper, scribe, gopher, supply clerk, reporter etc.)

  • Pass out one "Responsibility Worksheet" to each group.
  • On the "Pioneer" side of the worksheet, under the "Responsibilities" column, have students list the responsibilities that pioneer children had.
  • Under the "Neglect" column, have each group brainstorm together some things that might happen if each responsibility were neglected. When finished, have a reporter from each group share their ideas.
  • Under the "Complete" column, have each group brainstorm together some things that might happen if each responsibility were completed. When finished, have a reporter from each group share their ideas.
  • Turn worksheet over and repeat the activity using responsibilities that each student has today.
  • Conclude discussion by ensuring that students understand that by choosing to be responsible, they relieve stress in their lives.


Pass out doll pattern. Give students supplies for cutting out and decorating a doll. Have students glue yarn on the doll for hair. Have the hair standing straight out as if the doll were "stressed". Have student write "I think I'm having stress" on the front of the doll.

  • While students are working at their desks, brainstorm and list on the board appropriate ideas for relieving stress (go for a walk, draw a picture, talk to a friend/parent/relative, listen to music, read a book, etc.)

Strategies For Diverse Learners:
Many needs of diverse learners are met when this activity is done with cooperative groups. Early finishers/advanced learners could write in a journal about a time when they were stressed, or what is stressful in their lives, and set a goal to use a strategy learned today to help deal with that stress.

Instead of or in addition to the Stress Doll, stress Pillows could be made. Using fabric crayons or paints, students decorate a 12x12 piece of white fabric entitled "Squeeze me, I'm stressed". Students or volunteers can then sew this piece to another 12x12 piece of fabric, leaving an opening for stuffing. Students then stuff the pillow, stitch the opening closed and ta-da! they have just completed a real pioneer project!

Assessment Plan:
Assessment will be observed through discussion participation, cooperative group participation and completion of the worksheet and stress doll.



Created Date :
Jul 10 2002 14:47 PM

© Utah Education Network in partnership with the Utah State Board of Education and Higher Ed Utah.
UEN does not endorse and is not responsible for content on external websites linked to from this page.
(800) 866-5852     |     KUEN CPB Compliance    |     Web Accessibility     |     Captioning