Health Education - 4th Grade
Strand 2: MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH (MEH) Standard 4.MEH.1:
1 class periods of 30 minutes each
This lesson is to help small students (and big ones alike) to help manage stress that they feel in their daily lives.
A teacher must first know how to handle stress themselves before teaching it to others. A teacher must also practice these ideas for him/herself. There are many books and websites for ideas in how to handle stress. One way is not better than another but rather what works for the student (or teacher)
The student should be able to recognize and make decision about how to make themselves feel better by the interventions listed in the lesson. They may also give ideas of things that they already do and then share them with the group.
I would start out by describing a very stressful day that I had.
We would then read a book called "Today I Feel Silly" It is a book written by Jamie Lee Curtis, that talks about emotions and why its ok to have them and what to do when we might night always feel happy and joyful.
Then I would show them a power point presentation of baby chicks. We would stop and talk about each slide and how we could use the idea to make us feel better.
This is the time when the students would share how they might do some of these things already and how it makes them feel. For example, I would ask the children to tell me how they feel when the sit on the couch after school for hours on end and how they feel when the get out side and run and play. I want them to see that it make a difference in how they feel and what kind of emotions they have. They would tell me a time when they felt bad or angry or lonely and how they dealt with it. How do you feel when you eat only junk food? etc etc.
I would have the student who want to take this info further have a stressbuster journal where they can keep ideas of how to handle stress written down when they need to refer to it. For the student who needs to experience the ideas first hand, I would take a few minutes after the slide show and I would guide the children through a "guided imagery" experience so that they could learn with my help how to calm their heartbeats, clear their minds and notice the changes that their physical bodies go through when stressed or at peace. We would smell essential oils and have a health snack. If I do all the things with them in class then they are more likely to be able to choose and do things for themselves when alone.
I would like to talk about this everyday right before class or when needed. The slide show can run by itself after that first introduction and can be added to, if the students come up with more ideas and ones that they have found work for them. I want them to learn that we can benefit from learning the ideas and methods of others.
The student will be assessed by asking them daily if anyone has a great story to tell us of how they managed a stressful moment. Because this is a very personal thing for students to develop there are no wrong answers. Throughout the year, we would practice, talk and learn together as we incorporate these health principles into our classroom and our lives.