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Stress Management

Main Core Tie

Health Education - 3rd Grade

Time Frame

5 class periods of 30 minutes each

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication
  • Social & Civic Responsibility




This lesson is designed to help kids learn about stress management and the need for self care. 


Each child will need a journal page for each journal prompt. 

Give each child an observation journal. 

Art supplies: Paint, paper, clay, scissors, glue, markers, pencils, erasers, canvas, etc. 

A music player and access to music upon request (i.e. online streaming program)

Access to online meditation walkthrough. 

Background for Teachers

Teachers need to be aware of their own ability to manage stress. Also, teachers should have the ability to be vulnerable to discuss openly with kiddos. 

Student Prior Knowledge

Knowing what stress is. 

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students should develop an understanding of how to have appropriate self care and stress management techniques that are varied according to interests of kiddos. 

Instructional Procedures

Social Skills Discussion
To begin the unit, start with a class discussion about what stress is and what things may cause stress. Introduce to the students the varying ways that will be used to teach them about stress management. Teach them that there are more than one way to manage stress. Keep the conversation open for students to feel more inclined to contribute personal thoughts. 

Give students multiple opportunities throughout the week to write about how they handle stress via journal prompts. Some prompts may include: 

  • "Journal about a habit or activity you do that improves your mood or stress level without fail. Describe how you transform when you are engaged in this practice. How do you feel? How can you do this more often?"
  • "Choose one problem that has been causing you anxiety lately, and ask yourself questions about it, the way a close friend would. Ask supportive and encouraging questions, and answer them with complete honesty. Try looking at the situation from new angles, and be open to possible solutions that come up."
  • "Finish the sentence, “Right now, I am…” Then finish the sentence, “I want to be…”"
  • "Do a worry purge in the pages of your journal. Without stopping, write down everything that is churning around in your mind. Once it is out of your head, give yourself permission to leave it in your journal and come back to it later with a clearer head."

Throughout the week make a list of all observations students make of their own stress and those around them. This will help them recognize stress in their own lives more fully, but also help them practice their observational skills for future science experiments. 

Using varying mediums, discuss how art can be a tool for people to alleviate stress in their lives. Have students work on art projects, and recognize how they are feeling throughout the projects. What they work on is not as important as how they feel while working. Does this method add to or take away from their stress levels?

Discuss music as a way to relieve stress. Have the students share some of their favorite songs. Take turns listening to these songs. Then share a few calming songs that you enjoy and discuss how they make you feel. Encourage kids to share their feelings as well.  

Introduce mindfulness/meditation for kids to learn other ways to handle stress. Access (online) a meditation for kids to listen to calmly to get a feel for how this can be effective. Discuss afterward how it makes them feel. 

Strategies for Diverse Learners

All of these activities should be useful across the spectrum of ability. 

Assessment Plan

An assessment for this unit may come in the form of a KWL chart, but may not be necessary. Assessment can be seen over time based on how kiddos handle stress throughout their day at school. 

Created: 04/09/2019
Updated: 01/21/2020