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Teaching Tool - Routines and Habits for Mental Health (Grade 8)

The purpose of these resources is to help educators teach about the importance of establishing healthy habits and coping strategies into daily routines to maintain mental health. This will help students to understand their purpose when being resilient during stressful times in their lives.

Learning goals

  • I will understand the importance of incorporating healthy habits in helping to maintain mental health
  • I will develop coping strategies and implement them into daily routines
  • I will learn how to build resilience and how to use it in challenging and stressful situations

Core knowledge content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Ontario curriculum expectations

Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2019)

  • D2.4 demonstrates an understanding of how incorporating healthy habits and coping strategies into daily routines can help maintain mental health and resilience in times of stress. This specific expectation is also connected with the social emotional learning expectations A1.1 Emotions, A1.2 Coping, A1.3 Motivation and A1.6 Thinking.

Supplementary resources

  • Anxiety, relaxation and healthy thoughts: This lesson plan delivers three instructional activities for students to develop a plan in tackling anxiety.
  • Connected to self: This resource provides various activities that students can use when they are working on coping strategies and healthy habits for their mental health. For example, journaling, deep breathing, mindful eating, smile more.
  • How I bounce back: This activity allows students to share how they "bounce back" from challenging and stressful situations. In a circular cut-out (representing the shape of a bouncing ball), students will write or draw an idea that has worked for them.
  • Stress management: This lesson was created to help students understand their role and choices in how they respond to stress.

Virtual learning

  • Intermediate activities: Refer to Stand D: Healthy Living, Activity 1: Mental Health Literacy (Emotions, Coping, Motivation, Relationships, Self, Thinking)
  • Strong minds strong kids - resiliency quiz: This website has a resiliency quiz that was designed for youth to learn more about how resilient they are today and the strategies they can adopt that will enhance their life-long resiliency.
  • Virtual field trips: Students can be part of virtual field trips that teach different strategies for feelings and emotions, specifically stress management and coping.

Curriculum connections

Writing - Ontario Language Curriculum (2006): Connected to self

  • 2.1 write complex texts of a variety of lengths using a wide range of forms
  • 2.2 establish a distinctive voice in their writing appropriate to the subject and audience
  • 2.3 regularly use vivid and / or figurative language and innovative expressions in their writing

Visual art - Ontario Arts Curriculum (2009): How I bounce back

  • D1.1 create artworks, using a variety of traditional forms and current media technologies, that express feelings, ideas, and issues and that demonstrate an awareness of multiple points
  • D1.3 use elements of design in artworks to communicate ideas, messages, and understandings for a specific audience and purpose
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