Teaching Tool - Mental Health and Overall Health (Grade 1)

The purpose of these resources are to help educators teach about how mental health is part of a person's overall health and the importance of taking care of our body and mind.

Learning goals

  • I will demonstrate an understanding that mental health is part of my overall health
  • I will reflect on the strategies that I can use to take care of my body and mind
  • I will learn how to express my feelings and emotions and identify reason(s) why I may be feeling a certain way

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)

  • D1.5 demonstrate an understanding that mental health is part of overall health and reflects on the things they can do to appreciate and take care of their body and mind. This specific expectation is also connected with the social emotional learning expectations A1.2 Coping, A1.4 Relationships and A1.5 Self.
  • D2.3 demonstrates the ability to recognize caring behaviours and behaviours that can be harmful to physical and mental health and describe the feelings associated with each. This specific expectation is also connected with the social emotional learning expectations A1.1 Emotions, A1.2 Coping and A1.4 Relationships.

Supplementary resources

  • Emotional well-being education activities: This resource has a collection of emotional well-being education activities that aim to help educators develop an understanding of strategies for emotional well-being. Refer to the activities I am Human, My Happy Heart and Mental Wellness Mailbox.
  • Helping kids cope with life's stressors: This resource includes a presentation that is intended to help educators understand stress and its relationship to mental health and life in general. It highlights promising approaches and resources that can help people cope with life's stressors and foster resiliency.
  • Positive mental health: This lesson plan starts the conversation about mental health and how our brain helps us to think, feel and act. The teacher will read Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life and discuss what some of the positive messages were. Then students will complete the "what do you do to make yourself feel better?" worksheet.
  • Promoting mental health: Working in small groups, students will identify key messages about mental health that they already know.

Virtual learning

  • Affirmation cards: This resource includes affirmation cards that can be used in the classroom with primary students to remind them of the great qualities they possess and to encourage them to reflect on resiliency building characteristics.

Curriculum connections: Positive mental health

Reading - Ontario Language Curriculum (2006)

  • 1.3 identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during and after reading to understand texts
  • 1.5 make inferences about texts using stated and implied ideas from the texts as evidence
  • 1.6 understanding of texts by connecting the ideas in them to their knowledge, experience and insights, to other familiar texts, and the world around them
  • 1.7 analyzing texts and explain how specific elements in them contribute to meaning
  • 1.8 express opinions about the ideas and information in texts and cite evidence from the text to support their opinions

Media literacy - Ontario Language Curriculum (2006)

  • 3.4 produce some short media texts for specific purposes and audiences using a few simple media forms and appropriate conventions and techniques
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