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Life Skills/Pressing Issues

Elementary


Health and Well-being

Adapting to Change — Students live in a rapidly-changing world. It's important to stop from time to time and think about the impact change has on us and consider how we deal with change. With the right attitude toward change, students can let every change help them become better and more successful human beings.
Key Idea: Learning to deal with change in our rapidly-changing world
Character Traits: Flexibility - Adaptability - Resiliency

Beauty Secrets — We live in a world that celebrates outer beauty and too often neglects the inner beauty that radiates from a friendly, respectful, and caring attitude. With this plan students explore the difference between inner beauty and outer beauty, and consider that a genuine smile makes any face beautiful.
Key Ideas: A genuine smile will make any face beautiful - Beauty in diversity - Inner versus outer beauty
Character Traits: Respect - Caring - Friendliness - Positive attitude

Big House Little House — If we tie our happiness to the size of our home or brand of our car, we can set ourselves up for disappointment. But when we tie our happiness to the love we give and receive and to the simple pleasures of life, we tie our happiness to things that last and that really are beyond price.
Key Ideas: A small house will hold as much happiness as a big one - Some media literacy
Character Traits: Appreciation - Gratitude - Success

Books Take You Places * — "Reading can take students to places they may never experience firsthand and introduce them to all types of people and characters that they may never encounter in real life. Students are encouraged to discover the pure joy of recreational reading by turning off the television and the video games and picking up a good book.
Key Ideas: Enriching one's life with recreational reading - Reading as a way to experience new places and people
Character Traits: Self-respect - Responsibility
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Read Across America Day which is usually observed on the first Monday in March.

Brainy Stuff * — Our brains are awesome. There isn't a computer on earth as powerful. Students consider the importance of being respectful and responsible with their computer brains.
Key Ideas: Human brain - Personal safety - Nutrition - Drug and alcohol abuse
Character Traits: Self-respect - Responsibility - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Brain Awareness Week.

Building Stronger Bodies — Childhood obesity has become a serious health concern for our nation. Shakespeare once said that "Our bodies are our gardens, to which our wills are the gardeners." With this special broadcast message and lesson plan, students reflect on and discuss the importance of self-discipline when it comes to creating and maintaining a healthy body.
Key Idea: Taking care of our bodies can take courage and self-discipline.
Character Traits: Self-respect - Self-discipline - Responsibility

Expecting the Best * — Research indicates that there is a strong connection between optimism, self-esteem, happiness, and health. Keeping a positive attitude is easier for some of us than others, but all of us can choose to express ourselves in a more positive way while doing our best to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Key Ideas: Keeping a positive attitude - Looking at the brighter side of life
Character Trait: Optimism
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Optimism Month: March.

Fitness: Dancing with the Stars * — Summer break is fast approaching. It's hard to believe, isn't it? Summer usually means more physical activity, more opportunities to get out and move our bodies by swimming, water skiing, skateboarding, biking, or hiking. These are all fun ways to get fit, but there's another way to get moving that can be a lot more fun — dancing!
Key Ideas: Physical fitness - Getting fit with dancing
Character Traits: Self-respect - Self-responsibility

Healthy and Happy * — Many of our students are not eating right or getting enough exercise. Childhood obesity is on the rise and according to the Mayo Clinic, treating it requires the entire family. Students stop to consider ways they and their families can help each other get fit.
Key Ideas: Resolutions or promises to get fit - Family fitness
Character Traits: Self-discipline- Respect - Responsibility
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for National Family Fitness Month: January.

Let's Get Fit! — Taking care of yourself has many benefits. Students who exercise feel better about themselves, have more energy, and do better at school. Help students turn inspiration into action. Books, activities and discussion generators to help inspire students of all grade levels to get moving!
Key Idea: Becoming physically fit.
Character Traits: Self-responsibility - Self-respect

Lighten Up! * — Wouldn't it be great if we all learned to lighten up and develop a more playful and humorous attitude toward life. If we did, we would learn to be more spontaneous, to look for the humor in challenging situations, and to not take life too seriously. Respectful humor and laughter builds connections between people and helps us live better lives.
Key Idea: Humor and laughter can help us live better lives.
Character Traits: Positive attitude - Lightheartedness - Respect
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Humor Month: April.

Make it Simple * — Students are encouraged to try to choose healthy foods over their summer vacation. They consider the difference between fun foods and healthy foods and whether foods can be both. Students learn that if they choose too many fun foods over healthy foods, they aren’t giving their bodies the fuel they need to be strong, energetic, and healthy.
Key Ideas: Eating healthy - Making a habit of choosing healthier foods
Character Traits: Self-responsibility - Self-discipline

Matters of the Art * — An exciting part of the educational process can be discovering the artist inside. Making art can help students develop confidence, patience, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Key Ideas: Creativity - Critical thinking - Self-expression
Character Traits: Self-discipline - Confidence - Patience
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for National Youth Art Month.

Mighty Powerful — Lao-Tzu once wrote that: "The person who conquers others is strong, but the person who conquers himself is mighty." If students want to live a truly successful life, they need to learn how to control their negative emotions. Students consider the benefits of developing self-control and explore some techniques.
Key Idea: Learning self-control is an important attribute for a successful life.
Character Traits: Self-control - Respect

Mind if I Don't Smoke? * — Mind if I don't smoke? Students consider that not smoking is the truly respectful thing to do for themselves and those around them.
Key Ideas: Smoking - Health
Character Traits: Respect - Responsibility - Caring
Note: This broadcast message and lesson plan also work well for the annual Great American Smokeout.

Sleepyheads * — It's been said that without sleep we all become tall two-year-olds. How does sleep impact our performance? ... how we treat others? What is our personal responsibility when it comes to getting enough sleep?
Key Ideas: Plenty of sleep improves performance at school - Importance of sleep to health and well-being
Character Traits: Responsibility - Self-respect - Self-management
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for the new school year.

* Materials with an asterisk (*) relate to Health and Well-being and are also related to a calendar event. These same materials can also be found under Calendar Events.

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