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Life Skills/Pressing Issues


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 adapt to change is an important 21st century life skill
Character Traits: Flexibility - Adaptability - Resiliency

Brainy Stuff * — Would you ever deliberately download a virus to your computer? Of course not. The human brain is more awesome than any computer man has made, yet we sometimes treat it with less respect than we do our computers.
Key Idea: Taking care of and protecting the human brain
Character Traits: Self-respect - Responsibility
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Brain Awareness Week.

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, 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
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for Physical Fitness Month in May.

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

Getting Your ZZZs * — 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 - Management - Attitude
Note: This broadcast message and plan also work well for the beginning of the school year.

Healthy and Happy — Many of our students are not eating right or getting enough exercise. One of the best ways to help young people get fit is to include the entire family. January is National Family Fitness Month which is a great time for students to stop to consider ways they and their families can help each other eat healthier food and get fit.
Key Ideas: Family fitness - Keeping resolutions
Character Traits: Self-discipline - Respect - Responsibility
Note: This message and lesson plan work well for National Family Fitness Month in January.

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

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 - Understanding self and others
Character Traits: Self-discipline - Confidence - Self-awareness
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for National Youth Art Month in March.

Make it Simple * — Students are challenged to make healthier food choices and learn to cook simple, healthy meals over their summer vacation. They will consider that they can also develop valuable life skills such as self-discipline and responsibility while learning to help cook for their family. Students will also take a look at related issues including access to fresh foods and health problems caused by poor diet.
Key Ideas: Eating healthy - Learning life lessons in the kitchen
Character Traits: Self-responsibility - Self-discipline

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 Idea: The costs of smoking to individuals and society
Character Traits: Respect - Courtesy
Note: This broadcast message and lesson plan also work well for the annual Great American Smokeout.

Safe or Sorry — Every day, young people are injured unnecessarily. They break bones, injure eyes, become permanently disabled, or even lose their lives because some safety precaution wasn't taken. Students explore the benefits of taking safety precautions and the consequences to themselves and others when they don't observe safety rules.
Key Ideas: Staying safe during outdoor activities - Safety rules
Character Traits: Responsibility - Respect - Citizenship

Strength of Habit * — Aristotle once said "The habits we form from childhood make no small difference, but rather make all the difference." Students explore the idea that it is easier to form positive habits now than to break bad habits, and that our habits shape our character and our character determines the outcome of our lives.
Key Ideas: Creating good habits -Habits help form our character and determine our future
Character Traits: Self-respect - Self-responsibility - Citizenship
Note: This message and lesson plan also work well for the beginning of the school year.

Treating Our Bodies Well — 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: Respect - Self-discipline - Responsibility

Turning Inspiration into Action * — Ever get inspired watching sports? Most of us admire the energy, health, and strength of the athletes. Help your students turn that burst of inspiration into action. By getting fit, they can experience more energy, and might perform better at school. With these materials, students will explore how to turn inspiration into activity.
Key Idea: Physical fitness - Getting and staying motivated
Character Traits: Self-responsibility -Self-respect
Note: This plan works at any time during the school year, but particularly well during the Olympics.

* 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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