Open Up Magazine

Classroom Activities

Classroom Activities

Mental Health may not be the easiest topic to discuss with young people so we have created several activities that help you begin the conversation.

The activities can be adapted for virtually any age group and address several different modes of learning including dramatic arts, creative movement, visual arts, and language arts.

Some of the activities, like the creative movement and discussion activities, focus on group interaction and may not result in a submission for Open•Up. They will, however, get your students thinking about mental health and perhaps help them be more understanding and accepting of each other.

Getting To Know You

PDF of Lesson Plan

This activity invites students to identify their own special qualities and then to learn about the special qualities of others. We sometimes allow differences among us to keep us apart. This activity encourages students to recognize and articulate what they have in common with others but also what is different or “unique” about their fellow students.

How Are You Feeling?

PDF of Lesson Plan

Empathy comes from an understanding of what other people are feeling. This activity will encourage empathy by helping students recognize the emotions of another person from the situations that person experiences and through his or her expressions.

It’s All In Your Viewpoint

PDF of Lesson Plan

Situations aren’t always what they seem. Using a well-known fairy tale, this lesson explores what happens when we take time to consider the different ways a particular scenario might have developed.

Simon’s Hook

PDF of Lesson Plan

When teased, children often end up being hurt (emotionally, physically, or both), upset, and victimized. This activity will empower students so they can learn effective ways of handling the difficult situation of being teased or bullied and avoid being victimized.

Tools of Friendship

PDF of Lesson Plan

During the school years, children start to choose their friends more deliberately. This activity asks students to look beyond symptoms and behaviors of mental health disorders and appreciate people for their best qualities, not just their most obvious (and sometimes most annoying) ones.