This post is part of our monthly Student Showcase series where we highlight teacher creativity and show off the amazing work students are doing around the world! Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re challenging English language teachers around the world to try one of these positive self-awareness activities with their students in class.
May's Student Showcase challenge: Positive mental health
We want to support Mental Health Awareness month by promoting social-emotional learning (SEL) in the classroom. SEL is an important component of education, especially for newcomers who have the added stress of learning a language in a new school and community.
This month, we came up with two fun SEL activity challenges that you can do in your in-person or online class.
Start by completing one of the challenges below. Then upload your students’ work through the video above or send it to email@example.com with a brief description for a chance to be featured in our follow-up Student Showcase blog post! We want to see how different teachers around the world are adapting the same activity to other class and community realities.
Challenge 1: Positive affirmations for language learners
Get your students to create a list of 20 affirmations. These should be personal, so make sure to give your students lots of time to reflect and come up with meaningful affirmations to help instill positive thinking and self-awareness.
You can use this activity to also practice relevant grammar and sentence structures that you’ve been working on in class.
Easily adapt this activity to the level of your students by simplifying the structures or increasing the difficulty. You can do this last one by asking for more complex sentence structures or longer written responses.
Below are examples of grammatical structures your language learners can refer to when constructing their affirmations.
- I am + positive adjective I am strong.
- I am a(n) + noun I am a survivor.
- I + simple present verb I work hard.
- I can/will + base verb I can get a job. I will succeed.
- I am thankful for + noun I am thankful for my family.
- I am proud of myself for + ing verb I am proud of myself for participating in class.
Check out our "20 Affirmations for English Learners" blog post for more inspiration and instruction on this activity!
Challenge 2: Create a poster
Get your students to create an informative poster on positive Mental Health Awareness! We’re looking for a poster that is solutions-focused.
This activity incorporates SEL and will help students of any age get in tune with their mental state. It will also guide them in recognizing their emotions and how to deal with them.
Ask your students to create a poster on what makes them feel sad, angry, stressed, or anxious. Include pictures and ask your students to think about what makes them feel better in those situations. How can they plan or prepare for these difficult situations by recognizing what helps them cope?
- When I feel sad, I can talk with my friends.
- When I feel nervous, I can count to 10.
- I feel angry and frustrated when I lose things. When I find them again, I feel happy. Therefore, I should be more organized with my things and keep my personal items in specific places so I’m less likely to lose them.
- Traveling to new places alone makes me feel scared and anxious, but having a map or access to Wi-Fi or an internet connection helps keep me feeling calm and in control of the situation. Knowing that, I can make sure to plan out my trip beforehand, print out maps or save them to my phone, and pay for an international chip or roaming charges so that I know I can always access Wi-Fi to make me feel safe and secure.
Submit your students’ work and get featured!
Complete one of the activity challenges listed above, and then send over your students’ amazing projects to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 24, 2022. Don’t forget to give us a brief description of your students’ work!
We’ll select a few submissions at random and feature them at the end of the month in our follow-up Student Showcase blog post. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!