Various studies have shown that having a pet can increase self-esteem, physical fitness, and social connectedness while decreasing loneliness and stress.
This lesson uses this fact as a jumping off point to engage students in thinking about ways we might use to manage stress, the different impacts these strategies might have and how to make choices in using these tools to maximize our own well-being. As a facilitator of dialogue, you are not an observer but a participant in the conversation. So you should feel free to add in thoughts that may not be voiced by the students (but do so in a way that is conversational rather than authoritative). At the end of the day, we want students to recognize that some tools (like exercise and breathing) are more universal, both in terms of number of people for whom they are effective and the range of situations in which they help. But no tool is a magic bullet, and all tools must be used wisely.
Physical and Health Education 7/8/9
Healthy choices influence our physical, emotional, and mental well-being
Learning about similarities and differences in individuals and groups influences community health
Healthy relationships can help us lead rewarding and fulfilling lives
Identify factors that influence healthy choices and explain their potential health effects
Develop and apply a variety of movement concepts and strategies in different physical activities
Describe how students’ participation in physical activities at school, at home, and in the community can influence their health and fitness
Analyze strategies for promoting mental well- being, for self and others
Assess and evaluate strategies for managing problems related to mental well-being and substance use, for others
Assess factors that influence healthy choices and their potential health effects
Identify and apply strategies to pursue personal healthy-living goals
Reflect on outcomes of personal healthy-living goals and assess strategies used
Describe and assess strategies for promoting mental well-being, for self and others
Describe and assess strategies for managing problems related to mental well-being and substance use, for others
Propose healthy choices that support lifelong health and well-being
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