Just Chill: Don’t Stress Out!

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Human Services

    Course : Counseling and Mental Health

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (1) The student applies mathematics, science, English language arts: The student is expected to:
      • (D) explain the physiological effects of stress and aging
      • (E) distinguish the psychological aspects of health and wellness across the life span
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • analyze the causes and physiological effects of stress and aging
    • determine how to stay healthy throughout the life span by appropriately dealing with stress
    • evaluate the areas of stress, how it affects your life, and how effectively dealing with stress can prolong your life
  • Rationale


    There is stress in our lives every day. What types of things cause stress in your life? How we manage stress and keep our minds and bodies healthy throughout our life span will determine how we age. Knowledge and application of positive stress management skills and techniques are beneficial in all Human Services/Counseling and Mental Health career fields.

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Anxiety: Vague unpleasant feeling that produces physical sensations

    Compensation: Covering up weaknesses by emphasizing a more desirable trait or by overachievement in a more comfortable area

    Coping: Refers to how the mind reacts to stress

    Denial: An attempt to ignore unacceptable realities by refusing to acknowledge them

    Displacement: Transferring emotional reactions from one object or person

    Emotions: Feelings that involve physical and psychological change

    External stress: Sources of stress that come from outside the family

    Internal stress: The sources of stress that comes from inside the family

    Wellness: A positive state of physical and mental health

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed


    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • schedule use of computer lab or computer lab cart at least three days prior to lesson


    • 9” inch balloons-1 for each student (to be used in the Anticipatory Set activity)
    • glue
    • highlighters
    • magazines
    • markers
    • poster board
    • recording of song “Pressure” by Billy Joel
    • scissors
    • copies of handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Prior to class:

    Gather enough balloons for all students to have one each and locate and carefully review Balloon Exercise handout (see All Lesson Attachments tab).

    As the students walk in, hand them each a balloon. Instruct them to not blow up the balloon until given further instructions. Use instructions on Balloon Exercise handout to guide this activity.

    Allow time for class discussion after completing the balloon activity.

    Distribute graphic organizer, KWL Chart – Stress, (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and have students fill out the first two columns of the chart. Ask students to write down what they know about handling stress in a positive way. The last column will be completed during Lesson Closure.

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Before class begins:

    Locate the song, “Pressure” by Billy Joel or other song related to stress.

    Play the song and ask students to listen/think about the words. Ask them how this song is similar to the pressure and stress they may experience in their life.

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Introduce PowerPoint™, Just Chill: Don’t Stress Out! (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students will be expected to take notes while viewing the slide presentation.

    Use the appropriate notes from Presentation Notes for Just Chill: Don’t Stress Out! (see All Lesson Attachments tab) for discussion.

    Allow for discussion and questions and answers throughout the slide presentation.

    Check for understanding.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • checking for understanding
    • providing assistance with note-taking

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide students into subgroups of four and distribute one poster board to each group. Inform the groups that they are to look through magazines, draw pictures or search the Internet for pictures that show people experiencing stress or in a stressful situation. The pictures will be drawn or glued to the poster board. Under each picture, the students will write an explanation of how the person or event can be turned into a positive situation.

    Students will present their posters to the class. Posters will be placed around the classroom.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • providing peer tutoring
    • reducing length of assignment

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce stress management project. Inform students that they will be creating a booklet or brochure depicting 50 Ways to Positively Manage Stress. Distribute Rubric 50 Ways to Positively Manage Stress (see All Lessons Attachment tab). Review all rubric components so that students understand how their project will be assessed.

    Students will be expected to make an oral presentation on their product during Summative/End of Lesson Assessment.

    Distribute Stress Management Techniques (see All Lessons Attachment tab) as a guide for students as they develop their booklet or brochure.

    Booklets and brochure may be duplicated and placed in the Counseling and Guidance Office.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • reduce length of assignment
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    As a class have students describe the positive and negative ways stress can impact one’s life.

    Instruct students to complete the last column of their KWL Chart-Stress, (see All Lesson Attachments tab). Students may submit chart for a daily grade.

    Allow time for each student to give a brief status report on the progress of their brochure assignment.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Student brochure projects will be assessed with Rubric 50 Ways to Positively Manage Stress.


    Students will write a one-page reflection on how this lesson has impacted their ability to positively handle stress.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • grading according to work done
    • providing praise and encouragement

  • References/Resources


    • Stress Guide
      Source: Helpguide- A Trusted Non-Profit Resource Stress can be overwhelming, damage you health, your relationships and your quality of life. You can protect yourself by learning how to recognize the signs and symptoms to reduce its harmful effects.
    • Suicide Hotlines
      Source: Texas Suicide and Crisis Hotline
      Crisis hotline available for individuals needing someone to talk to during times of crisis. Provides comforting words.
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • checking for understanding
    • students repeat instructions
    • word wall
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website http://www.achievetexas.org/index.html provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Incorporate current events – Students can explore articles about stress (positive and negative effects) in newspapers, magazines or the internet sources that are current and relevant.

    • Encourage students to “visualize” as they read. May students are visual learners and will benefit from making sketches or diagrams on scratch paper as they read. Providing students with graphic organizers to help them organize their thoughts is also helpful.
  • Quotes

    If you ask what the single most important key to longevity is, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress, and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.
    -George Burns

    In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.
    -Lee Iacocca

    In times of stress, be bold and valiant.

    Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.
    -Richard Carlson

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies


    • Just Chill: Don’t Stress Out!
    • Presentation Notes for Just Chill: Don’t Stress Out!


    • Locate the song “Pressure” by Billy Joel or other song related to stress.

    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizer:

    • KWL Chart – Stress


    • Balloon Exercise
    • Rubric 50 Positive Ways to Deal with Stress
    • Guest Speaker Summary Sheet
    • Stress Management Techniques

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • What fun and healthy activities can a family do to relieve stress?
    • What stresses you out about school?
    • How can stress impact a relationship with your peers?
    • What are some positive ways to relieve stress?

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT (Role/Audience/Format/Topic) writing strategy:
      Role: son or daughter
      Audience: parent/guardian
      Format: informal letter
      Topic: It really stresses me out when…
      You have a parent/guardian that doesn’t understand why you are stressed out all the time. Write a letter to express your feelings. Using information learned in this lesson, outline strategies to help your parent/guardian understand what stresses you out and to help you positively deal with it.
  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • How am I going to handle stress in my life?
    • Healthy and fun ways I can relieve stress.
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    • Have students create a PowerPoint™ presentation to show the effects of stress on the body and what can happen to the body over a period of time: One year, five years, ten years or twenty years.
  • Family/Community Connection

    • Invite the school nurse to talk to the students about stress and how to stay healthy and productively cope with stress.
    • Have students complete the Guest Speaker Summary Sheet (see All Lesson Attachments tab).
  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)


    • Chapter Service Project (Display and Manual): A team event – recognizes chapters that develop and implement an in-depth service project that makes a worthwhile contribution to families, schools, and communities. Students must use Family and Consumer Sciences content and skills to address and take action on a community need.
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to lesson. For additional information on service learning see:

    Possible ideas:

    • Students can develop a public service announcement for military families on how to deal with the stress of having a loved one in Afghanistan or other country, how to deal with deployment and the homecoming of their family member.
    • Students can take brochure made in independent practice and distribute them to the guidance office at their school.

  • All Attachments