Connected & Supported

We feel connected when we feel close to others; we feel supported when we feel like others care about us and are available to help. When students feel connected to their teachers and peers, they feel more positive about school. The more social support students report having, the more they report feeling physically healthy and having high self-esteem.

Activities

Resources
I am Poem
Students compose and share a biographical poem using descriptive language, sensory details, personality traits, emotions, and actions.
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Common Ground
Students explore their experiences with the group and develop a sense of community/comfort by occupying a common ground.
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Bio Poem
Students create a biographical poem using individual personality traits, emotions, and actions and share with the class.
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Anonymous Accomplishment Board
Students use the Anonymous Compliment Board to celebrate the positive acts and statements that they witness each other performing and saying.
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One Kind Word
Students are introduced to the power of kindness through words or actions and encouraged to aim for one kind word or action a day.
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Continuum
Students express their stance on statements by moving to different parts of the classroom and describe the reasons behind their choices.
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Mantra Ball Toss
Students develop and share their personal mantras with one another through movement and sharing.
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Teen Show and Tell
Students bring in meaningful items and discuss their importance.
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7 Questions
Students answer, in writing, a set of 7 questions designed to help foster a sense of purpose.
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Rose Bud Thorn
Students journal about their concerns, successes, and hopes and come up with self-affirmation statements to repeat daily to feel empowered.
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Use Your Senses
Students practice sensory awareness and increase emotional literacy by identifying feelings.
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Three Good Things
Students reflect on and list three positive things that happened in their day.
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Group Jump
Students attempt to jump and land at the same time while developing a sense of teamwork and collaboration.
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Wake-up Moment
Students view/hear an instance of successful teamwork and reflect on the experience of working toward a common goal.
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What is Contentment?
Together students develop a working definition of contentment/balance in their lives.
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Mindful Breathing
Students engage in mindful breathing while listening to relaxing music at the beginning of class or before stressful events.
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Contentment Thermometer
Students evaluate their current level of contentment and balance and then brainstorm methods to increase their levels of contentment and balance.
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2 Stars and a Wish
This is a reflection activity on how the student is doing with support and connection.
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Body Scan
In a guided mediation, students focus individually on each part of their body.
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Asking for Help
Students will identify areas in their lives in which they could use support, generate a list of resources, and draft a note to someone asking for assistance.
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Print Wall
Students use paint to put their hand/fingerprint and signature on a community wall.
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“I Wonder Ball”
This activity, written by North Haven High School Students, is designed to get a class feeling connected and supported.
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Life Just Got Real
In small groups, students identify and discuss potential challenging scenarios that students their age encounter.
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Our Safe Classroom
Students reflect on what it means to feel safe and as a class, students create a list of specific actions they can take to help themselves and each other to feel safe.
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What is Safe?
Students reflect on their personal definitions of the word “safe” and work together in small groups to create a “vision of safe” for the community.
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My Shield
Students reflect on and discuss how focusing on the strengths and successes of each individual in the classroom can help everyone to feel more safe and comfortable.
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Cross the Line
Students reflect on times when they have felt certain emotions and silently indicate that they have had these experiences by stepping over a line.
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Cultural Norms
Students partner and participate in an activity in which they tally specific actions while in conversation. Students define and discuss their understanding and experiences of cultural norms.
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What is Respect?
Students reflect on their personal definitions of the word “respect” and work, in small groups, to create a “respect vision” that establishes what being respectful means to them.
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Shared Identity
Students reflect on how they identify similarities and differences between people and how the process of focusing on similarities may impact our attitudes and actions.
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Different Perspectives
Students analyze differing perspectives on the same situation, compare their own “smaller” perspectives to others’ perspectives and the “bigger picture”.
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Chalk Circles
Students work toward identifying a specific goal related to their interests/passions and create an action plan for achieving that goal using chalk circles.
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Meaningful Photos
Students take photographs of people, places, and objects in their lives that are meaningful to them.
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The Power of Purpose: Finding Your Vision (2 of 2)
Students continue work on their vision boards from The Power of Purpose Part 1 lesson.
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The Power of Purpose: Finding Your Vision (1 of 2)
Students reflect on the question, “What is purpose?” and begin the process of creating vision boards to illustrate ideas they have about their own purpose.
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SMART Goals
Students create “passion collages” to reflect their passions in each of three areas: academics, career, and relationships.
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Stories of Empowerment (2 of 2)
This is day 2 of a two-day activity. Today, they will mimic Murray’s style of combining two stories, their own speech, and their friend’s speech to create their own “TED Talk”.
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Stories of Empowerment (1 of 2)
In this two-part lesson, students first watch Liz Murray’s TED talk entitled "For the Love of Possibility" and write a story about a time when they felt empowered.
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Inspiration Roadmap
Students will identify their preconceptions about what makes people happy and how the research differs from their own preconceptions about happiness.
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What is Happy?
Students create a personal definition of happy, define happy in terms of self, others, and environment, and create a class definition of happy and class vision of happy behavior.
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Mad Lib
Students will create a Mad Lib story in which other students can fill in either “happy” or “excited” to complete the story and apply their understanding of the difference between happy and excited.
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Emotion Ambassadors
Students brainstorm improvements they would like to see to school practices and how they can work to make these changes and elect “Ambassadors” for implementing these initiatives and create a plan to follow up and evaluate their success.
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Self-Compassion Reflection
Students engage in a guided self-compassion meditation.
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What is Balance?
Students work together as a class to combine small-group visions into a larger vision of balance for the class.
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Self-Compassion Practice
Students are introduced to the concept of self-compassion.
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What is Support?
Students work together as a class to combine small-group visions into a larger vision of support for the class.
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Intentional Family Tree
Students explore the concept of “intentional family."
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Positive Word Cloud
Students reflect on the diversity of positive traits in the classroom and the feelings associated with giving and receiving compliments.
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Lollipop Moments
Students watch and reflect on a video about “everyday leadership."
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Feel Comfortable in Your Skin
Do you want to feel more comfortable in your skin? You are not alone! There are many things we can do to feel more comfortable and confident with ourselves.
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Connection Map
Draw a map of your connections! There are many layers of people we care about and many generations of people who care about us. This map will help you visualize the meaningful connections in your life.
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Getting Support from your Parents/Guardians
Check out this article to learn 10 simple tips to start the conversation about your mental health with your parents.
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Loneliness as a Doorway to Connection Meditation
Try this meditation to address loneliness and feel more connected!
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Support Yourself First
Before you can support others, support yourself first. Here are some ideas to help you support yourself!
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Try Something New
Watch this video about trying something new for 30 days!
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8 Motivation Tips
Watch this video from ASAPscience to learn helpful tips for staying motivated!
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Adventure Time!
Get your friends and get moving.
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Create the Safe Space
Cultivate a safe space with your friends and loved ones. Here are a few tips for creating your own safe space.
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Passion Project
Draft a plan to start your own project. Find your passion and go for it!
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Habits for Respect
Highly respected people have certain habits in common.
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Respect Yourself
Have you ever noticed that you're kinder and more respectful to others than you are to yourself? Often times, we are our own biggest critics.
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The Small Things
Try these small acts of kindness that will give you a purpose and help others feel better.
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Why Gratitude Boosts Happiness
Learn about what gratitude boosts happiness!
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Hack Your Morning Routine with Happiness
Our mornings have a huge impact on our attitudes for the rest of the day. Hack your routine to incorporate happiness.
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Gratitude Expression
Expressing gratitude is proven to boost happiness. Express your gratitude to another person with a note, text, or call.
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Confidence Boost
For the days and moments when you need a reminder of what you are capable of doing in life, watch this video for 3 tips for self-confidence.
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