If you teach about crisis or mental illness, then this culminating activity shared by Michelle Overman, a FACS teacher from Greenville Central High School, Indiana, is one for your “tool belt”. Below you will find a variety of activities that Michelle uses when teaching this topic to her Human Development class along with some additional ones that I’ve added.
Intro to Mental Illness
- Complete the “Learning the Facts” introductory questions using the Walk In Our Shoes Website to learn more about mental health.
- View the movie As Good as it Gets to observe characteristics, symptoms and behaviors associated with a specific mental illness as they complete the running notes form. Discuss as a class and explain that this is just one example of a mental illness; there are many more.
- Assign or allow students to choose a mental illness to research and complete the Mental Illness Project Question below. A list of mental disorders and conditions to choose from can be found here.
- As part of emotional awareness, Michelle has her students complete a Control Circle. Not familiar with the circle of control concept, learn more here.
- Self Therapy Fill in the Blank
- Self-Esteem Journal
- Coping Skill Tool Box: What’s that? It is a place for you to keep things that help you calm down during periods of crisis or distress.
- The beauty of this project is that you can have students actually make the box, in addition to completing all areas of of the worksheet, or you can just have students put photos of what they would put in the box with or without written descriptions on a tool box template. See the tool box templates below.
- Learning the Facts
- As Good as it Gets_Running Notes (PDF)
- Mental Illness Project Questions (PDF)
- Control Circle (PDF)
- Self Therapy Fill in the Blank (PDF)
- Self Esteem Journal (PDF)
- Coping Skills Toolbox Project
- Coping Skills Toolbox Templates
- Walk in Our Shoes (Website–great resource for information, personal stories and interactive activities)
- As Good as it Gets (DVD)
- Mental Disorders & Conditions
- Circle of Concern & Influence