Off to College Series: STRESS

This past spring, I put a post on Facebook as to how I could help teachers and one of the responses I received was to add more lessons to the Off to College Series. The wish has been granted! This Off to College Series: STRESS lesson explores the concept of stress as it relates to first year college students.  However, even if you aren’t teaching it from this perspective, there are a lot of engaging activities that can be used or adapted for other lessons about stress!


  • To intro this lesson, assign students the Picture Analysis to complete and be prepared to share as a class. Hopefully someone in the class shares that the image looks like a stressful situation!
  • Define STRESS and share with students this fact about stress and college students:  Stress is the #1 factor of academic disruption.
  • Give students an Alpha-Box Chart (TPT Freebie) and set a 5 minute timer.  Ask them to imagine they are first year college students and brainstorm as many things that may cause stress.  Ask students to share and create a master list on the board. Students will use this chart later in a station activity.


  • iPad or Laptop
  • Projector & Screen
  • Highlighters in Various Colors
  • Paper & Art Supplies


  • Set up stations around the room for students to work through individually or with a partner.  At each station students must use the provided resource(s) to complete the activity.  All activities will use the web-resource titled “The Student’s Guide to Managing Stress in College” which will be broken into sections.
  • Station #1:  Symptoms of Stress:  Students will use the provided section from the resource to categorize various symptoms of stress by highlighting each area with a corresponding color.
  • Station #2:  Causes of Stress: Students use the alpha-box chart they previously filled in. Using the section of the resource, they circle the items that cause stress  that they listed that are also referenced in the article. Students are to add any causes of stress not listed to their chart with a RED marker.
  • Station #3: Stress Can Lead to Other Health Issues: Using the provided section of the web-resource and the body outline, students must sketch symbols, drawing and/or doodle illustrations to represent the other health issues by drawing them in the area on the body that the health issues affect. Students must also label their drawings to help clarify their sketches.
  • Station #4: Ways to Manage Stress: Students use the digital Bento box assigned in Google Classroom  along with the provided section of the web-resource to label and briefly explain the icons associated with dealing with stress. When finished, they submit it into Google Classroom.
  • Station #5: Where to Get Help:  Students Complete the Sarah’s Suffering from Stress Scenario using the provided web-resource to help them list resources.
  • After students have completed all of the stations, it’s up to you whether you go over them in class or collect them to grade. Personally, station work can result in a lot of grading so I would go over some station answers in class and grade only one or two of the activities.  If you tell students that up front, they will hopefully do a good job on all station assignments as they won’t know which ones you’re actually going to collect and grade.
  • As a culminating project, assign students the Stress Booklet to complete and turn in for a grade.


Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

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