Finding A Balance | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Finding A Balance

    What is it all about?
    • Use a Graffiti activity to help students to consolidate their knowledge and connections to the development of holistic health/well-being by identifying and discussing the most relevant, authentic, and age-appropriate issues, and then sharing their learning through a performance. This activity may be used at the beginning, middle or end of a unit of learning.
    Curriculum Connections
    • Grade 9: C1.3
    • Grade 10: C1.1
    How is it done?
    • Graffiti activity is a creative brainstorming process that involves collecting ideas from all or most of the students.
    • Post chart paper around the space with a different concept posted on each paper. Concepts might include:
      • Grade 9:
        Well-Being
        Resilience
        Protective Factors
        Risk Factors
        Healthy Decision Making
        Effective Communication
        Stress Management/Coping
      • Grade 10:
        Mental Health
        Emotional Well-Being
        Spiritual Well-Being
        Healthy Relationships
        Adapting and Coping Strategies
        Empowerment
        Healthy Choices
    • Divide students into small groups (of 2 or 3) and assign each group to a specific chart paper to begin the activity.
    • Provide each group with a specific coloured marker to record their thoughts.
    • Allow each group 30 seconds to think about the concept listed on their chart paper and then 60-90 additional seconds to record their collective ideas about the concept.
    • At the end of the time, have groups rotate to a different piece of paper.
    • Repeat the above steps until each group has visited each of the pieces of chart paper.
    • Once groups have returned to their original chart paper have the group review and identify the most common, interesting or significant ideas that appear on the chart paper related to their concept.
    • Have each group use the ideas to create an Acrostic poem to communicate the ideas on their chart paper and their connection to a person’s well-being.
    • To create an acrostic, have students follow these three easy steps:
      • Students select one word that they will then write vertically to form their acrostic.
      • Students use the words and phrases from the Graffiti chart to create the lines of the poem by placing the selected words/ phrases on the lines that begin with the same letter.
      • Students fill in the rest of the lines to create the poem.
    • Have each group perform their poem for their peers.
    • Have students share what they hoped to convey through their performance and any additional learnings not included in the performance.
    • Encourage the rest of the class to provide constructive feedback.
    • Facilitate a group debriefing session, to have the students reflect on what they learned, their and others’ reaction to the work of their peers, and what the class as a whole can take away from the activity to support the well-being of both self and others.
    • Encourage the rest of the class to provide constructive feedback.
    • Facilitate a group debriefing session, to have the students reflect on what they learned, their and others’ reaction to the work of their peers, and what the class as a whole can take away from the activity to support the well-being of both self and others.
    What may be needed?
    • Chart paper

    • Markers (different colour for each group)

    • A list of healthy living concepts for each grade that connect to the development of well-being

    • Time and space for students to explore their topic and to create and perform their acrostic poem

    Opportunities for assessment
    • Use the graffiti boards (chart paper) to assess what students know about their concept and what they are able to connect to the key concept of well-being and further learning that may be required.
    • Observe small group conversations to assess students’ application of critical thinking and interpersonal skills.
    Ideas for Extension
    • Have students develop a personal “mantra” or mindfulness script to help them cope with the various types of stressful situations they will encounter throughout their daily world.
    Educator notes
    • Encourage students to develop critical thinking and inquiry skills for complex and multifaceted issues. Such skills include questioning, predicting, analysing, synthesizing, examining opinions, identifying values and issues, detecting bias, and distinguishing between alternatives to make a judgement or guide decision making.
    • The educator should moderate the post-performance discussion, ensuring class feedback remains constructive, correcting any misinformation presented in the presentation, and answering any questions that may arise, referring to relevant resources as needed.
    • If any inappropriate content or gestures come up in a performance, do not react in a disciplinary manner, but correct it.
    • Acknowledge humour as a useful tool that increases memory, confidence, and self-efficacy and helps to combat stigma and diffuse awkwardness.