Words Worth Writing | Ophea Teaching Tools

    Words Worth Writing

    What is it all about?
    • Use quotations to activate student thinking about mental illness, the stigmatization of mental illness, substance use and addiction, protective factors, risk factors, and their relationship to well-being. Students then share their perspective as part of a unit of learning.
    Curriculum Connections
    • Grade 11: C1.4, C3.4, C3.5
    • Grade 12: C1.2, C2.3
    How is it done?
    • Find and post various quotations around the instruction space that are related to mental illness, substance use, addictions, well-being, coping, and resilience relevant to the age and developmental stage of the students.
    • Using a Think Pair Share graphic organizer, have students first think individually about the meaning of each quotation and its relevance to them.
    • Have students share their thinking with a partner.
    • Have partners create their own quotation that captures their thinking and/or a response for each of the posted quotations.
    • Have partners submit their quotations for feedback.
    • Have partners practice saying their quotations with appropriate dramatic expression (for example, angry, happy, concerned, sad, reassuring).
    • Have the class assemble into a circle with partners beside each other.
    • Go around the circle, and have pairs read their own quotation aloud in succession until all pairs have shared their quotation.
    • Facilitate a group debriefing session. Have students reflect on what they learned, their and others’ reaction to the work of their peers, and what the group as a whole can take away from the activity to support the well-being of both self and others.
    What may be needed?
    • Quotations related to mental illness, substance use, addictions, well-being, coping, and resilience

    • Think Pair Share graphic organizer for students to record their reflections

    Opportunities for assessment
    • Observe conversations between partners as they work in small groups to reflect and share their responses to the quotations, in order to assess students’ understanding of the healthy living concept(s) and learn more about the diversity of student perspectives.
    Ideas for Extension
    • Have pairs write their quotations on paper and post them around the space, and then join one or two other pairs to create a small group. Have the small group first create a monologue or skit using the quotations posted around the room as inspiration and content, and then perform their skit for the class.
    Educator notes
    • Have students reflect on the power of language and drama to convey a message.
    • This activity may be especially helpful in developing empathy with respect to topics such as mental illness and stigmatization of it as well as substance use and addictions.