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Children’s Mental Health Week lesson plan – how to encourage kindness in your class

What's included?

PDF lesson plan

Key Stage

KS1, KS2


Years 1-6

What is Children’s Mental Health Week?

Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 will take place from 6 – 12 February 2023. It is an annual observance, run by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, to help make a difference to the lives of children and young people across the UK. This year’s theme is ‘Let’s Connect’.

Children’s Mental Health Week 2023

The theme for this year is focused on connection – recognising that our young people thrive when they develop strong connections with others.

Belonging is a core component in feeling happy, accepted, and part of something bigger than just yourself.

This lesson plan explores ways children can become more connected to their peers and community in meaningful, fulfilling ways; and how to connect with themselves to overcome the challenges they may face.

It’s also great to use on Empathy Day 2023 or as part of your World Mental Health Day activities.

What they’ll learn

  • How to use nature to improve connections with the school community
  • The power of adopting a growth mindset and positive self-talk to connect with themselves
  • The importance of kindness to form meaningful connections and what that looks like in action

Starter activity

Introduce the theme of connection, which you then discuss through a ‘relationship ripple’ activity.

On paper, get everyone to draw themselves.

They then draw a circle around this, which represents the first ‘ripple’ where the people most important to them exist. This should be labelled (e.g. ‘immediate family’).

Next, they should draw another circle to create a wider ripple representing close to them (such as friends).

Draw a final bigger ripple for the people they interact with in their community, such as teachers or neighbours.

They don’t have to share their work, but it should act as a reminder of how many lovely connections they already have.

Emily Azouelos is a former primary school teacher turned freelance writer and consultant, creating educational resources and creative learning materials for a range of settings.

Children’s Mental Health Week lesson plan – how to encourage kindness in your class

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