©

British Council/Teresa Robertson

Time: 30 minutes.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the importance of connecting with people and nature
  • Think about how you connect with people and nature and what the benefits are.

Core skills:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Citizenship.

Curriculum links:

PHSE, English, Geography, Science, Citizenship.

The first of the five ways to well-being is ‘Connect’. Here are five tasks to help teach this to your pupils.

Task 1: Ask pupils what this quote means to them.

‘Connect with the people around you. With family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. At home, work, school or in your local community. Think of these as the cornerstones of your life and invest time in developing them. Building these connections will support and enrich you every day.’

The New Economics Foundation.

Task 2: Display a copy or version of the diagram above diagram as you talk about ‘connecting’.

Or you could create the diagram using rope or string and get your pupils to choose the symbols of 'myself', 'others' and 'environment'.

Task 3: Play the Connect Us game, Stand up, sit down!

Sitting on the floor or on chairs, with social distancing where necessary, get your pupils respond to the series of statements below.

If they agree they stand, or if they disagree they sit down. If they are feeling energetic pupils can jump or hop for agree and kneel down for disagree. Statements can be read out by the teacher or a pupil. 

  • You have the letter A in your name
  • You are wearing socks
  • You like bananas (or another kind of food)
  • You enjoy reading books
  • You have a favourite song
  • You enjoy watching films
  • You like playing sports
  • You have a hobby
  • You like being quiet (or noisy)
  • You like playing computer games
  • You enjoy being by yourself
  • You like to look at the natural world.

Ask the pupils to come up with more ideas to extend the game further. Ask them if they noticed if other pupils had things they liked or enjoyed in common with them. Ask for examples of this.

Discuss how having things in common with others in school can help everyone to feel welcome and that they belong.

Task 4: When you think about connecting, it may be with friends and family. But we should also consider how we connect to people in our wider community, both local and global.

In addition, it is very important to connect to nature and feel part of the natural world.  This is important for our own well-being and for the survival of the planet.  The diagram above shows all three areas as interdependent.  

  • Who do you connect with on a regular basis? How do you do this? What are the benefits?
  • How do you connect with people in your wider community, both locally and globally? What are some of the challenges? What are the benefits?
  • How do you connect with nature and the environment? How easy is it for you? How does this make you feel?
Mood map ©

Jane Yates

Blobtree diagram ©

Pip Wilson and Ian Long www.blobtree.com

Glossary

Interdependence - the idea that everything in nature is connected to and depends on every other thing (including human beings).

Differentiation for SEND

Use language or activities that your pupils recognise. For example, you may want to draw or visualise ‘connections’ as your pupils talk about them to help them understand the concepts.

Partner School Linking Activity

Create a mood map to show the people and places you connect with regularly. Be creative and use colours or symbols to show the people and places that support you and where you would like to see a stronger connection. 

Share these with your partner school. What is similar about the mood maps? What ideas have your partners given you that you will add to your mood map?

Share what has been learned from the ‘Connect Us’ game, Stand up, sit down!

Task 5: Blobtree reflection

Look at the Blobtree diagram above.

Which blob shows how you feel connected to someone? Which blob shows how you would like to be connected to someone?  Discuss the feelings shown by the blobs you have chosen.

Without words, the blobs can be interpreted in many different ways.  Each picture is a means to a conversation, rather than a problem to be solved or a message to be agreed on.

It's fine if the pupils you are working with read the characters in totally opposing ways. We each see the world through our own eyes.

Allowing pupils to share their own interpretations can help them to understand there are multiple ways of seeing. Teachers should avoid bringing their own interpretation to the blob images and influencing the pupils.

Ground rules for creating open and safe space for well being

Revisit and review the ground rules from the introductory session.

Which ground rules were most important with each of the activities? Are there any new ground rules to add?