A positive self-concept not only results in happiness, it also improves health. It provides confidence which helps one to cope with stress and reduce physical symptoms successfully. By reducing stress, the body feels healthier, mood gets better, and overall behavior improves.
No matter their age, overall health is ultimately in one’s own hands, which makes it important for kindergarten students to learn how seeing themselves in a positive light can help them feel and be healthy. Using age-appropriate teaching strategies, this evidence-based SEL lesson teaches them that wellness results from a positive sense of self.
"No matter their age, overall health is ultimately in one’s own hands, which makes it important for kindergarten students to learn how seeing themselves in a positive light can help them feel and be healthy."
Starting with an audio story titled "Annie’s Wink," kindergartners follow Annie Owl’s day as she learns that feeling bad about herself can make her feel sick while feeling happy for her actions can improve her health. In the story, Annie Owl refuses to attend her winking school and instead lazes around, thinking it is what she needs. However, knowing better that she should have gone to school, Annie spends her day feeling bothered and worried about what she is missing. Feeling bad about her actions, she starts to have a headache, and her stomach feels sick. What improves her health is her choice to attend school the next day, which makes her truly happy about herself.
As Annie Owl shows at the end of the story, taking positive actions that benefit the self-concept also improves physical and mental wellness, which is why it is an essential health behavior. Being intentional in choosing to do positive actions prevents worries, improves one’s sense of self-worth, and regains control over life. Kindergartners reflect more on this through an interactive class discussion. They answer questions about Annie Owl and how they can achieve overall wellness by improving their self-concept.
This lesson is designed to motivate kindergarten students to take better care of their health by teaching them that positive actions and positive feelings about themselves lead to physical and mental health. Students are given an "Annie’s Wink" activity sheet as a fun reinforcement material that helps them remember what they learned from this story and lesson.