Maintaining physical health is not limited to regular exercise, good nutrition, and personal hygiene. Although these are highly important, one must not overlook the necessity of safeguarding oneself and others from diseases. With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing around the globe, it is crucial to introduce young minds to disease prevention. This is to equip them with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves and those around them from whatever challenges lie ahead.
Through the funny story of Stanley Stay-Well, this lesson teaches kindergarten students preventive measures for infectious diseases. In addition to reinforcing healthy behavior, this lesson develops the students’ responsible decision-making skills and emphasizes their health, self-concept, and future success.
"With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing around the globe, it is crucial to introduce young minds to disease prevention. This is to equip them with the knowledge and skills to protect themselves and those around them from whatever challenges lie ahead."
Stanley Stay-Well is a boy who never gets sick, as he always knows what to do to stay away from disease-causing germs and prevent them from spreading. One day at school, his classmate Lizzy Little arrives with a cold and sneezes around the room. Before long, one of these little sneezes reaches poor Michael Small, then Tina Tiny, who likes to give tiny kisses to her classmates. The entire school then catches a cold that week, except for Stanley Stay-Well, thanks to his policy not to kiss anyone.
Although indirect, the message of Stanley’s story is clear: diseases spread like wildfire when people don’t stop them from spreading. In the class discussion, the teacher enumerates ways for students to protect themselves and others from illness. Among these positive actions are staying home when sick, covering the mouth with a handkerchief or tissue when sneezing, and washing hands frequently. When feeling symptoms of COVID-19, they can also wear a face mask and always maintain a safe distance from others.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) improves physical health and overall well-being by developing essential skills that promote disease prevention, such as self-management, problem-solving, and decision-making. By engaging in this SEL lesson, kindergarten students learn to manage their actions, make informed decisions, and actively participate in maintaining a healthy and disease-free environment. This paves the way for a brighter and healthier future for all.