Body Image and self-esteem
Reach for your best! How we feel about ourselves and our body has a direct effect on how we take care of ourselves, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Promote a balanced approach to health in your classrooms and when talking to your students. Focus on health, well-being and fun instead of body weight or measurements. Think of changes you can make to behaviours and environments that will help children to eat well, get moving, get enough sleep, and feel good about themselves. This will enhance their resilience and help them reach for their best. (Grades K-12)
The Confident Me: Five Session Program (Dove) address key topics including social media, peer pressure and strategies for promoting and protecting body confidence for girls and boys aged 11-14.
The self-esteem workshop guide (Dove) will provide guidance for teachers of girls and boys aged 11-14 to help build body confidence by understanding and dealing with feelings about physical appearance.
To meet the requirements of the PPM 158 – Concussions (Ministry of Education), educators can visit the OPHEA Concussion Portal to review information about concussions, including sample forms, assessments, an e-Learning module, as well as a Rowan’s Law Day Toolkit. Parachute has additional training and awareness building resources for educators. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Concussion Portal and the Ministry of Education Healthy Schools Concussion Portal provide information and resources for parents, educators, students and coaches on concussion prevention, identification and management. Information specific to Rowan’s Law (the concussion safety legislation) can be found on the Ministry of Ontario website.
Growth and Development / Sexual Health
Always Changing (Ophea) is a free school-based resource designed to teach pre-teens in Grades 5 and 6 about the transition between childhood and adolescence, and the beginning stages of puberty.
Always Changing 7 & 8 (Ophea) is a free resource designed to promote a healthy, active lifestyle to adolescent students in Grades 7 and 8. The goal is to help students develop the necessary skills to overcome barriers to physical education, sport and physical activity participation in order to lead active, healthy lifestyles.
Healthy Dating Relationships is a free guide created by PREVNet, a Canadian network created to promote safe and healthy relationships for children and youth. This resource outlines the key aspects of a healthy relationship and provides students, parents and educators with evidence-based information on online safety.
Sex & U (The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada) provides accurate, credible, and up-to-date information and education on topics related to sexual health and reproductive health (Grades 4-12).
Teachingsexualhealth.ca (Alberta Health Services) provides teachers with evidence-based sexual health education background and delivery methods, current lesson plans and activities and comprehensive resources for students in Grades 4-12 (including students with differing abilities).
Best Start: Ontario’s maternal, newborn and early child development resource centre (Health Nexus) supports service providers working on preconception health, prenatal health and early child development. Educators have access to various resources in the Preconception Health section that will help them address this topic (Grades 11-12).
Puberty Chats are offered by Public Health Nurse for students in Grades 4-6. These sessions are meant to answer students’ questions once the puberty curriculum has been covered by the classroom teacher. Book your Chat session with the School Health Promotion Team by completing the request form online or by calling 705.522.9200, ext. 393.
Sexual Health Chats are offered by Public Health Nurse for students in Grades 7-12. These sessions are meant to answer students’ questions once the sexual health curriculum has been covered by the classroom teacher. Book your Chat session with the School Health Promotion Team by completing the request form online or by calling 705.522.9200, ext. 393.
The male and female anatomy models are available for educators to help teach the curriculum (Grades 4-12). Borrow this resource from the School Health Promotion Team by completing the request form online or by calling 705.522.9200, ext. 393.
Handwashing classroom presentations for all grades are offered by public health inspectors. Handwashing, when done correctly, remains the single most effective way to control the spread of illness. To book a presentation, or to order handwashing decals please call 705.522.9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200, ext. 464).
The Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education offers a child-friendly interactive program called the Smart Kids Fight BAC! Learning Program for children from Kindergarten to Grade 3. This program teaches young children and their families about the importance of safe food handling practices. They also offer food safety learning programs for use in Grades 3 to 5 and Grades 4 to 8.
The Freggie™ Children’s Program (Canadian Produce Marketing Association)encourages consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables for better overall health. Educators can download free comprehensive lesson plans for Grades 1 to 6. The curriculum was developed to complement Ontario Curriculum guidelines but can easily be adapted to suit any school board requirements.
A healthy school nutrition environment is not just about teaching students to “eat healthy” during classroom lessons. It’s about creating an environment that provides positive examples of wholesome, nutritious foods in all aspects of a student’s life at school (Grades K-12) which can create healthier, more positive eating habits for life. BrightBites has tools, resources and success stories to guide and inspire teachers and other school leaders to create this environment at their school “one bite at a time”. Visit the website for insightful blogs, innovative tip pages and helpful Pinterest boards for easy-to-follow project ideas to improve celebrations at school, catered lunches and school fundraisers and plenty more.
Teach Nutrition (Dairy Farmers of Canada) is a website created by Registered Dietitians for Ontario Teachers. The website contains information about programs and resources to help teachers teach nutrition to students from Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Need help teaching nutrition in your classroom? Teaching Nutrition Kits can help you. The kits include resources about healthy eating and nutrition, serving sizes, food models, and other activities for teaching students from Kindergarten to Grade 8. Borrow this resource from the School Health Promotion Team by completing the request form online or by calling 705.522.9200, ext. 393.
Serve It Up! (Ministry of Education) was developed for teachers in secondary schools that include food preparation as part of the instructional program.
Mental health promotion
The Ideas for Action: Mental Health guide from Ophea offers free teaching tools that support implementation of a culture of mental health promotion within your school. It also includes detailed activities that can be put into action school-wide, in the classroom or individually. Topics covered in the teaching tool include:
- living skills
- mental health problems
- mental health promotion
- mental illness within the family
- stigma and stereotypes
- suicide prevention and intervention
The Everyday Mental Health Classroom Resources from School Mental Health ASSIST is available to support educators of Grade K-8 students. They are evidence-based mental health practices that can be incorporated into daily classroom routines. They focus on core skill practices including stress management and coping, emotion identification, positive motivation, relationship, self-confidence, and executive functioning, including activity cards for each.
Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide (2.02 MB) (Teenmentalhealth.org) is a mental health literacy curriculum resource designed for educators of Grade 7-10 students. The guide includes six interactive web-based, classroom-ready modules, a teacher self-study resource, lesson plans, print and video resources, PowerPoint presentations, evaluation options, and supplementary materials.
The Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health offers a Positive Mental Health Toolkit that encourages a comprehensive school approach of promoting positive mental health practices and perspectives within the school environment. The toolkit consists of 5 online modules that can be used independently, each containing written and video components. These modules also include a variety of downloadable information, checklists, and strategies, as well as valuable links to additional resources to enhance a healthy school environment for students, educators, and staff members.
The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), offers an evidence-informed resource called MindMasters which introduces children to positive living skills through simple, age appropriate activities. Mini MindMasters is for children under the age of 6 and MindMasters is for children ages 6 to 12. These resources include guide books, activities, parent and educator training, and worksheets. There is also MindMasters 2 for children ages 4 to 9, which is an updated version of the original MindMasters including new activities and technology.
Kids Have Stress Too! (The Psychology Foundation of Canada) is a program with tools and activities for students in Grades 1 to 3. This research-based program is built on an experiential learning approach. Its aim is to help educators create teachable moments to introduce stress management strategies and build emotional resiliency.
Stress Lessons Toolkit (The Psychology Foundation of Canada) is a free classroom resource that is designed for educators of students in Grades 4 to 6. Stress Lessons are built on an experiential, hands-on learning approach. Its aim is to help educators create teachable moments to introduce stress management strategies and build emotional resiliency.
Stress Lessons from Stressed Out to Chilled Out (The Psychology Foundation of Canada) is a program for students in Grades 7 to 9. The aim of this resource is to help educators create teachable moments to introduce stress-management strategies and skills and build emotional resiliency in their students and themselves.
Stress Lessons: Tools for Resiliency (The Psychology Foundation of Canada) is designed for educators of Grade 9 to 12 students. This resource is available with a small purchase. Each lesson encompasses evidence-based strategies and tools to help create healthy learning environments, help teens develop positive coping skills, resilience and enhanced well-being.
The following track list is a collection of relaxation exercises created by youth for youth that can be used for visualization, stretching or breathing to reduce stress.
The Grade 1 Smilecare resource (7MB) assists the educator with the delivery of classroom plans and activities geared to oral health. A Public Health staff member can provide support with curriculum pieces and answer any questions regarding oral health.
There are additional curriculum resources on the Halton Region Website.
Personal safety and injury prevention
Media Smarts offers lesson plans, tip sheets and other teacher resources on various media topics, including violence (Grades K-12).
Parachute is a charitable organization helping Canadians stop the clock on predictable and preventable injuries. Parachute offers many programs across Canada that are designed to help people reduce their risks of injury while enjoying long lives lived to the fullest. They offer resources about various injury topics, including home safety, playground safety and poison prevention, that can be used by teachers for their classrooms (Grades K-12).
PREVnet is a website about promoting relationships and eliminating violence. PREVNet is a national network of leading researchers and organizations, working together to stop bullying in Canada. You can find online resources, including toolkits, posters, research, and classroom activities that are designed for children, youth, parents, and teachers (Grades K-12).
Heart Healthy Lesson Plans (Heart & Stroke Foundation) provide elementary teachers with a resource to use with your class, which promotes participation in physical activity. Each plan is tailored for a specific grade, from Kindergarten to grade 8, with suitable lessons and activities for kids of all ages.
Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) offers free physical activity resources for educators (Grades K-12).
P.A.L.S. (Playground Activity Leaders in Schools) is a playground leadership program that encourages all children (Grades K-8) to participate in activities. The objectives of the P.A.L.S. program are to: increase physical activity, decrease conflict and reduce the incidence of playground bullying, and provide leadership opportunity for students. Borrow this resource or receive an electronic copy from the School Health Promotion Team by completing the request form online or by calling 705.522.9200, ext. 393.
Classroom kits of 24 pedometers are available for educators to loan (Grades K-12). Borrow this resource from the School Health Promotion Team by completing the request form online or by calling 705.522.9200, ext. 393.
Road and off-road safety
The Ontario Road Safety Resource was developed for teachers and community leaders who are dedicated to supporting the health and well-being of Ontario’s children and youth who are raising road safety awareness at every level. Each resource provides specific support for each grade level (Grades K-12) including lesson plans and a tool kit. For more information and to access the resource visit www.ontarioroadsafety.ca.
Substance use and misuse
Ophea Teaching Tools – Cannabis Education Resources offers a variety of resources to support educators. Resources are related to substance use, creating safe inclusive spaces, legalization of cannabis, and mental health and well-being. Ophea also outlines how each resource can be connected to Ontario’s Elementary and Secondary Health and Physical Education (H&PE) Curriculums for Grades 1 to 12.
Information for schools, school boards, and educators about the legalization of recreational cannabis in Ontario can be found on the Ontario Ministry of Education website which includes a fact sheet entitled Cannabis Information for Schools and School Boards.
In collaboration with other programs and agencies, School Mental Health ASSIST has developed three versions of Info-Sheets on Opioid Misuse – one sheet for educators, one for youth, and one for parents/caregivers.
Level Up (Ophea) is a free online resource that supports educators and program leaders in promoting positive mental health and overall well-being with children and youth ages 6 to 18. By using a proactive approach to create a supportive environment, Level Up addresses healthy living through a variety of sensitive topics related to substance use, and healthy eating. Level Up includes easy-to-use activity cards that are linked to the Health and Physical Education (H&PE) curriculum Living Skills expectations. The resource also includes videos and posters to encourage student engagement and discussion.
A collaboration between the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre and Public Health Sudbury & Districts, This is My Tobacco aims to educate youth and community about the traditional uses of sacred tobacco. Learning about the importance of sacred tobacco can help people make better choices. For example, respecting the use of sacred tobacco may help prevent people from starting to smoke cigarettes. We would like to thank our elder, Hilda Nadjiwan, for her inspirational teachings and beautiful prayer. Gratitude is also extended to youth authors and illustrators.
To order a copy, contact:
Ryan Taggart, Director of Operations
Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre
The Sun Sense program (Canadian Cancer Society) aims to reduce the incidence of skin cancer by providing Ontario elementary schools with tools and resources to help create sun safe environments for students and staff. The program focuses on education, awareness and policy related to sun safety and shade. It provides policy guides, teaching guides for Grades 1 to 6, information sheets, posters and more.
As part of the Sun Sense program, a 20 minute webinar has been developed to provide educators in elementary schools with a greater understanding of sun safety and skin cancer prevention in schools. This webinar also provides an overview of the Sun Sense program and the FREE resources available to schools that register for the program. Please click on the following link to access the webinar for educators and/or to register for the Sun Sense program: http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/get-involved-on/sunsense/?region=on.
Educators can also visit our sun safety and tanning section for general information about ultraviolet radiation, sun safe behaviours, shade, sunscreen, and skin cancer.
There is a good chance that your students have been, or will be exposed to vaping or e-cigarette products. Vaping is not harmless. These products are also small and easy to disguise. They may resemble a pen or USB stick.
The following resources provide need-to-know information about vaping so that you are better prepared to talk with your students (Grades 7-12):
- What school staff need to know about vaping and e-cigarettes (pdf 1.36 MB)
- What parents and caregivers need to know about vaping and e-cigarettes (pdf 1.4 MB)
- Vaping is not harmless – a resource for youth (pdf 1.9 MB)
It is important to have open, honest, and ongoing conversations with students about vaping.
- Make opportunities to talk
- Ask open-ended questions
- Be patient, positive, and listen to what they have to say
- Be caring
Violence and bullying
PREVNet is a national network of leading researchers and organizations working together to eliminate violence and bullying by helping to promote healthy relationships in Canada. They offer multiple online resources for children, youth, parents and educators (Grades K-12). PREVNet’s toolkit: Bullying Prevention: Factsheets and Tools (3.67 MB) is available to support schools with their ongoing violence and bullying prevention and creating a safe school environment.
WR Draw the Line is resource created by White Ribbon and Draw the Line that support educators, students and parents in fostering the ability to engage in healthy relationships, navigate consent, and prevent sexual violence. They offer free educator guides with lesson plans, scenario postcards, professional development, workshops and webinars (Grades 1-12).
Media Smarts is a Canadian resource that houses one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of digital and media literacy resources that offer opportunities to approach digital issues in schools and in the classroom for educators in a positive way. It offers lesson plans, tip sheets, and other educator resources to assist with various media topics which including violence and cyberbullying (Grades K-12).
OPHEA offers lesson plans to educators for the classroom regarding Internet safety and assisting students in developing safe and healthy online behaviors in the same way they would in real life situations (Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-8).
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection offers an interactive safety education program Kids in the Know (Grades K-12). This program assists educators with teaching children and youth safety strategies in an age-appropriate way that builds resiliency skills and reduces their likelihood of experiencing adverse school experiences such as bullying, cyberbullying and violence.