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)
Beyond Images (NEDIC) provides educators with free online lesson plans for grades 4 through 8. This curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore key issues in today’s society around body image and self-esteem as well as media messaging, while developing critical thinking skills.
The Confident Me (Dove) school workshops on body image and self-esteem address key topics including social media, peer pressure and strategies for promoting and protecting body confidence for girls and boys aged 11-14. There are single and five session tools designed to adapt to classroom time frames. Teacher training videos and support materials are also available.
Learning about concussions: a teacher guide and lesson is a resource from OPHEA. The resource includes a teacher guide, lesson and an online student module for grade 6 and 9 students.
To meet the requirements of the PPM 158 (2020) – School Board Polies on Concussion (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 Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries 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) are free downloadable school-based resources designed to support teaching pre-teens in grades 5 and 6 and grades 7 and 8 about the transition between childhood and adolescence, personal hygiene, and healthy active lifestyles. The resources include tools and activities, a leader’s guide, parent guide, a male and a female student guide.
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.
Birth Control (BC) kits (with several BC methods) and 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, 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).
Visit our Handwashing page for general information or to download signage on our steps to effective handwashing. Check out the preventive measures page for tips to help reduce the chances of getting an infection or spreading it to others or to download prevent the spread of illness resources.
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.
Canada’s Food Guide (Health Canada) has tips to help you teach healthy eating principles to students. You can order copies (Health Canada) in various languages and find other ways (Health Canada) to promote eating well in your school.
Paint Your Plate (Ontario Dieticians in Public Health) has fun lesson plans for grades 1 to 8 that teach the importance of vegetables and fruit.
BrightBites (Ontario Dieticians in Public Health) has resources to help teachers and other school leaders improve school nutrition. There are ideas to improve school celebrations, catered lunches, fundraisers (Ontario Dieticians in Public Health) and much more.
Sip Smart ™ Ontario (Ontario Dieticians in Public Health) teaches children in grades 3 to 7 about sugary drinks and how to make good drink choices.
OPHEA has specific healthy eating lesson plans that are aligned with the 2019 Health & Physical Activity Curriculum.
Media Smarts has lesson plans on body image and food marketing.
Mental health promotion
School Mental Health Ontario works with Ontario school districts to support student mental health. You will find evidence-based information, tips, tools and resources for school leaders, educators, parents, students and school mental health professionals.
Little things can make a big difference (School Mental Health Ontario) is a resource for K to grade 8 students. It has quick and simple activities that can be done to enhance and maintain the mental health of all students. Download the complete set of elementary and secondary social-emotional posters for a quick reference of practices you can do daily. You may also want to practice these strategies to help students cope with stress. We all respond to stress differently and enjoy different coping strategies. grade 7 to 12 students may want to try these helpful tools.
You may notice that students find it difficult or may not know how to reach out (School Mental Health Ontario SMO) and ask for help. Reassure them that it take courage to ask for help and that no problem is too big or too small (SMO). Encourage students to build self-awareness of what helps them feel good and recharge physically and mentally with this Self-Care101(SMO) handout. Be a role model showing students that taking care of yourself is part of wellness. Personal resiliency (SMO) practices helps improve your energy and your ability to cope with what life hands you.
Kids Help Phone not only provides French and English e-mental health services and support 24/7 for young people across Canada by calling 1-800-668-6868 or by texting CONNECT to 686868, they also offer resources for caring adults to support young people in their lives and offer interactive tools and games, stories from young people and articles on various topics with information and tips. Navigate the site with your students to help them know about resources available to them. Play daily games like the worry rocket or the breathing balloon to support a mentally healthy classroom. Some of the tools like this Wheel of Well-being help support the health and physical education expectations and the living skills expectations; personal skills, interpersonal skills and critical and creative thinking skills.
The Greater Good in Education (English only) provides science-based practices for kinder, happier schools. Explore the various categories for ideas, tips and activities target to the entire school community; students, staff, family and community. The categories include prosocial academic instruction, positive school relationships, my well-being, student well-being, school challenges and all the practices. In each category you will find a description of what the concept includes, why they’re important, and all related practices for k-12, post-secondary, and adults.
MindMasters 2 supports children in JK to grade 4 in the development of their positive living skills toolbox in 3 areas; relaxation and stress control, mindfulness and positive thinking and imagery. This resource includes a downloadable guidebook (with instructions, discussion questions and link to the HPE living skills) printable templates and media files (audio tracks, videos, songs). MindMasters 2 was developed by the Child and Youth Health Network for Eastern Ontario and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and is now a program of Ottawa Public Health. The resource is available for loan from the School Health Promotion Team.
The Ideas for Action: Mental Health guide from OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) offers activities that can be done school wide to build a positive atmosphere in your school, in the classroom to enhance knowledge of mental health, mental illness and of coping strategies, or individually to connect to self to support our own mental health. Before you get started the upfront section of the resource provides you with things to keep in mind, tips for leading activities and much more.
Talking About Mental illness (TAMI) is a program from Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to increase awareness about mental illness and the stigma that surrounds it. This secondary school teacher’s resource guide has the information, and tools you will need to implement TAMI.
Kids Have Stress too (Strong Minds Strong Kids) programs for grades 1 to 6 and Stress Lessons programs for grades 7 to 12 are designed to helps caring adults build positive coping strategies in children and youth to buffer them from stress and bolster resilience. The resources are available at a cost. A video series is available for free for school age children(grade 4-6). You will also find for free, preschool and kindergarten toolbox of activities, general parent tips and strategies, tip for parents of school aged kids and tips for parents of teens. Downloadable booklets are also available. These resources are available for loan from the School Health Promotion Team.
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.
Positive Mental Health Toolkit supports a whole school approach to promoting positive mental health. The toolkit consists of five modules; Introduction to Positive Mental Health, School Connectedness, Resiliency in School Environments, School Team Relationships and Assessing Comprehensive School Health. Each module can be used independently and includes downloadable information, checklists, classroom strategies and links to additional resources.
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, such as bullying, cyberbullying and teen dating violence. You can find online downloadable resources, including toolkits, posters, research, and classroom activities that are designed for children, youth, parents, and teachers (grades K-12). You will also find free online Healthy relationships Training Modules for all adults who work with children and youth.
Cybertip!ca (Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc. offers internet safety resources for children 11 years and under and for children 12 years of age and older. Some of the resources include teacher lesson plans.
The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Children and Youth aged 5 to 17 years is led by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP). This resource is research-based and includes valuable information promoting healthy development and encourages children and youth to live an active lifestyle. For optimal health benefits children and youth should obtain a daily balance of sufficient sleep, limited sedentary behaviour, and a range of physical activities in a variety of environments.
Did you know that recess with unstructured play can increase student’s attention and focus and promote better behaviour in class? To read more about the benefits of recess and unstructured play on improving mental health and resiliency take a look at the Canadian Public Health Association’s toolkit.
Physical literacy is as important as reading and writing. For children and youth to be active for life they need to develop fundamental movements skills, have confidence in their ability, be motivated to participate in physical activity opportunities and possess knowledge and understanding to value being active. Sport for life is a leading agency when it comes to physical literacy. They provide several resources and learning opportunities and the also have a physical literacy for educators section on their website.
Active Sudbury is offering a free physical literacy tools and resources for schools. Physical Literacy for Schools is an initiative that is designed to assist school communities in addressing and creating a physical literate school community. These initiatives are made possible thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and support from the Sport for Life Society. To learn more about this program visit ActiveSudbury.ca or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Active for Life offers resources for educators who want to deliver physical literacy instruction to children. There are ready-made lesson plans and lesson plan builder for ages 3 to 5, 5 to 8, and 8 to 12.
Be Fit for Life offers a variety of resources with ideas for physical activity and physical literacy that can be used in the classroom or in outdoor settings.
Physical and Health Education Canada (PHE Canada) offers some free physical activity resources for educators (grades k-12).
Ophea offers DPA Everyday, a free resource for educators to support implementation of the 20 minutes of minimum physical activity into instructional time to promote well-being and academics. This resource is geared for educators of Grades 1 to 8, and includes videos, posters and discussion guide. Educators can download PPM 138 – Daily Physical Activity in Elementary Schools, Grades 1-8 (Ministry of Education) (314 KB), for more information on the requirements to incorporate 20 minutes of daily physical activity into instructional time.
The School Health Promotion team at Public Health Sudbury & Districts has several resources available to loan regarding physical activity and physical literacy. To find out more about these resources complete the request form online or by call 705.522.9200, ext. 393.
For more information on physical activity in school-aged children visit schools and daycares.
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.
Parachute Canada offers information, toolkits, resources and programs on many Road safety subjects and other preventable injury prevention concerns. This includes the National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW) an annual campaign to build awareness of teen driver safety issues and to encourage community and youth involvement as part of the solution.
Substance use and misuse
Cannabis Education Resources (OPHEA) offers discussion guides for elementary, secondary and parents, activity plans for grade 5 to 12 , a cannabis resource data base and a Q&A column to support educators to help students acquire evidence-informed information and skills needed to make informed decisions.
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.
Media Smart 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 alcohol marketing and tobacco marketing (grades K-12).
The Lung Health Foundation: The Talking About… Series is an educational resource that helps leaders address lung health issues with youth. The series includes a set of activity guides to help facilitate critical discussion with young people in a fun and informative manner.
The SunSense Certification 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. Learning about sun safety and how to enjoy the outdoors in a healthy and safe way is an essential part of every child’s education. 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.
Educators must register before the November 8, 2019 deadline to access FREE resources. To register cancer.ca/sunsense
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. It is important to have open, honest, and ongoing conversations with students about vaping. The toolkit listed below can support you in having these conversations both inside and outside of the classroom.
- Vaping toolkit (Public Health Sudbury & Districts): This electronic toolkit includes downloadable factsheets, a PowerPoint, and activity plans.
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.
Addressing Youth Dating Violence by PREVNet provides evidence-based resources and tools for everyone (prevention 101), for caregivers, for educators and for youth.
Need Help Now (Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc.) provides youth with information about how to manage self/peer exploitation incidents. The site features: steps youth can take to request images/videos be removed from websites, helpful hints for how to involve a safe adult, information about self-care and recognizing when things have gone too far.
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 gGrades 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.