Lesson “Stressed Out?”
First published 2021. To view the latest Heads Up content, click here.
Stress is a part of every teen’s life, even more so during intense challenges such
as a pandemic, racial discrimination, and life transitions. But uncontrolled stress
can cause serious health problems and increase the risk that students may use
drugs to attempt to deal with stressors, including mental health issues and
trauma. Use these materials to help your students understand how stress affects
their body, and learn healthy ways to cope with pressure.
Click below for printables and links to all the lesson materials for “Stressed Out?”
See below to review the lesson plan.
Science Literacy, English Language Arts, Health/Life Skills
STATE STANDARDS (CCSS)
|NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE
* Cite specific textual evidenceto support analysis of science and technical texts.
* Write informative/explanatory texts.
MS – LS1.A/HS – LS1.A
* Structure and Function
* Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Informatio
Cross – Cutting
* System and System Modules
What is the fight-or-flight response and why is it an important process in the body?
(The “fight or flight” response prepares the body to face a challenging situation. It boosts energy in the body if a physical reaction is needed to survive by fighting or fleeing.)
Beyond helping you to survive in emergencies, how can stress be helpful to you? What are some examples?
(Stress can increase focus and energy. This can be helpful, for example, in studying for or taking a test. [Additional answers may apply.])
How can uncontrolled stress lead to health problems?
(Ongoing or chronic stress can pr event the body’s stress response from returning to normal levels. This has many health risks including getting sick; sleep problems; headaches; anxiety and depression; problems with learning and memory; and heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It can also increase the risk for drug use and for developing an addiction.)
CRITICAL-THINKING WRITING PROMPTS
Imagine your friend tells you they are feeling overwhelmed by stress. What advice would you give them?
What are signs that may indicate a person is experiencing chronic stress?
How might chronic stress as a teenager impact a person’s life into adulthood? Support your answer with evidence from the text.
ANSWER KEY: STUDENT ACTIVITY SHEET “STRESS TEST”
1. c; 2. e; 3. b; 4. a; 5. d
Answers will vary but should include specific evidence from the activity sheet as well as the student article about the specific body reactions to stress and the reasons for them.
Answers will vary.
REMOTE LEARNING SUGGESTIONS
- Create an online discussion board and ask students to share at least one situation in which they have felt stressed. Alternatively, have students journal individually.
- Send students links or print copies of the student article and student activity. Instruct students to read the article independently.
- Organize small groups of students and send each group the reading comprehension questions. Schedule online video chats for each group to discuss the questions. Alternatively, have students respond in writing individually.
- Have students complete the student activity sheet. Then, instruct them to return to the online discussion board or journal and share a strategy they could use to try to cope with pressure. A few days later, have them describe the results.