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Mental and Spiritual Health, Positive Identity and Healthy Sense of Self

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Posted on Jul 21, 2014 in Resources By Concept, Wonder & Question Investigate & Interpret

Overview of Concept

In K-9 Health Education and Wellness 10, students have opportunities to consider the importance of nurturing the spiritual dimension of the inner self, examine the connection between personal identity and well-being, analyze how body image satisfaction/dissatisfaction affects quality of life for self and family, and refine strategies to develop a positive self image and manage stress. Learning opportunities inform decision-making and action to nurture a healthy sense of self. At different grade levels, many interdisciplinary connections can be made, for example, to Career Education (Change and Growth), English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Physical Education (Active Living).


Selfie-steem: Analyzing and critiquing the impact social media has on body image

Grade 8: Health Education – USC8.5 (Perspective: Support Others), English Language Arts – CR8.1, CR8.2, CR8.5

Developed by:  Mia Olson

Teachers: Prior to the learning experience, post or write #WHATISATTRACTIVE in a prominent area in the classroom. Distribute a piece of paper (e.g., sticky note) to each student as they enter the room.

On your paper, write the first word that comes to mind when you hear the word “attractive” or see #WHATISATTRACTIVE. Be honest! Your answer could include anything from physical appearance to personality traits. When ready, place your paper around the hashtag #WHATISATTRACTIVE. When everyone has posted their papers, review the ideas and move the papers so similar ideas are grouped together. What trends do you notice?

Read the article ‘Selfie’ body image warning issued by Helen Briggs (April 10, 2014). While reading, consider how your use of social media may influence how satisfied or dissatisfied you are with the way you look. After reading, discuss and explore the following questions:

  • How do social media influence our ideas of what it means to be attractive?
  • What do social media and mass media teach us about desirable body shape and weight and/or what it means to be masculine or feminine?
  • How can you support others in achieving positive self-esteem and a healthy body image?

Students can analyze how the influence of social media and mass media is evident (e.g., poses, clothes, hair, accessories) in the ‘selfies’ they have posted on social media sites available to friends or the public, and journal/blog about the pressures and influences to look a certain way (e.g., how are you influenced by what media tells us it means to be attractive?).

Revisit the papers posted around #WHATISATTRACTIVE and articulate ways to support each other in achieving positive self-esteem and a healthy body image.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Examine the effects (both positive and negative) of social media on body image.
  • Consider what can be done to promote positive body image.
  • Justify reactions and personal connections to the article.
  • Organize a journal/blog response around one or two clear ideas.