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How to teach wellbeing, life skills and positive education in school?

Teaching life skills and wellbeing in school

Marker Espoo, Finland
This innovation describes five different lessons for teaching life skills. The lesson plans include instructions for exercises as well as tools for teachers to further their knowledge on life skills and the lesson topics.

What is it all about?

“Teaching children wellbeing and life skills in schools is the best way to ensure that the future generations flourish!”

Viivi Pentikäinen

Life skills are the skill set that enable people to live happy and meaningful lives and reach their potential. People who have sufficient life skills flourish. In this context, a meaningful life is achieved through mental wellbeing, self-awareness, skills for appreciating humanity in others as well as working towards wellbeing in one's community.

Instilling life skills and wellbeing skills in school supports mental wellbeing in children and youth now and in the future. Our goal is also to decrease human suffering.

Life skill education is based on research and methodology for positive pedagogy and positive education developed alongside positive psychology. It is important to teach research based life skills such as happiness skills, strength skills, resolution skills, emotional skills, skills for being present, interaction skills, relationship skills, self-management skills as well as empathy skills at school. This way children grow up to be whole, mentally strong and resilient young adults.

The innovation describes five different life skill lessons. These steps detail the structure of the lessons, guide you through different exercises and provide further reading and materials on the topic.

Life skills can be implemented as a module or as individual exercises. The teachers and other school staff should familiarize themselves in and even receive training on teaching life skills. When life skills are taught consistently the results will become visible at the school-level and not only in individual student wellbeing.

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Intended Outcomes
6 - 18
Age Group
Resources Needed
The innovation requires one teacher and time to implement the program. This means time to review the program and acquire the necessary materials. The innovation includes five different lesson plans which allow you to create a tailored module for your school.
HundrED Criteria
Teaching children and young people wellbeing and life skills at school prepares them for life. Life skills are first and foremost preventative mental health skills that allow more young people to lead good, happy and meaningful lives.
Teaching life skills supports students' personal growth, by providing knowledge, skills and social capital.
Life skills can and should be actively taught to children all throughout their time in school. This includes noticing the positive and fostering kindness. Wellbeing education also supports instruction in other subjects. This is why it should be included in all education – in the methodology and as an all-encompassing lens of positive reinforcement.

See this innovation in action.

Emotion ribbon.
Honesty. Enthusiasm. Compassion. Creativity. Grit. Courage.


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Lesson 1: Happiness as a Skill
The goal of the lesson: Notice the good and learn gratitude
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Lesson 2: Character Strengths as a Skill
The goal of the lesson: Learning about strengths, recognizing and utilizing your strengths.
Read more
Lesson 3: Mindfulness as a Skill
The goal of the lesson: Learning about being present and relaxation.
Read more
Lesson 4: Emotional Intelligence as a Skill
The goal of the lesson: Emotional intelligence and reinforcing positive emotions.
Read more
Lesson 5: Relationships and Communication as a Skill
The goal of the lesson: Relationships and good communication skills.
Read more

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