Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students learn how to manage their mental health and seek help if they are affected by fire or flood.

Subjects: Health and Physical Education.

Year Level: 4.

Teaching Time: 60 minutes.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Resilient Australia: Building Resilience To Natural Disasters – Primary.

Related Professional Development: We encourage you to undertake the free PD Course How to teach a unit on fire and flood resilience for tips on how to best deliver this lesson.

If you’re concerned about the challenging nature of these topics, consider the free PD Course How to approach trauma in the classroom for information on how best to support your students.

21st-century skills: 

CommunicatingCommunity EngagementCultural UnderstandingDigital LiteracyEmpathySocial SkillsTeam Work  

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 4 Health and Physical Education:

  • Explore strategies to manage physical, social and emotional change (ACPPS034)
  • Describe and apply strategies that can be used in situations that make them feel uncomfortable or unsafe (ACPPS035)

Relevant parts of Year 4 HPE achievement standards: Students recognise strategies for managing change. They investigate how emotional responses vary. They describe the connections they have to their community and identify local resources to support their health, wellbeing, safety and physical activity.

Syllabus outcomes: GDS2.9, DMS2.2, PSS2.5, SLS2.13. 

General capabilities: Personal and Social Capability.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: flood, fire, natural disaster, community, relief, mental health, stress, crisis, support, help-seeking.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … identify various ways to manage stress and poor mental health.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … identify the signs of stress
  • … practice mindfulness.

Teacher content information:

Handling Sensitive Topics:

While presenting the lesson, you may notice that students could develop heightened emotions as you uncover the physical and psychological effects of hazards and disasters. Resilience, rebuilding and hope are essential learnings from the lessons. Therefore, it is vital to create a psychologically safe place for students to discuss and debrief, shall they need to. The tasks can be activating for some students and could trigger old memories that some students may find challenging to revisit or process. You should direct students to a school counsellor if they require additional support and read through the Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues Template for more information. 

Resilient Communities Framework

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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: “Brilliant things happen in calm minds. Be calm. You’re brilliant” - headspace

Step 1. Complete the following table.

Things that help me in times of stress
For a little extra help



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