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Lesson Plans

Get Growing program is a ten week "in school" program that helps young people learn important life skills.
Click on the interactive slides below to see what is involved in each week of the program.

Lesson 1

Learning Objective

Students will be introduced to the concept that every person has value regardless of their past, their current circumstances or their behaviour

  • Every person regardless of their age, lifestyle, past, culture, has inalienable personal value
  • It is not eroded by what we do or what we have done
  • For each of us, it means we have a right to be here and that no matter what occurs we are valuable
  • When we accept we are valuable, we can begin to act as if that is the case
  • This will reduce risks to our mental health from behaving as if we don’t count
  • This is an essential feature of the Grow Philosophy

Lesson 2

Learning Objective

To reduce their isolation and fear of seeking help, students will be introduced to the concept that every person has problems and that we all need help.

  • The purpose is to create acceptance that we all need help and thus encourage help seeking behaviour (anti stigma)
  • Session 2 lays the groundwork for the students to realise they can share their issues with this trusted group and not lose face
  • Admitting we all have problems and we all need help is a vital phase in establishing the potential for the group to become a problem solving and sharing group in future sessions.

Learning that problems are part of everyday life and we all have them leads to understanding  who to ask for help.

When we can accept we have problems, we are on the road to positive change. We can begin to overcome what is preventing us from moving forward in life. We learn that our problems are not unique when we share them with others. By sharing, we learn that we are all more alike than we may think.

Lesson 3:

Students will be introduced to techniques for applying objective thinking to a problem, to consider the consequences of actions and make thoughtful, effective decisions.

  • When our minds are jumbled and we are upset and feeling overwhelmed, we can’t think clearly. There may also be a many different problems rushing through our minds. When this happens, it is really difficult to think clearly.
  • To begin effective problem-solving, we need to identify and address one problem at a time. For this purpose, we can use our technique called, how to Chill Out in a Crisis.
  • For effective problem-solving, we need to know How to Chill Out in a Crisis, and we also need other people to talk with.  Thinking in isolation from others will make the problem appear much worse than it is.
  • After we have practiced using how to Chill Out in a Crisis with the help of others, then students will be ready to use this technique in their own life.

The student will practice putting How to Chill Out in a Crisis into action using scenarios or problems they nominate.

Lesson 4

Learning Objective

Students learn that we all need meaningful connections with other people. We also need to feel safe and to have a sense of belonging.

  • Our basic human needs include nurturing, good nutrition, shelter, sanitation, and freedom from harm by dangers such as disease, natural disasters and violence. After our basic needs are met, then we can begin to meet our more complex needs or vital needs, which are required for personal development.
  • While all people need some solitude, if we are too isolated, our thinking will become unclear, even confused. Without other people, we will become focused only on ourselves, and we won’t learn how to interact with others and participate fully in life
  • You will learn to recognize when you are being mistreated, even when it is subtle or not obvious. We need to feel safe and to be supported. Conflict and abuse can lead to depression, anger and/or health problems. If this is happening in your life, it is time to get some help.
  • We explore instant gratification and delayed gratification and how we grow stronger in character as we learn to be satisfied and content with our lives, even when we don’t get everything we want right now. We can delay or postpone getting everything we want right now and survive just fine.

Lesson 5

Learning Objective

Students  learn that we all have aspects of our lives and ourselves that we cannot change and that we can learn to live with those aspects.

  • Acceptance is an attitude of mind. It is a choice we make to live with certain aspects of our lives which we may not like but cannot change, at least right now. When we accept certain imperfections of our lives, we can learn to tolerate those imperfections and go on living in spite of them.
  • If you agree that you are too hard on yourself, it is time to change your thinking. You can turn your thinking around. You can learn to emphasize or focus on your strengths instead of focusing on your faults and failings. You can learn to focus on what is right about yourself instead of always dwelling on, and even exaggerating your faults.
  • How accepting are you of other people? Do you expect too much of other people? Do you believe you can change other people?
  • We cannot change other people, and because we can’t, we need to accept them as they are. All human beings are imperfect, including you and me.

Lesson 6

Learning Objective

To understand feelings, be aware of them and understand they are changeable, will pass, and are not always based on facts.

  • Feelings are not facts, at least not all of the time.
  • Feelings are like the weather – they change all the time
  • Understand the signs that a person may be suffering from depression

All of us experience a full range of emotions, and none of these feelings are bad in themselves. What matters is what we do with our feelings. We learn to deal with our feelings differently depending on our upbringing and life experiences.

We talk about new ways to understand our feelings. These feelings (or emotions) are good servants and friends to us, but they are very poor masters. This means that we need to be the ones in charge of us, not our feelings.

Lesson 7

Learning Objective

To identify the qualities/aspects of a good friend(ship) and that being a friend is the way to have friends

  • The word ‘friend’ is really used for 3 different relationships
  • Identify the personal qualities needed to form friendships
  • The group will identify one positive characteristic about themselves.
  • Participants will express an understanding of the challenge of choosing to be responsible vs. choosing to have a good time.
  • Develop character by making healthy choices.

How to build strength of character

If we choose to do the right thing even when our friends go against us, we build character every time.  It’s like going to the gym every time we choose to do the right thing and we are building up our ‘character muscle’.This is difficult because we want to be liked and included by our peers. We develop character gradually as we journey through life and make difficult choices. When we face challenges in life, we have choices. No matter how serious the problem, we still have choices.

We can choose how we think and talk; we can choose how we act or behave, and we can choose to get along better with other people.

Lesson 8

To increase students understanding of the consequences of wanting to feel good at all costs and over reacting to the day to day of life.

Daily living is not perfect. It includes the usual ups and downs. Our feelings go up and down too. We will never be happy all of the time. Life includes some ordinary discomfort. If we try to escape all of our uncomfortable feelings, we weaken our personal resources or skills for living

  • four ways to avoid over-reacting to other people, situations and events.
  • what you can do if someone you know is threatening suicide
  • Understand that anger is a normal emotion, is not necessarily unhealthy but what matters is what we do with our anger

Lesson 9

Learning Objective

To build the understanding that we have the power to change ourselves, and take personal responsibility.

You and I have the power to change ourselves for the better. We can change in three basic ways.

  1. Change negative thinking and talk, including self-talk.

2. Change unhealthy habits

  •      3. Change unhealthy relationships
  • When it comes to negative and distorted thinking, we are not alone. Each of us faces the same challenge. Fortunately, there are practical ways of dealing with  unhealthy thinking, and these methods can be learned by anyone.
  • If we abuse our bodies in any way, our minds will be affected too. This is because there is a powerful connection between our minds and our bodies


  • Past wrongs can’t be un-done, no matter how horrible and no matter who was most to blame. But you have the freedom to choose your attitude towards those wrongs and the wrong-doer

Lesson 10

In the final Get Growing session, we talk about the progress made as individuals and as a group. We consider what we have learned about ourselves, our lives and our personal development.

The final part of the program is about how we need to have directionin life. We have a vital (essential) human need to have productive goals and to be making progress towards those goals; we need to find meaning and purpose in our lives.

  1. To have my own identity
  2. To be safe
  3. To have a purpose and productive goals