NEW CURRICULUM AVAILABLE! Rock Digi's Mental Health, SEL, and Substance Abuse Prevention Curriculum for Grades 7-12
We understand that it is important for students to have access to mental health resources as well as for students to learn the social and emotional skills needed to be resilient. We also feel as though a big part of providing mental health support to students is breaking the stigma around talking about mental health as well as the stigma around getting help when you are struggling with your mental health.
We have just released a new curriculum for middle and high school students that opens the conversation around mental health, self-care, anxiety, depression, and mental health resources. It is our goal to help students to feel comfortable talking about these topics and getting the help that they need when they feel they need it.
The name of the new Rock Digi curriculum is Mental Health, SEL, and Substance Abuse Prevention for Grades 7-12. This curriculum discusses tools to improve mental health and provides students with mental health resources. Students will learn the signs and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders; as well as ways to cope with grief and loss and how to build healthy relationships with others. This curriculum also education students on the dangers of opioids, binge drinking, vaping, and other drugs. Students will learn how to find what they are passionate about, and how to achieve their goals and make healthy decisions.
The topics covered in this curriculum include:
- Mental Health – Self-Care
- Coping with Grief and Loss
- Real Friends (Building Healthy Relationships)
- Making Healthy Choices – Problem Solving
- Binge Drinking and Alcohol Poisoning
- Tobacco, Vaping, and Nicotine
- Methamphetamine and Cocaine
- Opioids, Heroin, and Fentanyl
- Substance Use Disorder
- Your Spark
To view a PDF with all the standards listed for each of the lessons in the curriculum, click here.
First, the curriculum starts with an assessment at the beginning of the first lesson that gives the educator a baseline for how the student feels about their understanding of the topics in the curriculum. At the end of the last lesson, the students will be able to complete the same evaluation again. This will help the educator to see how much the students feel as though their knowledge increased after completing the lessons.
After students have completed the assessment at the beginning of the first lesson, the next component of the lesson is the Existing Knowledge. This is the first component of the rest of the lessons. The Existing Knowledge is like a pre-test, helping the educator to track student learning from the beginning of the lesson to the end of the lesson when students complete an Exit Ticket, or post-test.
After that, the concepts of the lesson are introduced in a whiteboard animation. For this curriculum, the whiteboard animations range from approximately 4-6 minutes.
Following the whiteboard animation, the students have the opportunity to watch a lyric music video. Our goal with the lyric music videos is to create a vibe that helps students to better make emotional connections to the topics that are being taught. Throughout the curriculum there are a variety of songs used that are a variety of different genres. We understand that all students have different tastes in music, and we wanted to try to reach as many of those students as we could. All of the songs are original songs written by Pat McManus.
After students have watched both of the videos for the lessons, this is where educators are really given the opportunity to tailor the lessons to fit the needs and interests of the students through the discussion questions and drill down activities.
The discussion questions can be done independently or in a group setting. By having students submit answers individually, this may allow for students to more comfortably share their thoughts and feelings without having to share in front of their classmates. By having students discuss the questions in a group setting, this allows for students to build off of each other’s knowledge, experiences, and thoughts and feelings. This can really be a great way for students to bond and connect with one another as students are able to listen to what is going on inside other students’ brains. We also try to offer a variety of discussion questions, so educators can choose to do all of them or have students focus on discussion questions that they think would best benefit their students.
The drill down activities is a variety of activities created for a variety of different learning styles and interests. There are activities that allow for students to expand their knowledge and understanding through creative avenues like creating artwork, analytical activities like graphs and charts, further discussion, creation of videos, and so much more. This give the educator to choose activities that focus on areas they feel their students would best benefit their students whether that be because they feel as though they need to further work on specific concepts of the lesson or because they feel as though the activity would best reach how their students learn. Educators can also choose to do multiple drill down activities to have the lesson expand to multiple class periods. The intention with these drill down activities is to really allow the lesson to be sculpted to best fit the classroom the lesson is being used in so all students have the opportunity to truly understand and retain the skills taught in the lesson.
After students have been introduced to the topics in the whiteboard animation and lyric music video, and expanded their knowledge through the discussion questions and drill down activities, students can complete the Exit Ticket, or post-test. This helps to track student learning from the beginning of the lesson when students completed the Existing Knowledge to the end of the lesson when they complete the Exit Ticket.
The last component of a lesson is the School Home Partnership. The School Home Partnership gives students the opportunity to watch the whiteboard animation with their parent of guardian and answer two questions together. Our intention with this activity is to increase parental involvement in their child’s social emotional learning. We created this activity in a way that is a small time commitment, but still sparking those important conversations at home and creating consistency between school and home.
Our goal with this curriculum is to help give educators materials and content to create successful lessons that work for their classroom. We understand that classroom are all different so lessons should look different in each one in order for all students to have the opportunity to learn the skills and the knowledge being taught in the lessons. We want this curriculum to help students to learn how to build the skills needed to be resilient so they are able to achieve their goals and be their authentic selves.
Below are preview videos for each of the lessons. In each preview video, you will see a short clip from the whiteboard animation followed by the objective of the lesson.
You can view an entire sample lesson at rockdigi.org
Lesson 1: Mental Health - Self-Care
Lesson 2: Anxiety
Lesson 3: Depression
Lesson 4: Coping with Grief and Loss
Lesson 5: Real Friends (Building Healthy Relationships)
Lesson 6: Making Healthy Choices - Problem Solving
Lesson 7: Binge Drinking and Alcohol Poisoning
Lesson 8: Tobacco, Vaping, and Nicotine
Lesson 9: Methamphetamine and Cocaine
Lesson 10: Opioids, Heroin, and Fentanyl
Lesson 11: Substance Use Disorder
Lesson 12: Your Spark
Free Trial Lessons are available at rockdigi.org where you can see how the Rock Digi lessons are formatted and the standards that the lessons meet.
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