A person's mental fitness indicates their ability to think clearly and to make decisions efficiently and efficiently. A parallel can be drawn with physical fitness, which relates to the body's ability to function. During this lesson, students explore this relationship and learn how both mental and physical fitness can impact on overall wellbeing.

Year level



60 minutes


In class activity

Online learning

SEL Competencies



Learning intention

Students understand the concepts of mental and physical fitness and how they relate to their overall wellbeing.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • understand the concept of mental fitness

  • appreciate the similarities and differences between physical and mental fitness

  • understand what they can do to improve their mental fitness, and thus their overall wellbeing.

Materials needed

  • Opinion signs: agree, disagree, strongly disagree, strongly agree, neutral

  • Masking tape or Blu Tack

Mapped to

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Examines and evaluates strategies to manage current and future challenges (PD4-1)

  • Assesses their own and others’ capacity to reflect on and respond positively to challenges (PD5-1)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Analyse factors that influence emotions, and develop strategies to demonstrate empathy and sensitivity (VCHPEP128)

  • Evaluate situations and propose appropriate emotional responses and then reflect on possible outcomes of different responses to health and wellbeing (VCHPEP147)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-awareness

    • Self-management

  • Critical and Creative Thinking:

  • Inquiring

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Plan and implement strategies, using health resources, to enhance their own and others’ health, safety, relationships and wellbeing (AC9HP8P10)

  • Plan, justify and critique strategies to enhance their own and others’ health, safety, relationships and wellbeing (AC9HP10P10)

Show details

Activity 1

Agree- Disagree: Physical and mental fitness

20 minutes

During this activity, students’ opinions related to fitness will be explored. Remind students of the importance of listening to and valuing the opinions of others.

  1. Fasten the five opinion signs in order (strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and strongly disagree) to a wall, allowing space between each sign. Alternatively, ask students to record their stance on the statements in their notebook.

  2. One by one, read aloud to the students the following statements. As they hear the statements, students move around the room to the sign that represents their opinion:

    • Fitness relates to being fit and healthy.

    • Fitness only relates to physical fitness.

    • Mental fitness is a type of fitness.

    • We can work on our physical fitness.

    • We can work on our mental fitness.

    • Physical fitness can affect our mental fitness.

    • Physical fitness indicates the BODY’s ability to physically function efficiently, effectively and without injury across a range of situations.

    • Mental fitness indicates the MIND’s ability to function efficiently and effectively across a range of situations.

  3. Invite students to write in their notebooks one thing they learnt from the activity. This might include understanding that mental fitness is a type of fitness, the definition of mental fitness, or that they can work on their mental fitness.

Activity 2

Discussion: Physical and mental fitness

30 minutes

1. Individually, students answer:

  • What can people do to be physically healthy? (e.g. eat healthy food, take exercise, get a good night’s sleep)

  • What foods give you more energy during the day? (e.g. bananas, rice, apples, eggs, water)

  • What exercise makes you feel good?

  • What helps you to get a good night’s sleep? (e.g. switch off from phones early, sleep ritual, mindfulness activities)

  • What are some of the ways people can get physically fit? (e.g. take walks, ride a bike, join a gym, play sport regularly)

2. In groups, students discuss:

  • Can people improve their mental fitness? (ans: yes)

  • What activities can help people to improve their mental fitness? (e.g. resilience activities, mindfulness, self-reflection)

  • Why do you think people find it easier to think of ways to become physically fit, rather than mentally fit? (e.g. it’s better understood and more easily explained, it’s talked about a lot)

3. Students share a summary of their discussion with the class.


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