The pressure of exams can be intense for many students, so it’s important they have good coping strategies in place to look after themselves. In this lesson, students read a case study to help them identify self-care strategies they use, or could use, to manage their mental health and wellbeing during exam time.

Year level



5 minutes


In class activity

SEL Competencies



Learning intention

Students recognise the importance of self-care during exam time and identify personal self-care strategies they could use.

Key outcomes

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

  • recognise the importance of looking after themselves during exam time

  • identify personal self-care strategies they could use.

Materials needed

  • Access to ReachOut article Jack's exam stress story

  • Pens and paper

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

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

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-management

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Assesses and applies self-management skills to effectively manage complex situations (PD5-9)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

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

Show details

Activity 1


5 minutes

  1. As a group or individually, students read the ReachOut article Jack’s exam stress story.

  2. Ask students to trace an outline of their hand on a piece of paper and then, on each finger, write a self-care strategy they currently use, or could use, to look after themselves during exam time. For ideas, they can take inspiration from Jack’s story or from the ReachOut article How to be awesome at self-care.

  3. In pairs, students respond to these questions:

    • What strategies are you most likely to use during exam time?

    • How do you think these strategies will benefit you?

    • What barriers might there be to implementing these strategies? If there are barriers, how could you remove them?


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