Contributed with Diego Vela, an upper middle and high school teacher at Colegio Inglés Americano, A.C. in Monterrey, Nuevo León, México.
Since 2013, the United Nations has celebrated the International Day of Happiness as a way to recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world. This year’s recognition event will take place on March 20th, and there is no better way to celebrate than integrating resources in your classroom that help students develop their happiness skills!
Studies show that two out of three American teens are stressed and many don’t know how to handle it. The inability to reduce and cope with stress and anxiety can negatively impact different facets of a teen’s life including their health, friendships, relationships with parents, and academic performance. Discover Your Happy aims to create awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned and practiced to help anyone in their journey toward happiness. These skills – generosity, gratitude, human connection, purpose, mindfulness and positive outlook – are the focus of the Discover Your Happy program.
Introducing the concept of happiness skills to older students can be challenging, so I’ve highlighted my favorite resources from the program below:
The “This is your brain on happiness” digital lesson bundle includes turnkey resources to dig into the development of happiness skills across four 45-minute lessons or individually. The resources allow students to practice the Six Sustainable Happiness Skills, gather information on a happiness skill by conducting research, create a public service announcement to share the Six Sustainable Happiness Skills with peers, and collect and analyze feedback to make improvements to their projects. Everything you need (links, presentation, step-by-step instructions) are all available for convenient download and the standards alignment is clearly defined within the educator guide.
The site also features a digital experience that walks students through the benefits of the Six Sustainable Happiness Skills. Through the experience students are encouraged to explore brain science and brain benefits connected to practicing the happiness skills and learn about each of the skills in more detail – with video! Exploration of the digital experience can be completed individually or as a class, with opportunities to discuss personal impact of the happiness skills along the way.
Finally, the Discover Your Happy Virtual Field Trip (VFT) is available on-demand for viewing in the classroom. Providing a deep dive into the Six Sustainable Happiness Skills, this VFT takes students on a scientific exploration of the happiness skills with input from Emiliana R. Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., the Science Director at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California – Berkley. Students will also have the opportunity to hear from their peers about what happiness means to them. The VFT is setup for seamless integration, and is complete with a pre-VFT classroom activity and viewing party guide to help expand your students’ experience.
You can even make social connections with your students and your community now through March 20th by posting photos or videos on Twitter and Instagram expressing what makes each of you happy, with #DiscoverYourHappy and tagging LG Electronics USA (Twitter: @LGUS and Instagram: @LGUSA) and @DiscoveryEd. Together, the collection of responses will build an inspirational resource for others to connect with and learn about happiness.
Join us in helping students build their happiness skills and share your happy with the world this month!!