Resilience Lesson – Building Skills to Bounce Back



In this lesson, students learn to define the term ‘RESILIENCE’. They discuss the areas of health (social, emotional, physical and spiritual) while also participating in their own resilience test. Students then look at a variety of stressful scenarios and come up with some strategies that would assist them, if they happen to find themselves in that position.

Australian Curriculum Links:

  • TBA when Health and PE Curriculum is released.


  1. Discuss areas of Health (below and ask students to give themselves a rating out of 10 for each category.
  • Physical – your actual body, illness, wellness, being fit.
  • Mental/Emotional – learning, feelings, mental well-being
  • Social – interactions with other people.
  • Spiritual – links to mental /emotional, understanding of place in world, belief in higher being, finding meaning in life.
2. Discuss Interesting Statistics/Facts:
  • 20-25% of Australians have a diagnosed mental illness.
  • 18-24 year old age group is the highest prevalence.
  • Over 2000 deaths per year are suicides (about 2% of all deaths).
  • Most common mental illnesses: anxiety disorders, affective/mood disorders (including depression and bipolar), substance use disorders.
  • Factors contributing to mental illness: genetics, early development, trauma, drugs, disease/injury, society.
  1. How to overcome stressors –  Those with good resilience skills tend to overcome stressors in their life easier than those that don’t. So what is resilience?
  2. Define Resilience “The ability to cope with stress and catastrophe. ‘Bouncing back’ to normal function after a trauma”.
  3. For more information go to…
    Resilience skills, like all skills, can be learnt! Even just being aware of the elements of resilience can help a person deal with stressful times

4.  Now ask students to access the link below and conduct their own resilience test

5.  Now ask the kids, based on their results, how would they answer the following questions:

  • Were the results expected or surprising? Why?
  • What resilience skills are your strengths? (which ones are you already good at?)
  • Which resilience skills do you need to work on?

6. Ask kids to think about some strategies that will help them BOUNCE back in these hypothetical stressful scenarios:

  • Scenario A. Your parents have just told you that you are moving to a new city. You  have lots of friends here and are happy at your school. You plead with them to stay but they have made up their minds. You are dreading the move. What can you do to help yourself feel better?
  •  Scenario B. You have had a falling out with your friend. They refuse to make up and have been talking about you to others. It is worrying you and you don’t want to tell anyone incase it angers them further. You are loosing sleep and imaging the worst.   What can you do to help yourself feel better?
  • Scenario C. You find yourself worrying about everything,-your homework, your friendships, your looks. You are beginning to feel you are hopeless and cant do anything right. What can you do to help yourself feel better?


  1. Have students share their responses to the rest of the class and discuss whether the strategies that they have chosen are the best ones.
  2. Recording BOUNCING back strategies on a resilience wall chart as they say them.


  • Anecdotal records of students discussing resilience strategies.
  • Develop a resilience plan.


  • Computers
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Books
  • Basketball for the BOUNCE affect

resilience basketball



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