High School Happiness and Wellbeing Curriculum

Module 1 (Introduction)

LESSON PLAN

Day 1 Main Topic: What Happened to Happiness?

  • Group Activity: Facilitate a discussion on the questions:
    • What is your definition of “happiness? Peace of mind? A feeling of joy? Or something else?
    • What kinds of things make you happier?” Allow students to respond and write all the ideas on the board.
    • What do you think are the three top causes of depression among young people? (15 mins)
  • Video: Watch the Pursuit of Happiness (PoH) video “What Happened to Happiness?” (10 mins)
  • Video Debrief: Facilitate a discussion about the video using the following prompts: “What about this video surprised you? What was the most memorable clip, and why?” (5 mins)
  • Presentation/Q&A: Use slide deck to underline main points of the video. (10 mins)
  • Assignment: Ask students to spend about 15 minutes exploring the main ideas of the pioneers Zhuangzi and Aristotle on the Pursuit of Happiness website:

Students should write a brief reflection on the following:

“Which thinker do you agree with the most and why?” (5 mins)

Day 2 Main Topic – Birth of a New Science

  • Assignment Debrief: Have students break into pair-shares or small groups and share their assignment reflections on Aristotle and Zhuangzi. (10 mins)
  • Writing exercise: Let students know that they will be creating written journals or online portfolios that capture their learning from this course. The portfolios become a place where they can capture their key insights and discoveries from the class. The first entry in the portfolio will be their responses to the questions on Day 1. Give them time to rethink their answers in the group activity on Day 1 (perhaps they changed their minds after listening to fellow students) and add this to their portfolio. (10 mins)
  • Video: Watch PoH intro video “Birth of a New Science.” (10 mins)
  • Video Debrief: Facilitate a discussion about the video using the following prompts: “What about this video surprised you? What was the most memorable clip, and why?” (5 mins)

 

  • Presentation: Use slide deck to underline main points of the video. (5 mins)

 

  • Assignment: Read about the following scientific pioneers of happiness. Write about the following questions:

1.     What did you think was the most useful insight of each thinker?

2.    Why is each of these thinkers regarded as a pioneer?

Abraham Maslow

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/martin-seligman-psychology/

 (5 mins to describe the assignment)

 

Day 3 Main Topic – Habits of Happy People

  • Assignment Debrief: Have students break into pair-shares or small groups and share their Assignment reflections on the three scientific pioneers. (10 mins)
  • Presentation: Use slide deck to underline main points of the video. Include the personal stories of each psychologist (for example, how Marty Seligman became interested in happiness when his daughter asked him why he was so grumpy. (15 mins)
  • Video: Watch PoH intro video “Habits of Happy People.” (5 mins)
  • Video Debrief: Facilitate a discussion about the video using the following prompts: “What about this video surprised you? What is your favorite habit and why?” (5 mins)

 

  • Group Activity: Facilitate a discussion on the questions:

1.     What are the three slices of the happiness pie?

2.    Do you think they are equal in size, or are some bigger and some smaller?

·      Assignment: (Portfolio reflection) In your experience, what do you think are three ways of building closer relationships with family and friends?

 

Summative Assessment:

 

  • Review the portfolios to make sure that students have included their answers to questions on Day 1.