Stress Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach your students about stress with this video-based lesson plan. Students will watch a video defining the different types of stress and detailing causes of each. Discussion questions, differentiation techniques, and application activity make sure learning sticks.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'stress'
  • explain the types of stress
  • discuss and list causes of stress


1 hour


  • Access to research materials related to stress, such as books or the internet
  • Copies of the lesson quiz, one for each student

Key Vocabulary

  • Stress
  • Distress
  • Eustress
  • Fight of flight response

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.5

Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).


  • Engage students with the topic by asking them to brainstorm a list of things that cause stress. Have them share in small groups, then as a class as you list on the board.
  • Tell students they will be learning about stress and share prior knowledge on the topic. Preview vocabulary, then start the lesson video Stress: Definition and Impact on Overall Health.
  • Pause at 00:57 and define terms with students, then discuss:
    • How does distress impact the quality of life?
    • Why does eustress improve the quality of life?
  • Have students make a t-chart labeled 'Eustress' and 'Distress.' Instruct students to fill in the chart as the lesson plays.
  • Resume the lesson and pause again at 2:06. Make a class chart on the board and gather information from student notes to fill in. Ask:
    • What are some sources of eustress in your life?
    • What are the characteristics of eustress?
    • How can eustress cause problems in our lives?
  • Resume the lesson, instructing students to take notes. Pause at 3:59 and repeat the note-taking exercise, then discuss:
    • What are some short- and long-term results of distress?
    • How does the flight or fight response work?
  • Allow students to share experiences with flight or fight response in small groups. Listen in to the conversations and allow a few students to share with the whole group.
  • Play the Lesson Summary and allow students to ask any remaining questions.

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