Coping Skills Cube Lesson

As the students at my school approach exam time, I’m noticing stress levels begin to SOAR, and, let’s face it, with a full 6 weeks until our next break {for Thanksgiving}, my stress levels are soaring as well. This is the time of year I love to teach the kids about stress management and coping skills, because they can apply the lessons to real life right away {which means I’m actually teaching them something relevant to their world! Yes!}

In this post, I’m going to share one of my favorite lessons for coping with stress – one I typically do with my 4th graders. Soon I will also post a lesson I do with my 5th graders on the same topic : ) Enjoy!

Coping Skills Cube – 4th Grade Lesson


I begin my lesson with a review of what coping skills are and types of things we experience that require coping skills – all things they’ve already learned. With my 4th graders, I introduce the difference between healthy and unhealthy coping skills for the first time, which always produces interesting discussions {Student: “Punching my brother makes me feel SO much better!” Me: “Class, do you all think Johnny’s coping skill is healthy or unhealthy?” lol}

After discussing the topic at hand, I show the class my coping cube {see above photo}.

I share my favorite coping skills with the group and then explain that they will get to make a cube with their favorites as well. Using the cube template {included at the bottom of this post}, I have the students write one thing on each square  they can do to make themselves feel better when they are angry, sad, or upset. Students then decorate the numbered squares {on the back side of the template}, cut out the template on the solid lines, and proceed to assemble their cube.


To put the cube together, students will fold the template wherever there is a dotted line {with the numbered coping skill squares on the outside} until it begins to form a cube shape.


To hold it in place, tape the edges of the cube, and voila! I’ve found that the assembly part goes a little smoother if I help them put the tape on first and then assign a couple helpers who have seen me do it a few times to assist their classmates {this also keeps the ones who finish early from being disruptive}.


We finish out the lesson with a discussion of why having something like a cube with our coping skills on it may be helpful. The students always seem to pick up on the idea that when we are angry or sad it is hard to think of things that will make us happy or content again, so if they can toss a cube and instantaneously have something to do, it can make the coping process much easier.

{Get my FREE cube template printable here}

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 8.12.23 PM


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