Ready, Set, Go!

Hand Activation

Recognizing calm.

Learning Goals

  • Identifying state of calmness
  • Learning strategies to support a calm state

Curriculum Connection

Apply skills that help them to recognize sources of stress and to cope with challenges, including help-seeking behaviours, as they participate in learning experiences in health and physical education, in order to support the development of personal resilience.

Health and Physical Education –
Stress Management and Coping Skills


  • Hand Activation Procedure Sheet
  • Hand Activation Visual (optional)


  • Read the hand activation procedure sheet.
  • Model the process with the learner.
  • Use fading prompts to teach the technique to the learner.
  • If appropriate, add various time periods to the learner’s schedule where they can engage in the technique.
  • Use fading cues as reminders to engage in hand activation during periods of stress

Have hand activation visual in close proximity for easy access. When learner is beginning to show signs of agitation point at card or model how to give the card to someone, then begin hand activation procedure.

(Adapted from Peter Marks – Conscious Classrooms)

Verbal Prompts

Let’s practice a strategy to help during times of stress.

First, rate level of calmness on a scale of 1 to 5.
(1 = very calm 5 = very upset or frustrated)

Next, hold out your hand to your caregiver.
The caregiver is going to activate the sensitive space between the thumb and index finger.
Now, time to switch hands and do the same thing. Let’s count “1000, 2000,” up to 10,000 and start over.
Then, your turn to try it. Remember to do the counting.

Then, How do you feel? Did your number on the scale go down? Or give a thumbs up.
Finished! Good Job!
You have practiced a strategy to use when you are feeling stressed.

(Adapted from Peter Marks – Conscious Classrooms)