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iMinds Curriculum - for Elementary Schools 

iMinds is a way of thinking about health education. It encourages young people to develop gambling literacy—the ability to live in the real world in a way that promotes well-being.

The lesson ideas fit well within the scope of BC’s K-12 curriculum.  If you are interested in bringing a lesson to your classroom, connect with a Prevention and Community Engagement Provider in your city.  You can find the contact information here.  

Game of Pig (Maths and Arts Education K/1) 

This lesson uses a simplified version of a dice game to teach students to think about decisions involving risk. In addition to developing decision-making strategies, students are encouraged to think critically about their emotional responses to situations involving choices and chance. The art activity at the end involves making dice they can take home to play with their families.

Hanukkah Dreidel Game (Social Studies and Art K/1/2/3) 

Students learn a little about Hanukkah and are introduced to a fun, low-stakes gambling game that is typically played during the Jewish holiday. Students get a chance to express themselves through art and self-reflection related to emotions they felt while playing the game.

Horse: A ball-and-hoop game (Physical Education K/1/2/3)

Students learn how to play a fun ball-and-hoop game called Horse. They also get a chance to add to the stakes of the game and reflect on what it feels like in their minds and bodies in situations involving competition and choices.

Wanting and Giving: Greed and The Giving Tree (English Language Arts K/1, Arts Education K/1)

This lesson uses a Shel Silverstein children’s story to expose students to important life concepts such as greed, wanting and giving. Students discuss the underlying themes of the book while exploring their own thoughts and feelings, and then get a chance to creatively express themselves through drama.

What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? (Physical Education K/1)

In this lesson, students play a game that allows them to be physically active while practicing in-the-moment decision making.  Afterwards, students get a chance to talk about how it felt in their minds and bodies to play a game involving risk and choice.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! (English Language Arts 2/3, Arts Education 2/3, Physical and Health Education 2/3)

Based on Dr. Seuss’s delightful book about the ups and downs of life, this lesson invites students to explore the concept of achieving and maintaining balance as an important life skill. The lesson outline highlights themes and offers questions for classroom discussions as well as ideas for extension activities that involve art and other forms of creative expression, collaborative work and physical movement.

Under/Over 7 (Mathematics 1/2)

This lesson uses a fun dice game to help students develop their math skills while making choices based on risk and chance. Students learn how to play Under/Over 7 and follow up by reflecting on how they felt while engaged in the game.

Charlotte’s Web (English Language Arts 3/4/5, Arts Education 3/4/5, Physical and Health Education 3/4/5, Mathematics 3/4/5)

Based on E.B. White’s award-winning novel, focuses on the sights, sounds and smells at the County Fair, featured in Chapter 17. Students are encouraged to think and talk about the human desire for fun and excitement as well as the role of self-regulation and safety when having a really good time. The lesson instructions include themed discussion questions and activity ideas that invite students to both express themselves artistically and develop their writing, math, decision-making, movement and social skills.

Class Market (Mathematics 1/2/3, Physical and Health Education 1/2/3)

Students learn about healthy eating and “buy” food at a “market” they help to set up in the classroom using the handouts provided. The lesson begins with a conversation around the new Canada Food Guide recommendations. Then students are given a chance to engage in the math-oriented market activity and the follow-up discussion about how they made their choices.

Hanukkah Dreidel Game (Social Studies and Art K/1/2/3)

Students learn a little about Hanukkah and are introduced to a fun, low-stakes gambling game that is typically played during the Jewish holiday. Students get a chance to express themselves through art and self-reflection related to emotions they felt while playing the game.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (English Language Arts 4-6)

Roald Dahl's famous story provides a great entry for discussing issues related to gambling. This iMinds instructional idea provides teachers with everything they need to begin the conversation including a visual and a student worksheet

Emotions, Metaphors, and Gambling

Based on The Red Tree by Shaun Tan (English Language Arts 4-5)

This iMinds instructional outline and student handout use a wonderful metaphor-laden children’s story, The Red Tree (2001) by Shaun Tan, to begin a conversation about the depth and complexity of human emotions. 

Probability and Games of Chance (Mathematics 4-6)

Playing games of chance is an activity that can involve the use of mathematical concepts like probability. This lesson is meant to help students develop an understanding of basic probability concepts and how they can be applied to think critically about gambling.

Raffles (English Language Arts 4/5/6, Arts Education 4/5/6, Mathematics 4/5/6)

Students are encouraged to think both critically and creatively about a commonly used method of fundraising—raffles. The lesson instructions feature discussion questions related to emotions and values, and project ideas with helpful handouts aimed at helping students calculate fundraising costs.

Thinking about Bingo (Grades K-7)

This lesson uses Bingo as a teaching tool to discuss gambling and open up a conversation with students around how we need to learn how to be aware of our emotions and develop ways to manage them. 

The Breadwinner 

By Deborah Ellis (English Language Arts 6)

Debra Ellis’s bestselling novel is the stimulus for lively discussion in this lesson. Students learn about a different culture and way of life while considering and exploring life skills and concepts related to gambling, including courage, decision-making and navigating risk.

How much land does a man need? 

By Leo Tolstoy (English Language Arts 6-12)

In this lesson, Leo Tolstoy’s short story provides the stimulus for interesting discussions around the concepts of need and greed. Students are invited to reflect on their own motivations for acquiring money and material goods and apply the lessons learned in the story to their own lives.

I want to be rich (Social Studies 6)

In this lesson, students are invited to think about why people gamble and discuss the potential risks and benefits. Students also examine the concepts of chance, wealth, greed, and how our pursuit of money and wealth can impact us and others.

Rolling with Life’s Challenges (Physical and Health Education 6/7/8/9)

In this lesson, students are invited to think about and experience alternatives to the riskier ways of dealing with life’s challenges. 

Charles Barkley  (English Language Arts 7 Arts Education 7)

In this lesson, students look into the life of retired basketball player and high-stakes gambler Charles Barkley. Using Barkley’s story as a stimulus, students creatively explore gambling-related themes, such as risk and loss, and consider factors that can help us keep our game playing and gambling healthy and fun.

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