What can I control?

What can I control?

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About this resource

Explore the things you can control and tools to help young people.

You can download the Classroom Activity in the Attachments as well as work through the learnings in the following pages.

  • Build student awareness of what can and can’t be controlled;
  • Build self-reflection skills;
  • Develop flexibility around living with uncertainty; and
  • Develop an understanding of grounding strategies to help sit with feelings of stress or uncertainty.

  • For student to explore the feelings of uncertainty and anxiety that come with transitions;
  • For students to develop an understanding of what can and cannot be controlled in life; and
  • For students to practise sitting with feelings of uncertainty.

Students will be able to provide the following evidence:

  • drawing of things that can be influenced/controlled (in class);
  • a list of things that can be controlled (in class);
  • a list of things that can’t be controlled (in class);
  • a list of grounding strategies that may be useful for controlling feelings of overwhelm (in class); and
  • feedback from parents and carers on ways to manage stress (at home).

Peer discussion

Student to student conversations to check understanding and build further learning


Students assessing their own learning, with a rubric or other instructions for guidance

Teacher observation

Teacher observation of student learning, with a simple rubric, tick-box or other protocol to record observations

Teacher questioning

Guided questioning from a teacher intended to prompt thinking related to the topic

Direct instruction

Explicit teaching of knowledge and skills to students. This could be through a variety of formats – lecture, readings, demonstrations, etc. Often used at the beginning of a unit or module to cover basic knowledge and set pathways for learning.

Inquiry and problem-based learning

Inquiry learning is focused on a question or questions that guide the learning goals for a unit or module. Problem-based learning is focused on a problem or problems that guide the learning goals for a unit or module. Questions and problems may be generated by the teacher, the students, or by teacher and students together.


Student reflection on their own learning. This is often guided or supported by a simple rubric or information on what learning progress looks like in a particular context.

  • Laptop device or iPad for adapting the task to be done online
  • For students with no smart phone or suitable device – large paper and markers.
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  • Activities can be adapted according to teachers’ preferences and the needs of their students. Downloadable activities are in Word, PDF or PowerPoint so that you can edit them for your own needs.

Teachers may also consider how they want students to “keep” the activities they do in class, so they have them for reference at a later stage (at their secondary school or for future wellbeing reference).