Developing Resilience: The 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic

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This session has been included in Miriam’s Vision in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Students have been directly affected by this global health, social and economic crisis and need to draw upon their own resilience.

This session is intended to help students to focus on developing their own resilience; recognising what it is, when they have drawn upon it, and how it can strengthen with every challenge, helping us to face adversity in the future.

This session can be used by students at their own level, in their homes, independently or with support, or by teachers in the classroom once schools re-open. It is aimed at around upper Key Stage 2 / Key Stage 3 but can be used by any age and ability with different levels of support and different outcomes.


Key Messages: 
The five key message of Miriam's Vision:
  • Negative events can have both negative and positive outcomes.
  • We cannot always control events in our lives, but we can control our responses to them.
  • Empathy rather than apathy can make a positive difference to the quality of one’s own life and that of others.
  • People from other backgrounds and traditions have similarities (needs for food, shelter and spirituality) as well as differences (regional, religious, ethnic).
  • Choice of peaceful rather than violent resolution of conflict.


  • Our own resilience can develop over time, with expeience.
  • Focus on, and develop resilience in adversity
  • Explore and compare the negative and positive outcomes of different negative events
  • Focus on challenging events in our own lives
  • Write an essay or poem, or make an artwork (including drawing, painting, collage, digital or even animation) or sculpture on the theme of Resilience


For all these activities, do as much as you can. There are no wrong answers! It is a chance for you to think about yourself and your own experiences.

You might work on your own, or with someone else, or even with a group of people (from your household, or remotely). You might want to make short notes, or write in full sentences or paragraphs. If you get stuck, don’t worry. Move on to the next activity and try to come back to the one you were stuck on later.

STUDENTS & TEACHERS: It would REALLY help us to know if you use this session. Please email, and let us know what year you are in, or teach. Thank you!



1. Define adversity and resilience:

Find the Resources section at the top of this page and download the document Miriam's-Vision-Covid-19-Resilience-Work-Document (.docx if you want to type into the document, or .pdf if you want to print it and write on the print-out). When you download it, add your name to the file name. Type into the .docx document, or print out the .pdf and write on the print-out, or you can use your own paper and copy the headings. Use extra paper if you run out of space.

The heading Adversity definition is at the top. Use the Internet and dictionaries to find definitions (meanings) of adversity and put them under the heading.

Are you now sure what adversity means?

Now do the same for Resilience definition. Are you now sure what it means?

How do adversity and resilience relate to each other?


2. Now watch Miriam's Story Parts 1, 2, 3 and 4 (Youtube links in the Resources section at the top of this page). Each part is around two minutes.

You might want to watch some or all parts more than once as there is a lot of information.

For more information, you can also look at the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust (MHMT) website: 

On the home page, there is a video called Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust - Miriam's Vision. There is also a link to the video in the Resources section at the top of this page. Watch the video to understand why the MHMT produced the Miriam's Vision education resource that you are using right now!


3. On your work sheet, note examples of resilience from Miriam’s story.


4. Now you are going to compare Miriam’s story with the Covid-19 pandemic. Look at the table with two columns: Miriam’s story / Covid-19 pandemic Similarities and Differences. Note things that are similar and different about the two in the columns. Examples have been given to start you off. If you cannot think of any more examples, think about the ones that have been given. Follow the links to relevant websites or web pages.

Think of as many examples as you can. When you use the Internet to research, try to include links to the websites or web pages you found.

Some suggestions for useful websites, although there are lots more for you to find:


5. Now think about the Covid-19 pandemic. Look at the table with two columns, Negative and Positive. Fill the columns with negative and positive aspects and outcomes of the pandemic. Examples have been given to start you off. If you cannot think of any more examples, think about the ones that have been given.

On the next page, do the same for another difficult event or time in your life.


6. Now look at the final question: How can experiencing adversity help us to develop life skills?

Explore the question in the form of an essay or poem, or an artwork or sculpture. Artwork can be in any form, including drawing, painting, collage, digital or animation. The length of your writing or form of your artwork is completely up to you, and what resources you have available.

If you want some help with writing:

For some tips on different kinds of art:

You can support and inspire other people by sharing your writing or art on this website! Email a copy or a photo to with your name and postal address, and the name and address of your school. You and your school will each get a free copy of the book Mimento: Paintings & Pastels by Miriam Hyman.



You might want to keep a diary. This is a suggestion, and there are no rules.

  • You can do it just for yourself, or you might want to share all or part of it.
  • You can do it for as long as you want.
  • You can keep your diary in any form; electronically or on paper.
  • You can use only words or you could include pictures, photos, video or other media. Whatever works for you.
  • You can keep your diary daily or when you have something particular to say.

It might surprise you how often you use your resilience...!


TEACHERS: For subject-based activities that include different aspects of resilience, see these Miriam's Vision modules:

STUDENTS & TEACHERS: It would REALLY help us to know if you use this session. Please email, and let us know what year you are in, or teach. Thank you!