Menu
K–12 Health Education That Works!

Lessons

Read tips for using the PowerPoints and other teacher resources

1

Lesson 1: What Is Stress?

This lesson teaches about the effects of stress. After defining stress, students read two stories and identify the different physical and emotional reactions the characters may be having to particular life events. The teacher helps them link these descriptions to the idea of experiencing stress in both positive and negative ways. They listen to a list of possible events and vote whether each one would create positive or negative stress. Then they complete an activity sheet to identify physical and emotional reactions to stress.

2

Lesson 2: What Causes Stress?

In this lesson, students review how stress can feel both good and bad. They complete an activity sheet to identify personal stressors at home, school and with friends. They learn about the physical effects of long-term stress, then hear a story about a fourth grader who is experiencing stress and identify possible causes and negative effects.

3

Lesson 3: Dealing with Stress in Healthy Ways

This lesson teaches stress-management techniques to help students deal with stress in healthy ways. Students review different ways to help handle stress, including deep breathing, picturing a calm place, talking things out and asking for help. They consider how feeling more in control can help people handle stress. Then complete an activity sheet to identify some personal stressors and techniques they could apply to help deal with the stress.

4

Lesson 4: Troublesome Feelings & Signals for Support

This lesson helps students understand troublesome feelings as signals for needing help. They read a story about a fourth grader who is experiencing sadness and anger over a family situation, and discuss what signs indicate the need for help. They identify people who could help and consider what the student in the story should do. They discuss the importance of getting personal support for troublesome feelings, then identify the personal feelings, thoughts and behaviors that would signal a need for support.

5

Lesson 5: Self-Control for Troublesome Feelings

This lesson helps students apply self-control strategies to manage troublesome feelings. Students identify troublesome feelings and discuss possible consequences of expressing these feelings in inappropriate ways. They examine the concept of self-control and how being in control can help them manage stress and deal with troublesome feelings in healthy ways. They practice demonstrating self-control strategies in response to sample scenarios that students their age may face.

6

Lesson 6: Getting Help for Troublesome Feelings

This lesson helps students analyze what kind of support is needed for troublesome feelings and practice asking for help. They review the importance of talking with trusted adults about troublesome feelings. They work in teams to complete an activity sheet in which they suggest ways to deal with feelings and decide who would be a good person to ask for support for different situations students their age may face. Then they practice how to ask for support from a trusted adult.

7

Lesson 7: Habits for Good Health

In this lesson, students review habits that can keep them healthy. They begin by brainstorming a list of behaviors that contribute to personal health, then focus on the behaviors of taking care of teeth, keeping clean, getting enough rest, protecting skin from sun damage, and taking steps to help prevent infectious disease. They discuss why protecting personal health is important, then conduct a self-assessment to evaluate their own healthy habits. They work in small groups to create a list of simple guidelines to help make these behaviors healthy habits, and design posters to remind and encourage peers to practice the healthy behaviors.

8

Lesson 8: Protecting My Eyes and Ears

This lesson focuses on protecting vision and hearing. Students read about how to keep eyes and ears healthy. They learn about what they can do to keep their eyes and ears safe and healthy, and then conduct a self-assessment to evaluate their own habits around protecting their eyes and ears to identify what they are already doing well and areas for improvement.

9

Lesson 9: My Healthy Habit Goal

In this lesson, students set a personal health behavior goal. They review the surveys around healthy habits they completed in previous lessons and choose a behavior they could improve on based on these self-assessments. They review steps for setting a goal, then complete an activity sheet to create an action plan for improving the behavior they have chosen.

10

Lesson 10: Understanding Risk Taking

This lesson helps students explore the concept of risk and risk taking. After reading two articles that describe how young people were injured due to risky behaviors, they discuss what it means to take a risk and explore what makes a risk challenging but safe, and what makes a risk dangerous. They work in teams to complete an activity sheet to brainstorm and categorize both good and bad risks, and complete a second activity sheet individually to affirm their ability to choose safe risks and avoid dangerous risks that can lead to injuries or other problems. They take home a family sheet to help them talk about risks with their parents or guardians.

11

Lesson 11: Staying Safe at Home, at School and in the Community

This lesson helps students analyze common risks and come up with safety rules that can help them avoid injuries. Students think about the last time they were injured and where the injury occurred, and consider if their injury could have been prevented. They participate in a carousel activity to brainstorm different types of risks and injuries that can happen at home, at school and in the community, and then develop simple safety rules to follow to reduce these risks. They complete an activity sheet to summarize how they can apply safety rules in their lives.

12

Lesson 12: Assessing My Risks

In this lesson, students complete a questionnaire to assess their personal safety practices. They complete a survey to analyze how well they follow safety rules in different areas of their lives and discuss how to be safer and avoid injury as a pedestrian, passenger or rider, when participating in sports or recreational activities, and in situations or risks likely to occur at home. They consider how having safe friends and planning ahead can help them stay safe, and make a safety plan for areas in which they are most likely to be at risk.

13

Lesson 13: You Can Resist Peer Pressure and Dares

This lesson teaches refusal skills for resisting dares. Students discuss what kids may do to fit in and explore the idea of peer pressure. They consider how thinking ahead can help them avoid pressure situations, and learn words and actions they can use to refuse to engage in risky behaviors suggested by peers. They practice their refusal skills in teams using roleplays. They take home a mini-poster to reinforce the idea of not taking dares and remind them of the refusal skills they’ve learned.

14

Lesson 14: Responding to Conflict

In this lesson, students learn about the importance of understanding and resolving conflict. They define conflict and consider different ways a conflict might end or escalate, using an example situation. They explore which choices would be safe, peaceful and fair, and explain why these qualities are important for a healthy outcome to conflict. They learn the warning signs of serious conflict and the importance of seeking adult help in these situations. Then they complete two activity sheets to help them distinguish between simple and serious conflicts and propose safe, peaceful and fair solutions.

15

Lesson 15: Conflict Resolution Skills

This lesson helps students practice some skills to resolve conflicts. They consider a series of questions that can help them solve simple conflicts in ways that are safe, peaceful and fair, and review how to recognize a successful conflict resolution. Then they practice communication skills for negotiating and resolving simple conflicts, as well as how to ask for adult help if a conflict becomes serious.

16

Lesson 16: Eating Healthy: The Big Picture View

In this lesson, students are introduced to MyPlate as a guide for healthy eating. They think about the “big picture” way of looking at nutrition, then are presented with information about the different food groups. They create a booklet to record information about the different food groups and examples of the foods that belong to each group.

17

Lesson 17: Foods Help Your Body in Different Ways

This lesson continues instruction in MyPlate, with a focus on how different foods help the body and how much to eat from each food group each day. Students review the food groups to learn the jobs each group performs in maintaining health and how often to eat foods from each group and record this information. Then they complete an activity sheet to summarize what they’ve learned about MyPlate. They take home a mini-poster to remind them about eating healthy, and a family sheet to help them talk about healthy snacks with their parents or guardians.

18

Lesson 18: Being Active Every Day

In this lesson, students discuss different ways to be physically active and the benefits of moving their bodies. They learn why it is important to participate in a variety of different physical activities and categorize activities in terms of how they help the body be healthy. They assess their current activity level and identify activities they currently do or would like to try.

19

Lesson 19: My Daily Eating and Activity Goal

In this lesson, students assess their eating and activity habits and set goals around healthy eating and physical activity. They create journals to help them keep track of daily food intake and how much activity they get each day for a week. Then they evaluate their journal data to identify ways to improve in these areas. They learn the steps for goal setting and complete an activity sheet to help them set a healthy eating or physical activity goal to work on.

20

Lesson 20: Reasons to Stay Tobacco and Alcohol Free

In this lesson, students learn facts about tobacco and alcohol and consider reasons to be tobacco and alcohol free. With a partner, they research ways tobacco and alcohol hurt the body and other negative consequences of use. Then they work in teams to brainstorm a top 10 list of reasons to stay away from tobacco and alcohol use, including the benefits of being tobacco and alcohol free, ways these drugs can hurt the body and ways drug use can hurt social relationships and others around them. They discuss and synthesize their team lists into a classroom list that they can share with others.

21

Lesson 21: What Influences Tobacco and Alcohol Use?

This lesson explores the different influences that contribute to tobacco and alcohol use. Students consider the influence of family, peers, and advertising and other media on tobacco and alcohol use. They discuss why some kids experiment with these drugs and how they can help each other stay tobacco and alcohol free.

22

Lesson 22: Saying NO Takes Practice

In this lesson, students learn and practice refusal skills. They discuss the role a coach can play in helping a person get better at something. Then they learn how they can say NO to tobacco and alcohol pressures with their thoughts, words and actions. They practice sharing their reasons for being tobacco and alcohol free, with coaching from the teacher. The teacher models effective ways to say NO and helps students practice. Then they practice a second time, adding body language that can reinforce the NO message.

23

Lesson 23: Practicing How to Say NO

This lesson provides further practice in refusal skills. Students practice defending their choice to be tobacco and alcohol free and saying NO through roleplays. They review some guidelines for roleplaying and observe a demonstration roleplay. Then they work in small groups to create and practice roleplays for different pressure situations, using an activity sheet to help them observe and give feedback on the use of refusal skills. They take home a family sheet to help them discuss saying no to tobacco and alcohol pressure with their parents or guardians.

24

Lesson 24: Take It from Me--Be Drug Free!

This lesson helps students advocate for being tobacco and alcohol free. Students complete an activity sheet to summarize their reasons for being drug free, including the dangers of tobacco and alcohol use and the benefits of being tobacco and alcohol free. They work in teams to combine their activity sheets into a booklet, and plan ways to share their advice about being tobacco and alcohol free with others. They take home a mini-poster to help them remember what they’ve learned about saying no to pressure to use tobacco and alcohol.

25

Lesson 25: Thinking About Growing and Changing

This lesson helps students explore feelings and issues around growing up and beginning to go through puberty. Students respond to a survey with questions about growing and changing, then discuss their responses, including things that are difficult and things that are good. They complete an activity sheet that allows them to express some of the things they are thinking and feeling, and suggest advice they would give to younger students to help them cope with these new thoughts and feelings.

26

Lesson 26: Dealing with Growing Up

This lesson helps students prepare for challenges that may come with growing up. They review some common questions fourth graders may have about growth and body changes, then work with a partner to provide advice and answers to additional questions. They take home a mini-poster to remind them to like and value their growing, changing bodies.

27

Lesson 27: Getting Help with Growing Up and Changing

In this lesson, students identify people who can help them with issues around growing and changing. They consider the kinds of help they might need as they grow and change, and talk about the qualities they would look for in a support person. They complete an activity sheet to list people in their lives whom they could ask for advice and support, and then practice what they could say to ask these people for help.

28

Lesson 28: Decisions for a Healthy Future

This lesson introduces decision-making skills. The teacher introduces the concept that the choices young people make can affect their futures. Students consider decisions they make now and some they may have to make in the future. Then they learn some basic decision-making steps, see the steps modeled, and practice applying the steps to sample scenarios fourth graders may face. They take home a family sheet to help them discuss decisions for a healthy future with their parents or guardians.