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Lessons > Middle School > Violence & Injury Prevention
Violence & Injury Prevention

19 Lessons

1

In this lesson, students begin their study of unintentional injury. After discussing the difference between intentional and unintentional injury, they examine the concept of risk, and identify examples of both good and unsafe risks. Then they review facts about young people and injury to help them understand that unintentional injury is a substantial threat to young people’s well-being. They identify the negative consequences of injury and the benefits of avoiding risks.

2

In this lesson, students focus on ways to avoid motor vehicle injuries. After reviewing the leading cause of injury death among young people, they discuss ways people can be injured in motor vehicle crashes. They assess their own safety belt use, then complete a true/false quiz about wearing safety belts to test their knowledge and reinforce the importance of this safety measure. They work in small groups to compile a list of safety tips to help prevent injuries from motor vehicles. They also talk about the risks of riding with a driver who has been using alcohol or other drugs and explore ways to avoid this unsafe risk.

3

In this lesson, small groups brainstorm safety rules related to specific situations. Groups report their rules to the class, and students write the rules, or one that better applies to them, on their own activity sheets.

4

This lesson teaches about the importance of wearing personal safety equipment. Students list different types of protective gear needed for a variety of sports and recreational activities, then read about how helmets can help prevent injuries. After learning the definition and steps for advocacy, they work with a partner to create an advocacy message that would convince a particular group of students their age to always wear safety gear.

5

In this lesson, students learn refusal skills for resisting dares. After discussing effects of peer pressure, they practice words and actions they can use to say NO to dares. They complete a half-scripted roleplay by writing responses to pressure lines, then practice their refusal skills in small groups. Students perform their roleplays in their groups and for the class, and receive feedback on how to make their refusals even more effective and believable.

6

This lesson focuses on decision-making skills. Students briefly review the seriousness of unintentional injury and identify ways young people can be injured. Then they learn decision-making steps and work in pairs to apply the decision-making process to a variety of risky situations.

7

In this lesson, students review school emergency procedures. After creating a list of emergency situations that require special safety rules, they discuss the benefits of safety procedures. Then they review and practice existing school and classroom emergency procedures.

8

In this lesson, students begin their study of violence. They explore the definition and identify different types of violence. They examine common causes of violence, including how it relates to prejudice and discrimination, and discuss behaviors and environmental factors that can contribute to violence. They discuss the different roles people can play in situations involving violence, and examine the negative consequences of violence for victims, perpetrators and bystanders. Then they suggest ways to avoid violence and identify behaviors that can help stop or prevent violence.

9

This lesson helps students understand bullying. Students define bullying, then identify different types of bullying. They discuss the effects of bullying on targets and bystanders, and complete an activity sheet to summarize their learning.

10

This lesson helps students explore ways to prevent or stop bullying. After reviewing the homework to interview peers about bullying, students discuss the important role bystanders can play in helping to prevent or stop bullying, why it can be difficult to take action and why it’s important to do so. They work in groups to list strategies that targets and bystanders can use to stop or prevent bullying and practice asking for help. Then they complete an activity sheet to explore how they would respond to situations involving bullying. A take-home family sheet allows them to talk about bullying with an older family member.

11

This lesson teaches about hazing. After learning the definition of hazing, students read example stories in small groups and discuss why each is or isn’t an example of hazing. They explore how the people in the story felt, what the person being hazed and any bystanders should do, and the potential consequences of hazing.

12

In this lesson, students create a class code of conduct to prevent bullying and hazing. After defining the concept of a code of conduct, students work in pairs to brainstorm rules that could help ensure that bullying and hazing do not happen at school. They choose the top 4 rules they can agree to as a class, and sign a pledge to follow these rules. Then they learn about advocacy and work in small groups to create posters that depict one of the rules from the class code of conduct to share with others at the school.

13

In this lesson, students examine the problems with fighting. After discussing reasons people fight, they describe situations that could lead to strong feelings and explore realistic and practical ways a person could deal with those feelings without hurting oneself or others. Students discuss the negative consequences of physical fighting and review school policies and consequences of fighting at school. Then they write stories about situations that cause strong feelings, and suggest nonviolent ways the person in the story could deal with those feelings.

14

In this lesson, students learn about conflict resolution. After defining terms, they learn about four different strategies for settling disagreements. They discuss the benefits of each strategy and best circumstances for using it, and explain how each strategy can help prevent physical fights.

15

In this lesson, students practice conflict resolution skills. They review the conflict resolution strategies they learned in the previous class and observe them being modeled. After practicing using all of the strategies in pairs, they create roleplays that illustrate defusing the conflict and negotiation. They practice and present their roleplays, and receive feedback on their use of these conflict resolution strategies.

16

Lessons 16 and 17 offer information and skills to help middle school students recognize and protect themselves from sexual abuse. They can be used to help schools meet the requirements of Erin's Law or other state legislation mandating education on sexual abuse prevention. It is recommended that both lessons be taught in order and within the context of a larger health education program that includes lessons on healthy relationships and basic sexuality education.

This lesson helps students learn what to do if they are at risk of being sexually abused. After reviewing group agreements, students examine their feelings in response to different situations involving touch, then participate in an exercise that helps them identify personal boundaries. While reinforcing that unwanted touch is never the victim’s fault, the teacher reviews things students can do to protect themselves, then has students repeat the earlier exercise to practice assertive communication and experience what it is like to tell someone to stop invading their personal space.

17

This lesson helps students understand, recognize and seek help for sexual abuse. After reviewing group agreements to help ensure safe and respectful class discussion of this serious topic, they explore the definition of abuse. Then they work in small groups (or as a class) to read and respond to questions about scenarios in which young people are in danger of being sexually abused. They discuss why sexual abuse is never the fault of the person who has experienced abuse and why it is important for survivors of abuse to get help. They learn about resources they could turn to if they or a friend were being sexually abused, and then practice how to ask for help for themselves or a friend.

18

This culminating activity assesses student learning for the unit through a written exam.

19

In this culminating activity, students use an editorial format to advocate for violence and injury prevention. They review and research the topic they wish to cover, then write an editorial in which they share accurate, reliable information about violence and injury prevention; discuss the effect of violence and injury on youth; and advocate for peers to practice behaviors that will reduce their risk of violence and injuries.