Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Healthy Youth, Healthy Community (K-2)
Unit of 5 lessons

Unit Overview:

Focus Question: Why is it important to practice healthy living  habits and advocate for healthy living practices in a community? 

Unit Purpose:

Students explore healthy living habits for themselves and for their community. They practice making healthy food choices, exercising and helping people of the community do the same. Learners develop a service-learning project based on a community needs assessment.

Unit Duration:

Approximately ten hours of 20-30 minute sessions

Unit Objectives:

Learners will:

  • define community, cooperate, and pledge.
  • work together and explain the benefits of working together.
  • make a pledge to act responsibly in their community and share their pledges with others.
  • state why eating good food and exercising regularly are part of good health.
  • explain the importance of rules and name other traits of a healthy community.
  • identify food groups and classify different foods as healthy or unhealthy choices.
  • examine food packaging and charts for ingredients and nutrition.
  • define a balanced diet and identify a healthy daily intake of food groups.
  • state why a healthy diet is important to them personally.
  • analyze the components of a healthy meal.
  • state that exercise in an important part of healthy living.
  • keep track of their food and exercise for a week (or day).
  • identify places in the school that serve or sell healthy foods and snacks.
  • identify places in the school for exercise.
  • define obesity and recognize that obesity can lead to serious illnesses.
  • state that healthy eating and exercise can prevent obesity.
  • categorize TV, movies, radio, magazines and the internet as media.
  • identify foods that ads and commercials are trying to persuade a person to buy.
  • classify foods in ads as either healthy or unhealthy.
  • define the words leader, citizen and responsible and define what it means to be a responsible citizen in a school community.
  • practice helping others and describe how it feels.
  • define the concepts of tolerance and acceptance.
  • compare and contrast the concepts of needs and wants.
  • identify places in the neighborhood that fulfill food and exercise needs.
  • generate ideas for ways to improve the neighborhood healthy living resources.
  • select a focus for a service project.
  • list project needs and components. 
  • carry out their service plan.
  • reflect on the positive elements of the service project.
  • reflect on what they learned.

Service Experience:

Although lessons in this unit contain service project examples, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.

Students advocate for and educate others about healthy choices. They may hold a healthy food fair or create informational posters; write poetry that uses creativity and humor to teach about healthy habits; plan an event for which they bring in a variety of healthy breads for a taste-testing event and include public service announcements to encourage others to eat healthy. They may want to do a skit or demonstrate how to make healthy snacks. They may challenge people through a walk-a-thon or a pledge to eat better or exercise more regularly. 

Unit Assessment:

In Lesson Two, have students complete Handout 8: Healthy Foods! to assess their understanding of the food groups. For younger students, do the worksheet together, reading the questions and responses aloud with them.

School/Home Connection:


  1. For homework, have children ask all their family members to name their favorite healthy foods. The children write each family member's name and write or draw his or her favorite food. When children bring this to school, post the words and pictures on a bulletin board with the headline, "Eat a Variety of Healthy Foods."
  2. After each session, send home for homework a copy of the handout My Healthy Eating Worksheet related to the food group they studied in that session. Have the children fill it out as homework. When they bring it back to school, discuss how easy or difficult it is to eat the recommended amount of that food group.
  3. Give children a copy of My Weekly Food and Exercise Chart (Handout 2) to complete as homework for one week. Or, if it is more appropriate to record food for a day, give them a copy of My Daily Food and Exercise Chart (Handout 3) to take home and fill in with the help of family members.
  4. As a home assignment, have children count and tally the number and type of advertisements they observe in a half hour of television or radio (2 car, 3 soda, 1 clothing store). The next day at school, the class can graph the information collected. Extension: Discuss what type of program they were watching and whether the advertisements match the audience of the program.
  5. Organize and hold a family night. Children may display their projects from all of the Building Healthy Communities lessons. The group may sing the songs they learned in the unit. They may demonstrate what they did for a service project and describe the outcomes that they observed in themselves and in the community. They may also serve healthy foods at the event.

State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:

See individual lessons for benchmark detail.

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