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

Healthy Youth, Healthy Community (9-12)
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 Nine 45-minute sessions, plus additonal time to complete the service project

Unit Objectives:

Learners will:

  • define community and recognize their place in the community.
  • define good health and analyze their home and community for its health culture.
  • select a topic to research related to youth health.
  • analyze their personal health routines.
  • prepare and present a "meal" to their classmate.
  • map the neighborhood.
  • read news articles about sports and exercise-related articles.
  • advocate for fun exercise in school and at home.
  • define body image and explore how the media impacts that.
  • list the cultural and environmental factors that promote obesity.
  • create healthy-eating and exercise posters or graphic comics.
  • research and report on food-related health issues.
  • identify national and world leaders.
  • identify qualities of leadership.
  • state how leadership applies to service.
  • analyze collected survey data.
  • work together to select a health need for one or more class service projects.
  • outline and plan their service project goals and procedures.
  • identify and create a list of needs.
  • identify steps necessary to complete the project.
  • carry out the planned service project(s).
  • evaluate the community response.
  • analyze their Lifestyle Logs.
  • reflect on the goals and outcomes of the service project experience.
  • demonstrate the impact of their service project by summarizing data.
  • celebrate their hard work and efforts to make the community healthier.

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.

Through analysis of surveys, research, interests, and talents, students select and plan a service project to improve an area of community health. They carry out the project and demonstrate the process and outcomes to a community audience.

Unit Assessment:

Students reflect on their own growth over the course of this unit by comparing journal entries and their Lifestyle Logs from the beginning of the unit to the end.

School/Home Connection:

Lesson One: For homework after Session One, students pick a topic and bullet point from the CDC Healthy Youth report to research on their own or with a partner. For homework, they find 3-5 more interesting facts about their topic to share with the class during the next session. Students may use their journals to record their research, and then make a poster or create short Power Point presentation to report their findings. For students interested in exploring sleep, give them copies of the  Losing Fat, as Easily as Closing Your Eyes New York Times, October 1, 2010   

After each session, students have reporting, taste testers, and/or vocabulary homework. See Handout 1, Features Overview for more information.

After Session Four, students conduct research to further investigate the topics raised in the discussion of news articles related to the importance of exercise to good health.

Lesson Two:

Have each student take one or more copies of their survey home to interview adult family members and neighbors. 

Notes for Teaching:

This unit gives students the knowledge and tools they can use to address health issues in their homes and communities. 

In the Reflection field of each lesson, journal prompts are provided for each session. Journals will be used to reflect on information learned, record research findings, and store personal health logs and surveys. Journal entries should not be graded on content, but are private. Students may choose to share or not share their work with the group and/or leader. Respect for student privacy is extremely important especially given the very personal nature of some topics covered in the program. 

Several sessions throughout the unit have a Reporting assignment, as well. Students select topics touched on in the session to find out more about and then report their findings in a follow-up session. As part of the Reporting assignment, students select 1-2 vocabulary words from their research to share with the class. 

In Lesson Two one of the activities is to learn a dance step by watching a YouTube video. The teacher should preview the video to determine if it is appropriate for the class.


Bibliographical References:

CDC Fact Sheet

Losing Fat, as Easily as Closing Your Eyes New York Times, October 1, 2010

Lesson One news articles:

Lochte to Race Phelps in the 400 Medley”
Army Revises Training to Deal with Unfit Recruits

Lesson 2 news articles:

Behavior: Losing Fat, as Easily as Closing Your Eyes

“New York Asks to Bar Use of Food Stamps to Buy Sodas”
Even Benefits Don’t Tempt Us to Vegetables
Group Seeks Food Label That Highlights Harmful Nutrients
City’s Efforts Fail to Dent Child Obesity
British Journal of Psychiatry article: Fiji Eating Behaviors

State Curriculum and Philanthropy Theme Frameworks:

See individual lessons for benchmark detail.

Submit a Comment

All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.