Healthy Living

6, 7, 8

Students examine their personal healthy habits and their school (and neighborhood) environments to collect information about nutrition and fitness in the community. Students consider what changes they can make to the school or neighborhood to create a more healthful environment.

PrintTwo 45-Minute Class Sessions

Learners will be able to:

  • state facts and habits that are part of healthy living.

  • list healthy changes for personal health choices.

  • identify areas around the school where healthy habits are promoted or where more support for good health is needed. 

  • brainstorm ways they can influence healthy habits.

  • personal devices for students to take the Teen Health Living Survey via (

  • clipboards and paper for school walking tour observations

  • copy of Service Project Suggestions (Handout)

  • exercise: planned physical activity for the purpose of conditioning the body, improving health, and maintaining fitness. 
  • health: the state of being in sound body, mind, and spirit
  • personal health culture: the beliefs and practices that affect our health
  • community: a group of people who share interests and goals and work together
  • nutrition: the process of nourishing to maintain health and growth
  • perspective: a particular way of viewing things based on one’s experience and personality
  • survey: a formal examination of the details of something to determine its character
  • chronic: occurring over a long time or frequently
  • obesity: a condition characterized by an excessive storage of fat in the body

What would you like to improve about yourself? What could you work to change it?

Pick one thing you’d like to change about your school or neighborhood. What would you change? Why?

  • BAM! Body and Mind.
  • Dietary Guidelines.
  • Energy Out: Daily Physical Activity Recommendations.
  • Learning Games | Make Learning Awesome!
  • Loewe, E. Nature Can Make You Less Stressed & More Energized - If You Do It Right.
  • Take Charge of Your Health: A Guide for Teenagers.


  1. Introduce today’s theme of healthy living by having students take the Healthy Living quiz on (see link above) to assess their health habits and learn current knowledge about healthy choices for teens. After each question, use the Teacher’s Guide for background information and to facilitate discussion.

  2. At the end of the Kahoot survey, discuss the class results. Discuss what group responses surprised you. In what areas are the most students making healthful choices? In what areas are most students making less healthful choices.

    In small groups, students discuss what areas they think are most important to change and why (e.g., reduce sugar intake). Tell them to come up with healthier alternatives they could try for themselves and suggest to friends who might want to make a change. (For example, “Try not to drink soda when you're thirsty.” Healthy alternatives: Water is the best drink for your body. If you want something sweet, add a little juice to the water. Sparkling water is also a good alternative, and it tastes like soda if you add a little of your favorite juice.)

  3. Have groups share with the class their healthy alternatives. Ask them to come up with ideas for influencing others with their ideas for healthy habits. What methods would actually influence others? Why would it be good for the whole school to change habits? 

  4. Make it personal: After the group discussion, have students reflect on their personal habits and choose one area they might like to improve. Have students write down a plan and what steps are needed to make that happen. (For example, a student might write she wants to get more sleep each night and to do that she needs to ask her sister, with whom she shares a room, to stop watching Netflix until all hours.)

  5. Sesson Two:

    Follow up on the previous session by reviewing the areas related to healthy habits and ask what students did the night before that are examples of healthful choices. Remind them of the areas: food, drink, sleep, exercise, nature, mindfulness.

  6. Introduce today’s theme: Healthy Schools. Say, “We have begun to observe how we make choices to develop a healthy self. Today we will take a walking tour and examine the health of our school campus and begin working together to make it a healthy place to learn.” (If it makes sense for your setting, include the school neighborhood as well.) Ask the following questions:

    • Do you think our school (and neighborhood) supports healthy living? Why or why not?
    • What will we be looking for in school (and the neighborhood) that support healthy living? (Examples: places to exercise, healthy choices of food in the cafeteria, healthy choices in vending machines, healthy neighborhood food shops and restaurants, outdoor “classrooms,” trees, places for quiet reflection, and support groups.)
  7. Give students clipboards and paper to record observations as they walk around the school. Ask them to pay close attention in their cafeteria, gymnasium, hallways, and school grounds. How do food options, spaces, language, and social support impact healthy choices for students?  (Note details about foods served for lunch, in vending machines, places for reflection and exercise, social groups, posters with information and encouragement, safety.) 

  8. Return to the classroom. On chart paper with two columns, record observations in one column. In the second column, make a list of what could be done to promote health.

  9. Draw conclusions: Does the school environment promote healthy living? Which area of need could our class impact with a creative project to promote a healthy school environment for all?

  10. On an index card or in a journal, have students consider what they would like to change about the school if they could. Have them write what they would change and why.

  11. Look into Fuel Up to Play 60 to see if any of the programs appeal to your students for self or school improvements. “Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today's youth to lead healthier lives.”

  12. The handout below has ideas for service projects related to promoting healthy habits. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Identify specific learning objectives from the academic core curriculum that are being applied in the service-learning project.
    2. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Provide a needed service.