Unit of work: My body and how I take care of it
The class has already had a reading session with the stimulus text, Captain Fact: Human Body Adventure (Knife & Parker, 2005). Revise the sequence of the story with students to elicit the various systems that Captain Fact explored within the book. Discuss with students to find out if they know of any other body systems, not yet explored in the book such as the skin (epidermis). The class should now have a list of the various systems found within the body: skeletal, muscular, circulatory, digestive, kidneys and excretion, respiratory, skin and central nervous. Assign a group of 3-4 students to each system. Students work within these groups to locate the appropriate information tab for their system on the website http://yucky.discovery.com/flash/body/pg000126.html (Discovery Communications, 2000) to read a short text about their system and choose the important facts. Students can also visit http://kidshealth.org/kid/closet/movies/how_the_body_works_interim.html (Nemours Foundation, 2008) to watch movies that show how various body systems work.
The facts that student’s should take note of are:
- What is the system?
- What does it do?
- What organs does it include?
- Why is it important?
- Interesting facts?
Students will present a short series of movements, such as a piece of food going through the digestive system as an introduction to their short presentation. The rest of the class should predict what system the presenting group will talk about. The lesson will conclude with a game of trivia in table groups, which pose questions regarding the various body systems as a consolidation activity.
Students revise the various human body systems, as discussed in the previous lessons. Using the body system diagrams found in Body Facts (Brewer, 1996, p. 14-15), the class will discuss as a whole the various body systems and the way that they are interrelated to create a mind map. This is another informal assessment opportunity to observe students’ learning from the prior lesson. Students are split into eight groups to create a PowerPoint slide which provides an image of their particular body system and details its relationship to the other body systems. Students may use the links provided on http://www.kidinfo.com/Health/Human_Body.html (Guterba, 2008) that have been categorised by body systems to assist them in finding images and more detailed information to create their group’s PowerPoint slide. By the end of this lesson, each group will have produced a slide each, which will be made into a PowerPoint presentation which informs the whole class about the interrelationships of the human body systems.
Students revise the interrelationships between the body systems by watching their created PowerPoint presentation and initial mind map. Discuss how important it is to understand the interrelationships of these systems. What happens when one is affected? Brainstorm ways in which each body system can be affected. Introduce the idea that being healthy can take on many forms. Provide students with a Y chart for them to brainstorm individually:
- What does being healthy look like?
- What does being healthy feel like?
- What does being healthy sound like?
- What health issues are predominant in our society?
- What advertisements do you see in the media about staying healthy?
- How do you keep your own body healthy?
- What would you like to find out about physical health?
In the discussion bring up ideas about caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, tobacco. After the discussion, explain to students that they will be holding their own classroom health conference that will address and educate people about their chosen topic areas. Some of these areas may include effects of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, the importance of exercise, what is a healthy and balanced diet, lifestyle diseases e.g. heart disease. By the end of this lesson, students should be in groups of 2 or 3 and have identified their chosen topic.
This lesson focuses on the diseases and drugs which affect the human body systems as explored in the previous lesson. As an introduction, a variety of items are brought in by the teacher such as junk food packets, vegetables, fruit, sporting equipment, sunscreen and hats. Students should manipulate these items around two pictures, one of a healthy person, the other one unhealthy. Students should classify the items as positive or negative influences on the body. During this time, students may also wish to add any ideas that are not yet represented by the items brought in.
Students will then be shown a variety of advertisements and campaigns regarding nutrition, smoking, heart disease and physical activity. This includes a poster of the Australian guide to healthy eating food plate (Commonwealth Department of Health and Family Services, 1998), What’s in a cigarette (OxyGen, 2008), Facts about smoking (OxyGen, 2008), Effects of smoking (OxyGen, 2008) and the Let’s learn about your heart website http://www.mplsheartfoundation.org/kids (Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, 2008). Students will explore the information that each poster presents and discuss the importance of the information in their lives. For each topic, students will also contribute to a class brainstorm on a blank outline of a human body to list the affects that each aspect may have on the body.
When teaching about smoking, the teacher will provide students with facts of smoking, with statistics of how many people smoke in Australia. Also elaborate and expand on the effects of smoking on physical activity. Compare the poster of the effects of smoking on the body (OxyGen, 2008) with the class brainstormed human body outline.
Teaching heart disease and the importance of physical activity: students access the website Let’s Learn About your Heart (Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation, 2008) to explore the importance of physical activity and its effect on the heart. This website provides students with information about heart disease as well as consolidating the other content covered in this lesson, smoking and nutrition.
At the end of the class, students will annotate their own blank outline of the human body and write down at least three key facts for each topic discussed.
Students revise the four areas that were discussed in the previous lesson.
- What do students remember about each area?
- How does smoking affect your body?
- What is the importance of eating well and keeping active?
Students work in pairs to produce their own poster or pamphlet that addresses one of the previously discussed topics. These posters and pamphlets can be placed around the school to inform the wider school community about these health issues.