Submitted by: Angela Watson
In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3-12, students use BrainPOP resources (along with print, web, and/or community resources) to explore one area of health, fitness, or nutrition. Students will learn about the contributing factors in the obesity epidemic and identify how lifestyle choices can contribute to or prevent weight and health problems. Students will then create a public service announcement (PSA) to teach others about the importance of making good choices and staying healthy.
- Discuss and explore the dietary and behavioral factors that contribute to obesity.
- Select and research the dangers of one contributing factor to obesity (or one lifestyle choice and its relationship to obesity) using print, web, and/or community resources.
- Create a public service announcement (PSA) to teach others about the importance of avoiding a habit that contributes to obesity and suggest ways to make better choices.
- Computer and projector or IWB to watch BrainPOP as a class
- Chart paper or board to record ideas
- Class set of the quiz printout
Preparation:Preview the movie and read through the Obesity FYI page to familiarize yourself with the scope of the movie and further your understanding of the topic. You may also wish to compile web and community resources for students to use when researching for their presentations.
- On the FYI page, click on the Graphs, Stats, and Numbers icon (above the words 'Did You Know?'). Use these facts to get students thinking about the seriousness of the obesity epidemic in the United States.
- Assess prior knowledge and build background information through a whole-class discussion. Ask students what factors they think contribute to the obesity problem in our country. Have a student volunteer record ideas on the board.
- Read and discuss the Real Life and Did You Know features (also on the FYI page), which explain the problems with portion size and sugary drinks. If students have not already suggested these factors, add them to the list.
- Show the Obesity movie. Pause as needed throughout the movie to respond to questions and develop understanding.
- Revisit the discussion about obesity's contributing factors, adding to or revising students' prior suggestions that are on the board.
- Divide students into heterogeneous small groups or pairs. Ask each group to select one unhealthy lifestyle or diet factor from the list on the board and create a public service announcement (PSA) for the rest of the class and/or other classes in the school. PSA's are typically 30 seconds; however, you may create a longer format for your students.
- Each group should write a script to be performed live as a skit or recorded as a video clip or movie. Alternatively, students might create a PSA print advertisement or multi-media presentation.
- Provide the groups with time to research their topics and create their presentations. Remind students that their focus should be on educating their peers about the dangers of one unhealthy habit and suggesting better alternatives.
- Allow each group to present or perform for their peers.
- As an assessment, have students take the Obesity quiz. On the back or on a separate sheet of paper, ask students to write a journal entry reflecting on their eating and exercise habits. Do they have any habits that are known to contribute to obesity? After this unit of study, what good habits do they plan to begin as a replacement for the unhealthy behaviors? Encourage every student to select at least one attainable goal.
Extension Activity:Keep students' written reflections and hand them back after a month. Ask students to think, talk, and/or write about the progress they've made toward their goal. Allow students to edit or add to their plans. You may wish to collect the reflections again and pass them back a final time at the end of the semester or school year so the class can monitor their progress toward a healthier lifestyle. As an extension or to support students who struggle with the assignment, use the Graphic Organizer on the Activities page, which helps students reflect on their eating choices.
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