2 class periods of 45 minutes each
Health and nutrition are growing concerns for Utah communities. Rising
health care costs and illness can decrease the effectiveness of a community
in many ways. On the other hand, decisions that increase health and fitness
benefit everyone. This lesson encourages students to learn about and adopt healthy lifestyles.
Background for Teachers
Students will understand the importance of making healthy decisions.
What does it take to be fit?
Why is it important to be healthy and fit?
What community resources are available to help citizens become healthy, strong, and fit?
Students will research community health programs and resources that encourage healthy lifestyles.
Students will identify factors that improve student health and customize a super health heroes program for their school.
Students will promote the program to the principal, PTA, or students council.
Setting the Stage
- Ask students to name their favorite super hero. Write each super hero's name and "super powers" on the board. Ask students to name some real athletic super heroes? Who might some of the people be? (Lance Armstrong, biking; Serena Williams, tennis; Tiger Woods, golfing; etc.) Ask students to describe the characteristics that set these people apart.
- Explain that these super heroes must be in great shape in order to excel in their sport. Ask students to brainstorm what each athlete must do to stay healthy and fit.
- Explain that the class will be studying ways that students can be "super health heroes."
Activity: Confidential Super Health Hero Chart
- Explain that it is time to take an exercise break after an extended session of seat work. Invite students to try some simple competitions. In nice weather, you could have a race around the campus. Inside, students may try jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, or arm wrestling competitions.
- Discuss the experience. Ask students how they felt about the exercise? Ask students why it is important to exercise in different ways?
- Distribute "Ten Habits or Highly Healthy Kids" (pdf).
- Take turns reading the handout. Explain that this article was produced by Intermountain Healthcare in hopes of improving student health.
- Explain that the class will now come up with their own super health hero list.
- Ask students to work with a partner to brainstorm super health hero characteristics and factors that might increase health, strength, and endurance. Share student ideas with the class.
- Distribute "Confidential Super Health Hero Chart" (pdf).
- Begin a super health heroes club in the classroom. Ask students to select an activity such as sit-ups, jumping jacks, jump rope, or running around the school grounds. Explain that students will track their fitness improvements on the chart. Students will only compete with themselves.
Favorite Foods and Favorite Activities
- Ask students how many of them like popcorn. Explain that popcorn is a favorite food for some people. Since everyone has different tastes, it would be interesting to find out what foods are enjoyed by the students in the class.
- Distribute drawing paper. Ask students to fold the paper to create four squares.
Assignment 1: Ask students to sketch four of their favorite foods, one in each square.
Assignment 2: Ask students to sketch their four favorite activities on the back of the paper.
- Create a favorite food and favorite activity list to display using the sketches of each student.
- Read through the list. Ask students to consider the health benefits for each favorite food and favorite activity. Ask the class to give a health rating from 1-10 (10 being the healthiest) to each food and activity listed on the board.
- Discuss which food and activity rate highest on the health index? Which rate the least healthy?
- Ask students to brainstorm ways that they might help students in their school become super health heroes by improving their eating habits, health, and fitness?
Activity: Promoting a Strong, Healthy, and Fit School and Community
- Explain that students can be an active force in promoting healthy lifestyles.
- Distribute and read "Sassy Students Fight Obesity."
- Discuss how students helped improve the health of their school and community.
- Explain that although the citizens of Utah cities and towns are considered some of the healthiest people in the United States, there are still ways in which to improve.
Activity: Super Health Heroes in the School and Community
- Ask students how they might improve the health and fitness of their own school and community.
- Divide students into small groups. Distribute "Super Health Heroes Planning Sheet" and provide paper and markers for brainstorming. Assign students to think of ways in which they might create a super health heroes program for their school and community.
- Encourage students to identify community resources that offer programs, incentives, and speakers willing to help with the project. (Intermountain Healthcare, Heart Association, Dairy Foundation)
- Ask each group to share their project ideas with the class.
- Use student ideas to create a health plan for the school.
- Share your plan with the school principal and PTA.
- Create your own super health hero brochure to distribute to the school community.
This lesson plan is part of the Utah League of Cities and Towns This Must be Utah! A Teacher's Guide to Utah Cities and Towns
, Director of Training
Utah League of Cities and Towns