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Health Integration Ideas

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Grace Lamboni from Salisbury, Maryland submitted these two health ideas for grades 3-5.  

Background: Here are two health integration ideas that we have been using with our students. The first one deals with nutrition education and the second one is a neat drug education lesson.

The Five Food Groups

This is an idea that works well while you are doing skill station work with your students. Setup your class up into five stations; each station will be named for a food group. You can put the words up on a cone or a poster, depending on how much information you want the class to have for that period.

How We Do It: While your class is entering the room, hand them a laminated food picture card and ask them to go to the station that their food is grouped with. For example, a picture with a bowl of cereal would fit in the “Breads, Cereals and Pasta” group.

After the students find their food group, ask a question about the food groups. For example: “Raise your hand if you are at the “Breads, Cereals & Pasta” group. Did you know that the Breads, Cereals, and Pasta food group will help provide us with energy? It also helps digestion by giving us fiber.” You can also put this information on index cards and have selected students read the cards aloud. Now you can lead the class in the planned station activities, giving some nutrition education information each time the students rotate to a new station.

Additional Ideas:

- Enlarge copies of a variety of food labels and tape them to a cone or poster at each station. Ask questions about the labels.

- Have the students take their “lunch box” (blank index cards) around with them. When they get to each food group they are to write a food down that would be good for their lunch. You could put all of the good lunch choices up on a wall display.

- Have a “grab bag” at each station. One student pulls out a food card. Can they tell what food group it is in?

Just Say “No” Day

Background: In this activity, the students will work on refusal skills and learn about the dangers associated with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

Warm-Up Activity: Provide each student with a scooter. Place pictures and/or words of a variety of tobacco products, pictures of alcoholic beverages, and illegal drugs in each corner of the gym. Have the students lie down on scooters. Tell them that they are going to go around the gym on the scooters when the music starts. At each corner they will see what kinds of things can “drag or pull the body” down. They will pull themselves around the room using their arms and legs. The teacher will remind the students that these items can also “drag” a person down and provide examples of how alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs are harmful.

Refusal Skills: After they are done with the warm-up activity, the students return their scooters, as the teacher leads the class in whatever skill development lesson (e.g., dribbling skills) is planned. After the skill development lesson is over, the teacher will lead the class using a “Refusal Skills” chart. We have a large poster that lists the following four words – Say, Walk, Tell, Talk.

Four Ways to Deal with Uncomfortable Situations

1. Say: Say “NO!!!” in a firm voice.
2. Walk: Walk away from the tempting situation.
3. Tell: Tell a responsible adult.
4. Talk: Talk to a friend or relative.

Closing: We hope that you and your students are able to use these two ideas! Please feel free to modify them to meet your needs.

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