Health Education in Schools

Instructor: Shannon Orr
This lesson provides the definition of health education. It also discusses how health education can be used to help students make good life choices and how teachers can introduce it in their class.

Beyond Core Subjects

Parents are often so proud when their little one is able to say the alphabet or count to ten. It is a proud moment to watch their little eyes light up when they are able to read their first book or name different animals.

But what about learning the basics of health? Children have to be taught how to take care of themselves so that they can strive to live a long, balanced life. Understanding what foods are healthy, how to prevent sickness and diseases, and the importance of making good life choices all help shape their future.

Health Education in School

So much focus is placed on ensuring students understand their core subjects like math and language, and although those areas are important and necessary, understanding how to care for yourself is equally as important. Health Education is teaching students ways to take care of themselves physically and mentally.

Many students have parents or guardians who have not been educated properly on how to care for themselves and practice lifestyle habits that are not healthy. Students may decide to mirror these behaviors because they appear to be acceptable. Providing students with health education in school helps them to make better choices and maybe even spread what they learn to others.

Areas of Focus

Health education is a broad topic and can be used to discuss and introduce many topics. One important thing to remember when preparing information is the age of your students. If you want to talk about development and sex education, you wouldn't use the same lesson for a group of 1st graders as you would for a group of 5th graders or high school students. Not only would the content need to be modified, but any graphic resources such as charts or illustrations would also need to be adjusted.

Teachers could use health education to discuss

  • eating habits
  • illness prevention
  • saying no to drugs and alcohol
  • peer pressure
  • self-esteem

Flyers or newsletters with the different topics could be sent home to promote further discussion between the student and his or her parents or guardians.

Having a drop box for students to submit questions anonymously is a great idea, as they are often not comfortable asking them in front of others. Teachers could read the questions and respond openly for the benefit of all the students.

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