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High School Health Class: Topics and Activities

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  • 0:00 The Importance of Health Class
  • 1:07 Addressing…
  • 2:02 Health Education Activities
  • 3:46 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennafer Tomlinson
This exciting lesson will assist you in creating engaging health education lessons for high school students. Read on to learn about potential topics and activities for health education, as well as suggestions for making teaching uncomfortable topics less awkward.

The Importance of Health Class

Health topics and activities for high school can be very exciting. Engaging lessons filled with accurate information not only creates a stimulating learning environment, but also provide essential knowledge that will help youth make the right decisions and lead healthy lifestyles for years to come. The first thing an educator needs to do when developing lesson plans is to check the state curriculum standards to ensure he or she meets all requirements.

Heath topics can cover a wide range of medical information, and the required subjects to be covered in class vary by state. In Maryland, for example, some mandatory topics include mental and emotional health, alcohol and drug information, reproductive health, sex education, and nutrition and fitness. The topics listed can be further explored through research and then taught in segments. For example, the topic of sex education can be broken down into multiple lessons by teaching not only the facts of reproduction, but the development of the fetus and the entire birthing process.

Addressing Uncomfortable Topics

Another important rule to remember when teaching these topics is to not shy away from any information. It is understandable that some health subjects may seem awkward to discuss, but leaving out important information may be detrimental to your students in the future. Inviting outside professionals to speak to the class regarding some health topics that may be uncomfortable to address is one way of making things a little less awkward for the teacher. But please remember, your students have built a relationship with you, their teacher, and they put their trust in you. As such, students may not take what the outside professional says to heart in the same way they would hearing it straight from you.

Another option is to show engaging health class videos to your students. Let the narrator do the hard, uncomfortable work for you as your students learn from relevant photos and animation. Using existing resources also cuts down on your prep time.

Health Education Activities

Activities to engage the students in learning about mental and emotional health may include:

Field Trips to the Local Health Department

Schedule a field trip to visit your area's department of health services, where students can learn about healthy living concepts such as nutritional eating habits and a drug-free lifestyle.

Physical Exercises that Improve Mental Health

Teach students about the link between mental and physical health with simple exercises that can be done in the classroom. For example, you might start each class by demonstrating a different yoga pose and discussing how it improves blood flow, boosts endorphins and reduces stress.

Expert Advice on Alcohol and Drugs

Invite a local law enforcement officer to the classroom to talk about the many different types of pills on the street and how they may look similar to regular, over-the-counter medications.

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