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This ESD classroom resource introduces students to healthy living habits for themselves as well as their community. They demonstrate their knowledge by participating in various activities that encourage making healthy food choices, exercising and helping others in the community to do the same. Learners develop an action project based on a community needs assessment. They reflect on their service-learning project, demonstrate the impact on the community, and celebrate their hard work and success.
The unit consists of five lessons
Students practice a variety of skills associated with planning and conducting a community service project -developing a survey tool, conducting a survey and analyzing data collected, planning and carrying out a service project based on information gathered in survey. Students are provided with a number of handouts designed to teach the skills involved.
In addition to the research and action skills, students practice the skills involved in cooperative learning and action.
Strengths of the unit include
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
The community survey re. health needs is the central piece in the lesson plans. The lessons ensure a balanced picture by having students consider who might be interviewed and by selecting a variety of community locations in which to conduct the survey. This helps to address the question - Who's perspective?
Since surveys may also reflect bias in the questions they choose to ask and the questions they omit, students are asked to discuss and decide on the survey questions.
In acquiring the necessary background learning, students consult a number of newspaper articles, Internet sites, government publications, all of which may be judged as acceptable resources.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
While the lessons do not require that students explore community (school, neighborhood, local community) health through a sustainability lens, one might expect that in any exploration of community health (social issue), consideration would be given to the link between socio-economic factors (ie.availability of healthy foods, media messages, poverty,adequate recreational facilities) and the connection between the environment and health (ie. clean air and water),
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The unit is constructed to address the focus question/problem - Why is it important to practice healthy living habits and advocate for healthy living practices in the community? While the answer may be obvious -good health is good, ill health is bad- identifying the many factors that promote or mitigate against good health requires considerable sophistication as does deciding and acting on a plan that will have a significant impact in improving one's individual health, and that of the school, the neighborhood and the local community.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Very Good|
The lessons address an authentic issue - the health of the local community. Students design a service project that influences the health of their community. They plan the steps, carry out their plan, reflect on the process and celebrate their success.
The strength of the unit is its attention to moving from knowing to doing. The unit recognizes that if the doing is to be effective it must be informed by an understanding of the issue and the forces at play. The initial lesson plans are designed to provide that understanding. The authors also recognize that effective doing takes considerable planing. The concluding lesson plans (Introduction to Service, Prepare to take Action, and Take Action) provide the framework and develop the skills associated with effective planning.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Collectively the lessons help students reflect on the value of good health, society's values with respect to beauty,values associated with leadership, and volunteerism and community engagement. Students are also asked to keep a private journal in which they reflect upon a number of value laden questions that emerge from each of the lessons.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Good|
If knowledge/understanding are necessary pre-conditions for empathy, it may be expected that this unit will encourage greater student empathy for those suffering from eating disorders, those who struggle because they do not fit the current popular body image and those who face health challenges because of their social or economic situation.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
The focus of the unit is the health of the student's community -the school, the neighborhood, the local community. The action component is intended to draw attention to and choose a community health need to address. Students plan the logistics for their community service project,document their planning process,conduct and evaluate their community service project.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Students undertake a community service project that identifies current needs and aims to improve future health conditions in the community.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
The initial lessons have students explore a topic/issue - elements of a balanced diet, the availability of healthy foods, the importance of physical activity,the concept of a healthy body image. In each case, a combination of student activities and guided inquiry allows students to reach their own conclusions about the issue.
In the concluding lesson, it is the students who analyze data collected from their surveys and design a campaign to advocate for health in their community.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The reach of the unit has relevance for the physical education and health curriculum (individual and community health needs), the science curriculum ( human biology),and the social studies curriculum ( responsible citizenship).
Each lesson also includes cross curricular activities related to social studies (mapping), language arts ( advocacy tools), math (data collection and analysis),media literacy (analyzing and creating media messages), and music(creating musical messages)
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Responsibilty for "finding the answers" if not defining the questions resides with the students. The role of the teacher is to act as the facilitator on the side - providing the framework, suggesting resources, and guiding the discussion - so that students may arrive at their anwers and decide what to do with these answers.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Lessons allow students to investigate and report upon topics based on their interests. Group work also provides opportunities for students to contribute according to the individua'ls interests and talents such as sports, music, technology, poetry, etc.
In deciding on a service project, students are encourage to chose on ethat rweflects the enthusiasm of the group and which empowers them to take the lead.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
The community service project, which is the culminating activty of the unit, represents an authentic experience related to the primary goal of the unit - to explore the meaning of good health and to carry out a project that responds to the health needs of the local community.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Very Good|
A considerable number of the lesson goals are realized within the context of cooperative groups. Students select tasks according to their interests and abilities, undertake the necessary work, and create reports that they share with the members of their group.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
Many of the lessons require students individually or collectively to research and report to the class on their findings. These reports allow teachers to assess the student's understanding of the topics or issues addressed.
The lessons also include a number of handouts to be completed by students and these too provide a measure of the students progress.
The community surveys and the presentations that follow create an opportunity for summative assessment.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
Several sessions throughout the unit have a Reporting assignment. Students select topics touched upon in the session to find out more and report their findings to the class in a follow-up session.
The responsibilities attached to the cooperative groupings mean that students are teaching other students.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The unit creates rather than analyses a case study in that students plan, conduct and evaluate a srvice project related to the health of the local communitry.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
The IGNITE process promotes student voice in making essential decisions about the process, goals and sucess of the service project. The "facilitator" acts as a "guide on the side" and allows students to take the lead in a meaningful way to impact community health.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|