The first thing you have to remember is that even though it might be a little embarrassing for you, a lot of the subjects taught in health class are even more embarrassing for your middle school students. They may or may not know what’s happening to them as they mature and go through puberty and you have the opportunity to shed light on some of the subjects they may not fully understand.
Don’t get upset if there is giggling or you hear comments from the students. Keep a steady voice and remind your students that it is important that they get to know their bodies and that they learn the best way to take care of them. While you should stay calm you should also make sure to maintain order in your classroom. Because this is such a sensitive subject some children may be afraid to ask questions especially if they fear being teased by peers.
Make sure you follow the guidelines of your school and that students have parental consents if they are needed in your district. It’s important to be informative while respecting parent’s beliefs and school district expectations.
Good Personal Hygiene Projects
With growing up and experiencing puberty your students will be experiencing hair in new places and body odors they never had to deal with before. Try procuring some free sample sized hygiene products for girls and boys. Or at the very least get picture examples of the supplies they need. Cover deodorant, shaving, acne, and skin care. You can even briefly cover basic hygiene such as brushing and flossing, and taking a shower each day. Having good hygiene is not just important for your own individual health, it is also necessary in your personal and professional life. Sometimes even though we can’t smell our own odors others can and this is just one more reason to be very through when discussing proper hygiene. Make sure not to single anyone out and explain to your students that everyone is experiencing new changes and that it’s completely normal.
Male and Female Anatomy Projects
Depending on your schools individual guidelines girls and boys may learn about anatomy and sexual reproduction together or in separate classes. Either way it’s important for your students to become familiar with their changing bodies. Try to approach anatomy as scientifically as possible in order to reduce the snickers and trouble makers. Be clear and concise using diagrams and if available models. Only you and your school district can determine how much you should teach about reproduction. If you feel comfortable discuss the process of sexual reproduction with your students by explaining what each part of their anatomy is used for and how it fits in with reproduction.
General Health and Well Being Projects
Teaching health and fitness is not just important for growing middle school students to learn, it’s essential that everyone understand how to eat properly and exercise to take care of their bodies. Don’t just rely on the food pyramid to teach your students about proper nutrition explain to them how their bodies use protein, fiber, and carbohydrates to function. Plan a separate lesson to teach them about proper fitness and how just 30 minutes of activity a day can improve their health. It’s not just about how much you weigh, it’s about how you feel. Remember to let your students know that the activity that they choose doesn’t have to be in a gym. Playing their favorite sport, running, bicycling, and skateboarding are all acceptable activities.
Teaching health doesn’t have to be hard or uncomfortable for you or your students. Just remember that you’re giving a lesson that your students will use on a daily basis in their everyday lives.