Module 1: Human Health

Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

We want to prevent the spread of illnesses that may get us, or the people and animals around us sick. We understand the important role personal hygiene has in a One Health relationship with our community and our shared environment.

Conservation is LIFE! I completed an internship at Volcanoes National Park for community-based tourism.
Olivier Izabe
Art of Conservation graduate, Rwanda
To take care of the planet, I first need
to take care of my village.
Miguel Angel Cen Cahuich
Art of Conservation graduate, Mexico

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 1: Setting the Conditions for Learning - a Kick-Off for our time together

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things. 


The overall theme of Module 1 is focused on staying healthy by adopting good personal hygiene habits – teaching children how to care for their physical, mental, and sexual health and how to prevent common illnesses.

This particular lesson is structured to be a “kick-off” to the entire curriculum and serve as a facilitation guide to help set norms, procedures, and the conditions of learning. Educators are encouraged to use portions, or the entire lesson, in whatever way supports the learning of the students.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: Know the sequence of learning for the following lessons and build a relationship with the facilitators.
  • Understanding: Explain how the core values of this curriculum can be expressed and demonstrated in our daily lives and when interacting with the other members of our community.
  • Skills: Investigate ways to communicate and share ideas with others and construct meaningful dialogue.
  • Attitudes and Values: Show concern for each other by addressing each other and other adults with kindness and appreciation.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning

In our quest for happiness
and the avoidance of suffering,
we are all fundamentally the same,
and therefore equal.

Despite the characteristics
that differentiate us
- race, language, religion,
gender, wealth, and many others -
we are all equal in terms of
our basic humanity."

-Dalai Lama



Pre-Module and Course Preparation

Prior to the first day, you and your team may consider the following preparations.

  • Request for Partnership: after identifying your partners, meet with the school director and/or community leader to ensure a mutual understanding of the program’s objectives and goals. Click here for a sample.
  • Curricula: outline the lessons offered and the timeframe. Art of Conservation met with students for 3-hour class sessions/once per week and followed the school calendar year. Your schedule may be different.
  • Budget: the estimated budget to provide the programming.
  • Materials: gather and organize materials. Check out your teaching spaces. Do you need tables and chairs, a chalkboard, what is the available wall space? What materials can stay throughout the course? What will you need to bring and take away each session?
  • Class List: What is the maximum number of students? Receive from the school director the list of students. It is helpful to have each students’ full name and the name they prefer for the name tags. See Option 1 below for a fun community-building activity. Create a spreadsheet for helpful record-keeping.

Please note: Art of Conservation, Inc., as a US-registered non-profit 501(c)3 working in Rwanda and Mexico, followed in-country requirements. Additionally, as a non-profit relying on grants and donations, we administered intakes and questionnaires for evaluation and monitoring. We’ve included of our Assessment for Learning samples below. 

Students’ art is found throughout this site. At the end of the course, students collect their portfolios (See Module 4: Lesson 1) containing all of their work. We received consent from our partners to retain the original art for art exhibitions.

Suggested time:

It is suggested that the facilitator(s) select these activities prior to facilitating any of the modules.

Assessment for Learning Not the most fun way to begin when starting with a new group of eager learners! But an intake, pre- and, post-questionnaire can be a good tool for evaluation and monitoring.

Diagnostic Quiz There are two suggested written diagnostics that could be used when facilitating all 5 modules. It is important students know that this is not a test and that they are not expected to know the answers. This activity can be structured around helping the facilitators to learn more about the students classroom experience and personal stories. It is important to establish a baseline (starting point) to measure the changes in understanding and values towards One Health and students’ sense of responsibility towards community health. Upon completion of the course, repeat this diagnostic minus the intake. You’ll find student behavior, knowledge, and effort in art has changed and increased. The findings are helpful for you and your team to tweak, change, and revise the lessons to better fit your needs.

Note: Connect with educators in the community who may want to consider modifying the questions to be more inclusive and culturally appropriate as necessary.

Suggested time:
15 minutes

Materials: pencils, intake, pre- and, post-questionnaires

Hook: Building Class Community

Here are a few suggested activities that can help to build class community. There are many more ideas found online and by chatting with friends.

Icebreaker Activities  Clicking on the link you’ll find Hokey-Pokey, Simon Says, Two Truths and a Tale, Spider Web, artboards. These activities can also be useful during transitions between instructional periods, moving to a new learning space, or initiating the learning and closing of the day. 

Name Tags

  • Option 1: Prior to the first day get students to write down their names, the phonetic transcription or pronunciation, and one cool fact about them. Collect these and create a word search, crossword or other game for classmates to play with all your students’ names and their cool facts.
  • Option 2: Have pre-made student name tags for the first class session

Suggested time:
15 minutes, depending on the activity

Materials: ice breaker materials, music, name tags, markers and other art materials for students to decorate their own name tags

Representation of the Core Values

A Conversation: This program is developed with the notion that there is a basic oneness of the universe. We are all a part of a greater whole.

With the core values we are presenting, there may be other value systems and resources that are representative of the educational community that may be substituted.

However, we value the universal concern for the welfare of our home, our planet, other people, and things unknown. In this ‘oneness’ practice, we begin with our own self-care and design a course in life that will be good for each of us as a part of a greater whole. 

As we explore our values, let’s think not only how these concepts apply to us and our families but also to people halfway across the world. Let’s think about our dog who we love very much to the animals that we only hear scary and frightening news about. That can’t be the whole story.

What happens when ‘problems’ are approached with the respect and loving-kindness deserved? The same that you receive from your teachers and family? Wow, a whole new story could be told! 

What about forests being cut down? Where will all the animals go? Do you wish you could protect them – just as your parents make sure you are safe and sound? 

Let’s be open and honest with ourselves as we share what these core values mean. Be kind to yourself! You may realize you haven’t been doing your best. But you can try harder! Let’s believe that the oneness of a young girl who lives next to the ocean practices healthy living by disposing of her family’s trash properly. She is protecting the ocean knowing there are so many creatures that swim in the water and that oceans produce a HUGE amount of the vital ingredient that keeps us alive…OXYGEN. As she protects a clean ocean producing oxygen she directly affects us all no matter where we live. We can make good choices for ourselves and for others as well.

Activities: These might be represented in a dramatic tableau, students sharing experiences, thoughts, and feelings about the core values, an abstract artistic representation using Loose Parts or other visual art representations, or an opportunity to engage in some self-reflection through journaling and elbow-buddy discussion.

Students can be invited to create their representation on their own, or in small groups.

These core values should be revisited throughout the entire program and should be represented on a banner or word wall:

1. Respect 
2. Honesty 
3. Trust 
4. Creativity 
5. Kindness
6. Healthy Living 
7. Celebrate! 

Word wall: A word wall can be a vinyl banner, grass mat, or a free section on a wall. Key vocabulary words of the day are taped to the wall for easy reference. Cards with the word in English, the flip side in the second language. In our case, English/Kinyarwanda in Rwanda and English/Spanish in Mexico.

Suggested Time:
10 – 20 minutes 

Materials: core values and word wall banners, word cards, tape

Dramatic tableau: is the theatrical technique in which students freeze in poses that create a picture of an important idea or theme. It may be helpful to provide students with a short countdown as they start to finalize their tableau before freezing into position.

Loose Parts: a pedagogical theory that encourages providing students with materials that are variable and unconstructed in order to play, discover, invent, and experiment. Additional information can be found at

Core Values Lesson Consolidation

There are a variety of consolidation and sharing strategies that could be utilized. 

Students may participate in a Gallery Walk of written and visual compositions of the representations of the core values. Students leave their creations and walk around to observe and appreciate other works by their classmates.

This may also include a Making Connections activity, where students look for patterns and similarities across all of the artifacts. Some sentence starters could include:

  • this reminds me of…
  • both of these are similar because…
  • I noticed that __________ and __________ have…
  • Something unique about ___________ is…

If using an elbow-buddy discussion, invite the listener to do the sharing on behalf of the speaker, as it will help to foster good listening strategies.

Elbow-buddy: an instructional strategy to quickly group students by their closest classmates in proximity to their elbows. This strategy is helpful to quickly form groups of 2 or 3.

Suggested time:
10 – 25 minutes

Gallery Walk: additional information can be found at

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

Core values are an important part of building community in our classroom, as well as beyond the school. There are other value systems that students are exposed to, including educational ethos as well as religious and cultural values. This assessment should invite students to highlight values that are important to them.

Reflection Journal or Family Conversation: What are some of the core values that you have within your family at home?

Reflection prompt: How might you share what you learned today?

Suggested materials Everyday Tool Bag: name tags and basket or bag, attendance sheet, chalk, erasure or rag, art supplies, pencils, glue, scissors, hammer, nails, tape, string, music player and speakers, etc.

Module 1: Lesson 1 – Assessment for Learning (Diagnostic Quiz), pencils, Core Values banner, Word Wall banner with vocabulary building cards, icebreaker participation songs and activities materials (music player and speakers, ball of yarn or rope, artboard and supplies, etc.)

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 2: Be One Health Aware - Coughing and Sneezing

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


Building upon the previous lesson, students will explore a simulation of how easily germs can spread through the air and on contact surfaces like a table or greeting with a handshake.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: know how to safely cough and/or sneeze without spreading germs to others
  • Understanding: explain how easy it is for germs to enter the body and describe how coughing/sneezing into the inside of your elbow and by turning away from people helps to stop the spread of germs
  • Skills: perform and carry out safe coughing/sneezing behaviors
  • Attitudes and Values: respect and show concerns for the safety and health of others in the community by covering their mouth when coughing and sneezing

Students need to feel reassured that coughing and sneezing are natural processes and that just because someone coughs or sneezes does not mean they are carrying germs that can make other people sick. Students should be encouraged to think more about how they can be mindful and respectful of those around them when they feel the urge to cough or sneeze.

Note: Please consult with the local community to determine the appropriateness of using food as a demonstration/simulation in class. The flour will create airborne particulate matter that may be uncomfortable for some students.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning

Kids' Art



Review and Making Connections

How was your conversation with your family about the core values we talked about? Did you ask a classmate about his/her favorite things to do? Do you remember what the English translation to creativity is? Do you want to study the banner and/or go to the Word Wall to check?

Some sentence starters could include:

  • My friend was kind to me yesterday. She/he did this ______ and I felt _______.
  • I was asked to clean my room and I…
  • I noticed that healthy living can mean __________ and __________ .
  • Another good core value is _______ because ___________.
  • What are some of the core values that you have within your family at home?

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Introduction: Discussion

1. How do you feel today?

2. What do you get to do when you are healthy?

        • Attend school regularly
        • Concentrate on school
        • Learn new things
        • Play with friends
        • Help family members
        • Participate in sports
        • Plan for the future

3. Why do we cough or sneeze? How do you know when you are about to cough or sneeze?

Suggested time:
5 minutes

Hook: Instructor Demonstration

1. Pretend to sneeze and cough in the air with flour near to your face.

a. Pretend to sneeze and cough into your hands with the flour. Flour is all over my hands… which imitates germs on my hands.

2. Touch the everyday objects, shake hands with another team member, touch your face, imitate picking your nose, hold your pencil near your mouth.

a. Germs are spreading and entering our bodies. See the flour which imitates as germs on the everyday objects. 

  • Flour flies simulating how germs spread!
  • Remind students that we are pretending that the flour imitates as germs since germs are too tiny to see.
  • Germs are too tiny to see, so we have this exercise to show that germs are really there and we must protect ourselves and the people around us.

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Materials: flour or another safe powder that could be used to help demonstrate the “spread effect” of coughing and sneezing.

Lesson Activity: Students observe the simulation of germs spreading

Guidelines for students:

1. Pretend to sneeze & cough in the air with flour near to your face.

a. the way that the flour flies simulates how germs are spread

2. Pretend to sneeze & cough into your hands with the flour.

a. the flour all over their hands simulates germs on their hand that can be transmitted to other people and through common touchpoints

3. Ask students to touch the everyday objects

a. have students touch dark-colored materials

4. Kids see how the germs spread to their hands and make the palm of their hands a germ zone.

Have students explore different ways they can accidentally spread germs:

  • touching their own face
  • touching different common objects
  • placing common objects in their mouth (e.g. pencil)

Have students experiment with different techniques and strategies to prevent the spread of germs from coughing and touching common surfaces.

  • compile a list of strategies, or students can demonstrate what they learned, to help prevent the way some germs can be spread

Suggested time:
15 minutes

Remind students that this is a fun activity, but respect your classmates.

Materials: provide a small plate with flour to each group of 4-5 students

Provide dark-colored materials (bags, clothing, pens, etc.) for students to touch/hold. Dark-colored materials will make it more obvious for flour to be visible.

Lesson Consolidation: Discussion

1. Why do we cough or sneeze?

      • both coughing and sneezing forces air out of the lungs under high-pressure
      • sneezing is a way the body clears out anything that might be blocking the nose or mouth
      • something may enter and irritate or tickle the nose such as: dirt, pollen, smoke, or dust, viruses, allergies, and asthma
      • coughing attempts to clear the throat

Students need to feel reassured that coughing and sneezing are natural processes and that just because someone coughs or sneezes does not mean they are carrying germs that can make other people sick. Students should be encouraged to think more about how they can be mindful and respectful of those around them when they feel the urge to cough or sneeze.

2. What will you do the next time you feel the urge to cough or sneeze?

    • Cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow instead of your hands or into the air.
    • Turn away from the people next to you.
    • Use a tissue if you have one available, but still turn away from others around you.
        • properly/safely dispose of tissues: no one wants to touch your snot or boogers
        • if you are helping someone (small child, elder, etc.) then wash your hands before helping them (if you can) after disposing of the tissues
    • If I can’t wash my hands right away use the back of my hand to touch my face

3. How could coughing or sneezing spread germs that might result in people in our community becoming sick?

    • There are many reasons why we get sick.
    • We do know that we get sick when germs enter our body through our eyes, nose, ears, and mouth.
    • Not all germs will make us sick, but we want to get into the habit of not spreading germs at all.
    • Wait until you and your friend feel better to hug and kiss.

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

Students will take on the role of ambassadors in their community by sharing their learning about preventing and reducing the spread of germs.

role play and dramatize how to protect others when you have to cough or sneeze

write a letter to a community leader or representative to share some ideas of how to engage with the community

create a picture (e.g. poster, infographic) to show visitors to your community how they can do their part to help everyone stay healthy

Suggested materials: Staying Healthy and Core Values banner, Word Wall banner with suggested vocabulary building cards, flour or another safe powder that could be used to help demonstrate the “spread effect” of coughing and sneezing, small paper plates, everyday dark-colored materials (bags, clothing, pens) 

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 3: Wash Your Hands

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


In the previous lesson, students explored the importance of safely coughing and sneezing to help mitigate the spread of germs in the community. These lessons are not just about the spread between humans but also to reinforce the concept that a community needs to keep healthy in order to protect and care for all living things in their community.

In this lesson, students will explore good hand washing practices.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: Know how to wash their hands properly, where, and for how long.
  • Understanding: State why thorough hand washing is necessary to avoid disease.
  • Skills: Demonstrate proper handwashing for 30 seconds by counting and/or singing.
  • Attitudes and Values: Show respect and concern for the safety and health of others in the community by washing hands properly.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning

Kids' Art



Review and Making Connections

  • Have class pretend to cough and sneeze. Hesitate between doing so in the air, in your hands, and then finally in your elbow.
  • See if they use their elbows.
  • Ask if they did it the proper way.
  • Why do we do this?
    • To respect others and prevent them from getting sick.
  • What happened when we sneezed into the flour? Let’s learn another way to keep ourselves and others healthy.

The facilitator could re-enact proper coughing/sneezing techniques and make intentional errors for students to identify

Suggested time:
5 minutes

Preparations: On the board, write the alphabet, the numbers 1-30, or the lyrics to the Happy Birthday song.

Introduction: Discussion

Why is good hygiene important?

  • Good hygiene will help us be healthy both physically and mentally.
  • To avoid getting sick from common illnesses, we practice good hygiene.

Why do we wash our hands?

  • We wash our hands to avoid spreading germs that can make us sick.

When do we wash our hands?

  • Before preparing food.
  • Before eating.
  • Before caring for an infant or toddler.
  • After using the toilet/bathroom.
  • After playing or working.
  • After touching an animal.
  • After taking out the trash
  • etc.

Staying Healthy banner English/Kinyarwanda

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Hook: Instructor Demonstration

  • Lead the children in counting to 30 while demonstrating hand-washing without water. Be sure to ‘wash’ your palms, back of hands, in between fingers, fingers, and under fingernails.
  • Ask children which parts of your hands you washed.
      • Look for: palm, back of the hands, fingertips, under the nails, between the fingers, up the forearm.
  • Ask them why they counted to 30.
      • Tell them that another way to wash your hands for the proper amount of time is to sing a song.
      • Teach the Happy Birthday song if they don’t know it.
  • Then, have the children help you sing it while everyone demonstrates the proper handwashing procedure.

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Lesson Activity: Hand Washing

  • Distribute washcloths (optional) and soap and have children line up in front of sinks, taps, or buckets with a spout.
  • Have facilitator and/or child monitors stand to the side to see if their classmates are washing all parts of the hand.
  • Make sure the children standing in line count or sing while they demonstrate proper washing.
Play Video

Lesson Consolidation: Discussion

  • Ask: Why do you think we spent an entire class on handwashing?
  • How is this related to coughing and sneezing and health in general?
  • Hold up 5 fingers: Talk to a partner about 5 times when you should wash your hands. Be sure to count them.

Suggested time:
5 minutes

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

Students will take on the role of ambassadors in their community by sharing their learning about preventing and reducing the spread of germs.

Washing their hands together before lunch and after recess supporting each other by singing or counting.

Creating handwashing posters to post at each sink and for their homes.

Teaching school staff, parents, and children in other grades the proper handwashing technique at a school assembly.

Suggested materials: Soap, washcloths, water jugs and/or buckets with nozzles, extra jerry cans with water, plastic water basins, towels, ABC or Happy Birthday song, Staying Healthy and Core Values banner, Word Wall banner with suggested vocabulary building cards, flour or another safe powder that could be used to help demonstrate the “spread effect” of coughing and sneezing, small paper plates, everyday dark-colored materials (bags, clothing, pens)

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 4: Wash Your Body

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


In this lesson, students will connect their responsibility of maintaining good personal hygiene and body care to caring for others and community health. Each person has a responsibility to take care of themselves before they can help take care of others.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: State and identify the importance of personal hygiene.
  • Understanding: Describe the process of personal hygiene in a culturally respectful and responsive manner while maintaining the importance and responsibility to community health. 
  • Skills: Construct good personal habits and discipline addressing personal hygiene.
  • Attitudes and Values: Appreciate and value personal hygiene from individual, community, and One Health perspectives.

Preparation: There are several activities that use food as a model and a metaphor for self-care and hygiene. It is important to consider how instructional activities should be sensitive and responsive, especially if students are experiencing food scarcity. Instructor demonstrations can significantly reduce the amount of food needed. Further, it is a good scientific practice to “not eat experiments,” and dispose of food products in the compost rather than consuming it after. 

The optional Egg Demonstration requires three days of advance preparation or a timelapse video. 

Small citrus fruits, such as tangerines and limes, can be used to help learn how to clean a simple cut and apply a band-aid on someone else. Consult with local educators or members of the community to determine if it is culturally appropriate to use food as a demonstration in the classroom.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning



Review and Making Connections

Review the importance of washing your hands, and what it means to be One Health aware:

  • How do you feel today?
  • What are some of the signs that you feel like you are about to cough or sneeze? It is important to reinforce that coughing and sneezing are important and natural functions of the body. Students must feel comfortable to cough and sneeze rather than trying to suppress or hold it in.
  • Why is it important to wash our hands?
  • How might our understanding of washing our hands also help us understand good personal hygiene, including how to wash our bodies? For example, how could we use the techniques of washing our hands to also wash our feet?

Possible activity: students are familiar with handwashing and the potential spread of germs from coughing and sneezing. Students could walk around (shoes, or barefoot) through some flour to see how it can spread just by walking. Students can review the process of good hand washing habits to their feet.

Suggested time: 5 minutes for discussion

An additional 10 minutes to include the activity, including a discussion on how the handwashing techniques could be applied to washing their feet.

Hook: Discussion

Skin: The Organ of Protection

The skin on animals, including humans, is made up of millions of individual skin cells. The primary function of the skin is to act as a barrier. The skin provides protection from: mechanical impacts (e.g. cuts and abrasions) and pressure (such as changes in air pressure when climbing mountains or diving underwater), variations in temperature (e.g. goosebumps when you are cold; perspiration when you are warm), micro-organisms, radiation and chemicals.

Skin also serves the function of regulation (body temperature with both hair and sweat) as well as sensory perception (heat, cold, touch, and pain). It is important to keep skin clean and healthy through good hygiene which includes:

-Students need to be aware that dead skin cells are not an indication of mortality or something to be feared; rather it is a natural process. Bacteria can feed off of dead skin cells, so washing the skin is an important step to keep skin healthy.

-Cleaning products like soap (bar soap, body wash, etc) help to remove skin cells, oils, and other substances on our skin by creating a chemical barrier (main purpose of soap) between the particle (such as dust) and our skin so that water can slip between the surface of our skin and the particle to help remove it.

      • A combination of soap, water, and a brush/cloth is an effective way to give the skin a deep clean.
      • A soft abrasive cleaning using a bristle brush or a wet cloth helps to remove dead skin cells.
      • Some soaps are stronger and can leave the skin feeling very dry.
      • Some soaps have different ingredients, such as shampoo, that are more helpful to wash your hair because the hair follicles produce oil to help keep each individual hair strong, but this oil can also attract dust particles and bacteria.

-The urge and sensation of scratching is often caused by skin irritation, such as bug bites, cuts, and scratches.

      • Blood hardens (forming a scab) allowing the skin to regenerate and heal over time. Scabs are an important part of the healing process and should be softly washed and not scratched off.
      • Washing is more important than scratching. Scratching bites or wounds can cause more irritation and lead to infection.
      • Note: allergic reactions and stress/anxiety responses, such as hives, can also create discomfort and the urge to scratch.

Demonstration: Using eggshells as a metaphor and representation of skin.

-Note: there needs to be consideration for responsive and culturally sensitive activities. Food should not be used for demonstrations in areas of food scarcity. If using this demonstration, try to have a variety of sizes and colors of eggs.

-Create three separate samples of an egg soaked in vinegar (1 day, 2 days, 3 days, or create and record a time-lapse video for 3 days). The eggshell represents the skin, and the acid dissolves the eggshell, making the internal organs vulnerable.

-Eggs (hard-boiled for more durability) can be rolled in cinnamon, paprika, or another powder to represent dirt. Students can use their understanding of handwashing, and tools like clothes, brushes, and soaps, to clean the egg.

-Food alternative: golf balls rolled in a simple syrup and then powder, or sprayed with water and rolled in sand.

Different areas on our body have different thicknesses of skin. Hands and feet have much more skin because of how much they do (recall the functions of skin) to be more durable. Other areas of our body have much more thin and sensitive areas of our skin (e.g. eyelids, underarms) and require extra care when cleaning.

Extra care of certain areas of our body, especially those with openings (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, genitals) is required. Cleaning must always be away from the opening to prevent dirt and bacteria from entering through these natural openings:

-brush and wash dirt away from the corners of your eyes

    • tears are a natural way of the body helping to remove tiny particles that are on the eye and under the eyelid. It is important to resist the urge to rub or scratch.

-frequent washing of genitals and anus are important to prevent infection

    • females should always wash their genitals ‘front to back’ to ensure any fecal bacteria or other particles do not affect the vaginal area

-this is even more important during menstruation (refer to Lesson 9: Reproduction Health and Consent for additional information)

    • males should always pull back and wash under the foreskin of their penis

-frequent washing of under the arms is important

    • heat and moisture from perspiration are ideal conditions for many types of bacteria to grow
    • sometimes the bacteria produce an odor (also known as body odor)

-ears produce a wax that helps to trap and protect dust and particles from entering the ear canal and damaging the sensory organs

    • this wax can be easily removed with soap and water while washing your body
    • using q-tips or other small objects is extremely dangerous as it can force the wax back inside the ear canal, leading to infection and affecting the sense of hearing

Suggested time: 15-20 minutes of discussion.

This section of the lesson focuses on content, ideas, and discussion. Locally sourced scientific posters and picture books from the local library could provide additional strategies for engagement.

5 minutes for the demonstration or 15 minutes to include the activity

Lesson Activity: Hygiene Product Classification

Provide students with a collection of hygiene products (such as images, bottles, and packaging) to investigate how they can help maintain good personal hygiene. Examples could include:

  • loofah, brush, pumice stone
  • hand soaps, body wash, bar soaps, shampoos
  • sanitary pads, reusable menstrual cups, and/or tampons
  • deodorant and antiperspirant in powder, stick/solid, and spray form
        • there are strong chemicals, including zinc and aluminum compounds that can be irritating to the skin
        • odor is a natural process and a reminder of the importance of hygiene. Masking odor with products and perfumes can cause people to become undisciplined with their personal hygiene
  • skin moisturizers
  • sunscreen
  • lip balm

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Lesson Activity: Simple Wound Care

Note: The focus of this activity is for students to be able to apply a band-aid or adhesive bandage to a cut safely. It is intended to be “simple first aid” for insignificant/minor bleeds and superficial cuts. The core step is to inform an adult.

Students are highly active and adventurous, and sometimes our skin becomes injured. Band-aids are a quick way to protect a cut and help it heal.

It is important to know how to help take care of simple cuts and wounds. 

  • if possible, offer to help someone who is trying to put a band-aid on
      • first, wash your own hands if you are helping someone else
      • if possible, wear clean/fresh plastic or latex gloves
  • brush any dirt “away” from the cut
      • if possible, use a damp cloth to lightly pat the wound. Avoid using cloth that has a lot of loose fibers
      • if possible, place dry gauze (a cloth material designed to not have loose fibers and help to absorb blood) with some pressure (holding it down) to help slow the bleeding
      • if possible, gently wash the cut and surrounding with soapy water
      • gently pat-dry the area to prepare it for the band-aid
  • a first-aid topical antibiotic ointment or an iodine/alcohol swab may be used to help disinfect and speed up the healing
  • select the best size band-aid
      • there are many different types of band-aids, including water-resistant band-aids
      • the size of the cloth part of the band-aid should be larger than the size of the cut
      • remove one side of the band-aid to expose the adhesive tab (sticky part), keeping the cloth part of the band-aid as covered as much as possible
      • wrap or press/cover the cut with the cloth part of the band-aid, and then remove the other tab to connect the band-aid to the skin
      • there should be a little pressure on the cut from the tightness of the band-aid
      • it might be possible to wrap the band-aid around itself to help apply more pressure. Be careful to not apply too much pressure as it will be uncomfortable and possibly dangerous
          • for example, wrapping a band-aid too tightly around a finger will cause the fingertip to start to feel cold and turn blueish. It is important to reapply the band-aid with less pressure
      • if bleeding continues and soaks through the band-aid, then do not remove the band-aid, and find an adult to help
          • the first band-aid is helping to slow the blood down for it to dry and form a clot and scab; removing the band-aid might peel off a fresh scab and cause it to bleed more.
  • it is important to try and keep the area dry and free from dirt or other particles once the band-aid is applied
  • band-aids should be changed daily, or if they become wet
  • cuts that are kept too dry might scar; once a scab is formed the band-aid can be removed
  • sometimes band-aids and ointments can help resist the urge to scratch

Demonstration/Activity: Applying a band-aid on someone else

Prepare a citrus fruit, or a kiwi, with a small incision through the skin to allow some of the juice to flow out. Ensure the size of the incision is not larger than the cloth area of the band-aid students are using. Add some salt or cinnamon to represent dirt that might be on the skin after a trip or fall.

Provide students with access to any materials needed to “treat the wound.”

Note: squeezing the citrus fruit will cause it to “juice,” whereas applying pressure to a cut helps restrict the blood flow and speeds up clotting

Key look-fors:

  • washing hands first
  • brushing “dirt” away from the wound
  • selecting the appropriate size band-aid
  • ensuring the cloth part of the band-aid is covering the cut
  • informing an adult

Suggested time:
20 – 25 minutes

It would be helpful if a real-time demonstration of the steps for simple wound care, rather than just discussing or listing the steps before students engage in the simulation.

15 – 20 minutes for the simulation.

Lesson Consolidation: Discussion

This discussion helps to set up a connection to Lesson 9: Reproductive Health and Consent by introducing the idea of puberty and developmental growth.

“Why is it important to shower and change clothes more often as you approach puberty? What other things do you need to think about?”

  • more body hair and perspiration
  • hygiene and clean clothes help to avoid the spread of germs
  • avoid sharing personal hygiene and care products, such as brush and combs, toothbrushes, hats, lip balm, and other roll-on products

Suggested time:
5 minutes

Note: the term puberty may be new terminology for students.

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

Good personal hygiene is an important part of community health. The focus of this lesson is to create an understanding of how to maintain good personal hygiene as a first step for a healthy community. Simple wounds (cuts) care is also part of the responsibility of being a member of a caring community. 

Create a small first aid kit (gauze, band-aids, alcohol swab) and a step-by-step checklist on how to treat a small cut. This can be in your backpack or somewhere at home.

Create an overnight bag (or checklist) of all the personal hygiene products you might need for:

  • day trip hiking
  • overnight trip camping
  • week-long trip to another community

Suggested materials: hand soaps, body wash, shampoos, water, brush/cloth, loofah, pumice stone, flour, band-aids, gauze, q-tips, cotton balls, feminine hygiene pads and tampons, reusable menstrual cups, hygiene products (such as images, bottles, and packaging) deodorant and antiperspirant in powder, stick/solid, and spray form, lip balm, a first aid topical antibiotic ointment, iodine/alcohol, skin moisturizers, sunscreen, small citrus fruits, salt or cinnamon, egg demonstration supplies

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 5: Brush Your Teeth

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


Building upon the previous lessons, students will review the importance of oral hygiene as part of their personal and community care.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: Identify, list, and label some of the key anatomical features of oral care.
  • Understanding: Students will describe the importance and process of good oral hygiene.
  • Skills: Students will apply and carry out individual oral hygiene care.
  • Attitudes and Values: Good oral hygiene is an important part of caring for yourself and the community.
Note to facilitators: It is important to connect with local public health and dental outreach organizations for support, resources, and contact information to pass on to students and their families. There is a wide range of cultural and regional practices when maintaining good oral hygiene. For example, in some communities, good oral care includes using the twig of a tree where one end is sharpened to clean between the teeth and the fibers of the other end are chewed on to form a brush texture. Other communities practice using a piece of a towel on a stick or wrapped around a finger and rub their teeth. It is important to validate cultural and regional differences in the practice of oral hygiene, knowing that all cultures value the importance of oral hygiene.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning

Kids' Art



Review and Introduction: Making a connection between handwashing and teeth brushing.

What are some of the goals of a good handwashing routine?

Look-for: to wash every area of the hand

How might you make a connection between the different parts of handwashing to the different areas of the mouth while brushing your teeth?

What are some areas of the mouth that someone might forget or have a hard time reaching?

Hook: Oral Anatomy

Activity: the facilitator may either draw on a model skull, a volunteer, or be the volunteer to have students label the parts of their skin with a water-soluble non-toxic marker. The focus of this lesson is not anatomy, however, it is important to use appropriate terminology as often as possible.

Bone structure: emphasis on maxilla, mandible, and nasal bones

Temporomandibular Joint: highlight how the mandible joint is located close to the ear. Students can place their fingers on their lower jawline and trace upwards to feel the joint.

Mouth: By the age of 13 years, most of the permanent teeth, except for the wisdom teeth, should be in. Adults have 32 teeth.

Trachea: Emphasis on the connection between the nasal cavity and the pharynx and larynx.

Please note: The imagery sources above are for educational use only.

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Lesson Activity: If working in partnership with local public health and dental associations, invite them to participate and help supervise. (See The Dental Day Project below)

Simulate brushing teeth on a model and have students use mirrors to self-assess.

Taking good care of teeth and gums is important because:

1. Painful cavities (holes in the teeth caused by decay) and sore gums can be prevented by good oral hygiene.

2. Decayed or rotten teeth cause by lack of cleanliness can lead to serious infections that may affect other parts of the body.

3. Preventative care is always less expensive than emergency care.

Positive Oral Hygiene Routines:

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Brush for about two minutes
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Use an American Dental Association accepted fluoride toothpaste
  • Gently move the brush back and forth in short strokes
  • Avoid brushing too hard
  • Brush every exposed tooth surface (brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces, and the chewing surfaces)
  • Clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth
  • Brush your tongue.
  • Replace your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
  • Never share your toothbrush or use someone else’s toothbrush
  • Flossing cleans between your teeth and below the gum line removing plaque and food particles.
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Drink water between meals
  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Don’t smoke!

Suggested Time:
15 to 30 minutes, depending on the number of students and how many of them will actively be brushing their teeth

Lesson Consolidation: Discussion/Debate

Many dental organizations recommend brushing at least twice a day, however most specifically state to brush a minimum three times a day, yet we have cultural routines of eating three meals per day. As a class, engage in a debate to resolve if schools should create routines for students to brush their teeth after snack and meal breaks. 

Suggested time:
10 to 15 minutes to include time for the debate

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

Good oral hygiene is a combination of having the right materials and personal discipline to brush regularly and effectively.

Create a strategy or checklist to ensure all areas of the mouth are cleaned when brushing your teeth. How might this strategy also include having an adequate amount of time?

Hand washing and oral hygiene are two examples of why we need to keep our bodies clean and in good health. Create a design of a bathroom layout (with two-dimensional drawings or a three-dimensional model) that helps to show how to keep a bathroom clean.

The Dental Day Project Administer a diagnostic assessment to evaluate and monitor the impact of oral health and to observe any changes in attitudes and behaviors. A presentation of our 2017 Dental Day event in Tulum, Mexico is here.

Suggested materials: Dental Day Intake, Pre- and Post-Questionnaire, model or diagram of skull and mouth, water-soluble markers, teeth brushing equipment including traditional hygiene tools, mirrors, towels, plastic water basins and drinkable water, reusable cups, water jugs and/or white buckets with nozzles

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 6: Keep A Clean Home

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


In this lesson, students will review common practices for keeping a clean home.

Note to facilitator: there may be community and municipality regulations that could circumvent the content in this lesson. Where possible, please substitute relevant information. This lesson explores good habits for keeping a tidy home to help mitigate the transmission of communicable bacteria and viruses. If using cleaning products, please ensure that all recommended precautions (including hand, skin, and eye protection) are used. Some cleaning products may not be authorized for use in classrooms or other public settings. There are also cultural and community practices around cleaning that should be explored. For example, many people use a solution of vinegar and water as a cleaning product, instead of commercially produced sprays.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: Name and identify areas in personal and community spaces that should be cleaned.
  • Understanding: Describe how each individual person can form new habits to help keep our personal and community spaces clean, and do their individual part to support One Health.
  • Skills: Explore and carry out safe cleaning practices to help keep a tidy home and community.
  • Attitudes and Values: Students will appreciate, care for, and respect their personal living spaces and common community spaces.

Preparation: check what local city and state rules are when it comes to recycling and composting programs.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning

Kids' Art



Introduction: Discussion

We all make choices and actions to keep our home clean. Today we need to explore how we live in three different types of homes:

  • our homes with our families
  • our home as a community
  • and our home as our planet

There are choices that each of us make to help keep a clean home. How do you help your family keep a clean and tidy home?

What are some of the reasons that we do not keep our living spaces tidy?

  • access to running water
  • access to cleaning materials (Many cleaning products are expensive and toxic to the user and the environment. Vinegar is a great alternative and a less expensive option for cleaning surfaces, rinsing food and dishes.)
  • access to hygiene products
  • impoverished conditions
  • daily habits and routines
  • apathy and selfishness, someone else will do it

Suggested time:
5 minutes

Hook: Instructor Demonstration

Surface Cleaning – many types of bacteria and viruses can remain contagious on surfaces even after several hours.

Revisit Lesson 2’s demonstration again, inviting students to correct any errors (e.g. not covering your mouth) and ensure the flour spreads onto different surfaces OR use some of the flour from Lesson 2 and sprinkle it on some surfaces before students arrive. If they don’t notice the flour, wear a pair of dark gloves and offer a high-5 or a hand-shake, and demonstrate how germs can be spread even if no one else is in the room with you.

Demonstrate and have students mimic how to wipe down a surface: spray, wipe, fold the cloth keeping the used surface inside the fold, wipe again.

Focus on identifying common touch points and ensuring those are regularly wiped down.

In Lesson 2, students explored the benefits and techniques for coughing safely, using flour/powder to demonstrate the spread of germs.

Lesson Activity

There are a variety of activities that can connect with the focus of this lesson. Students can participate in a community clean up, visit the local recycle facility (see our Let’s Recycle Day Project results below) or community compost site and community garden, create a “chore board or wheel” to help create a system where everyone does their part, or create dramatizations to explain the values of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Habits and Routines for a Tidy HOME

  • bedroom: making the bed, washing the sheets, cleaning the floor, tidy space, wiping down tables
  • bathrooms: washing towels, ensuring there is always soap, wipe down surfaces, proper care of sink and toilet, proper use of sink and toilet
  • kitchen: food storage and preparation, wiping down surfaces, washing, drying and storage of dishes
  • other rooms: tidy floors, wipe down common surfaces, sweep
Habits and Routines for a Tidy COMMUNITY
  • cleaning up litter and placing it in the correct bin
  • proper care of animals, including domestic pets and livestock
  • respectfully using public washrooms
  • keeping your “self” clean to avoid the spread of bacteria and viruses

Habits and Routines for a Tidy PLANET: Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle

Reducing means changing behavior and understanding the difference between wants and needs

    • single-use products, like straws, food containers and disposable cutlery, and other products are an easy first step to reduce
    • some single-use products are necessary for other health reasons, such as tissues and certain types of packing materials
    • this reduces the amount of energy and natural resources that are used to make things
    • this also reduces the amount of waste, such as food, that goes unconsumed

Reusing means finding a new purpose for objects that would be discarded, making small repairs to things so they keep working

    •  composting is another way of reusing organic waste

Recycling means sorting materials from the garbage so that companies are able to process them in a way to make new products

    • this requires a large community effort, and many industrial machines, which use a lot of energy and resources. It still uses fewer resources than making new products from “fresh” resources, like trees, instead of making recycled products, like paper made from other recycled products
    • different communities and countries have the machinery and equipment to recycle different types of materials

Generating as little garbage as possible means considering how something can be reduced before being purchased, reusing something before throwing it out, and removing all possible materials that can be recycled

    • some things, like medicines, paint and batteries, are not meant for landfills because the leak toxic materials into the soil that can affect plants and wildlife in the area
    • there are organizations and rules for the disposal of special items, including returning it to the store where it was purchased, or bringing it to a special facility instead of throwing it in our household garbage

Suggested time:
15 minutes

Career Exploration: Musicians and their instruments.

Let’s make musical instruments out of recycled materials and found objects.

Local musicians will talk about their life of making music. What kind of music do they play? In Mexico, our visitors play Son Jarocho a style from Veracruz, Mexico. Their instruments are hand made from a variety of materials and found objects, one being the skeleton of a donkey jaw! The dance floor is a solid piece of wood. When we stomp on it, it makes a sound that carries faraway to villages over the hills and mountains. The people from far away can hear us. They will gather their family, their instruments, homemade food, and begin the journey to the source of the music. This could take an hour or a whole day! The gathering is called a fandango – a traditional gathering to play music, enjoy local cuisine, and catching up with friends and family. Everyone is invited!

Our Rwandan musicians play music called Ikondera. Look at the homemade guitar, very heavy! Listen as the musicians blow into the terracotta pot. What a wonderful sound that is produced. Let’s try it! The dancers slap the Earth and it sounds like the pok-pok-pok of a silverback mountain gorilla!

Time to make our own instruments out of tin cans, wood, string, wire, cardboard boxes, metal pipes, ceramic pots, wooden boxes as drums, and whatever else we dream of.

Lesson Consolidation: Discussion

The Power of One: Change Starts with ONE Person

Break students into small groups to look at numerical patterns that show the scale of impact one person acting as part of a community.

Each group will have an example of how change starts with one person. Sometimes it means forming a new habit, other times it means stopping a bad habit. Sometimes it means helping out someone else, even a random stranger.

Be prepared to share your math and share a new habit that we should start.

a) imagine if ONE person switched to a reusable water bottle or shopping bag. How many disposable bottles or bags would not be needed in a week? month? year? Now what if every student in the class did that?

b) imagine if ONE person in the community just threw their used tissue onto the ground while walking in the park. How many tissues would be on the ground at the end of the week? month? year? Now what if every person in the community did that?

c) imagine if ONE person only used half a loaf of bread before the other half went moldy, and this happened every week. How much bread would be thrown away at the end of the month, or year?

Each group should be allowed to share. The facilitator may want to chart a summary of the main idea to look for common patterns and themes.

Suggested time:
15 minutes, including group sharing

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

Public Advocacy: One Health calls each person to take action and consider how their own habits and choices have an impact on their personal and community health, as well as having a global impact.

Design a sorting system to help sort recycling from garbage. For example, students could create a sign or a divided bin.

Create a series of school / community announcements encouraging people to make a good choice to support their personal and community health.

The Let’s Recycle Day Project Administer a diagnostic assessment to evaluate and monitor the impact of this lesson. Observe changes in attitudes and behaviors. Results from our 2017 Recycle Day event in Tulum, Mexico is here.

Suggested materials: flour, dark gloves, cloths and diluted soap/water spray bottles, samples of recyclable materials, neighborhood trash pick-up supplies such as gloves, bags or totes to put collected trash, found and recyclable materials and tools to make musical instruments

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 7: Eat a Healthy Diet

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


Building upon the previous lessons, students will now explore how important nutrition awareness helps to support themselves and the community. Respect towards a One Health understanding recognizes the high value of nutrition and low environmental impacts of the choices we make.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: Identify a variety of combinations of food that are both nutritious and culturally inclusive.
  • Understanding: Compare and contrast a variety of food, including processed foods, to make better-informed choices.
  • Skills: Explore and evaluate a wide range of both local food operations and international food distribution and how it affects access to and scarcity of food.
  • Attitudes and Values: Care for and value the importance of local produce to support a One Health perspective.
Note to facilitator: It is important that students see themselves and the cultural, ethnic, and community identity in the food choices that are used in this lesson. Consider consulting your local public health unit, or health department/authority for specific support and resources on food and nutrition. It may be the case that there are many factors affecting student’s access to nutritious food, including the family home structure. This may be a sensitive topic and consider reaching out for local public and family health support in the event of a disclosure of malnutrition.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning

Kids' Art



Introduction: Discussion

In earlier lessons, we learned about the importance of washing our hands, personal and oral hygiene, and keeping a tidy home. In order to stay healthy, it is important that we eat a variety of nutritious food.

Almost all the food we eat is processed in some way. Can you describe the difference between minimally processed and highly processed foods – for example, between a baked potato and instant mashed potatoes, and between prepackaged apple slices and sweetened apple sauce?

As a class, brainstorm examples of how we know if food is healthy or not. Examples as follows: 

Indications of Nutritious Food 

Indications the Food Isn’t Nutritious

  • low sugar, sodium, saturated fat
  • fresh and raw fruits and vegetables
  • balance of grains and proteins
  • well-cooked meats
  • highly processed and mass-produced commercial foods
  • fried in oils
  • significant amounts of added sugar and sodium

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Hook: Personal Food Tracker

Classroom activity: Distribute food cards to the students

  • Study the food cards with your classmates.
  • Do you recognize the food?
  • Do you like that particular food?
  • Did you know on the top of your tongue are more that 8,000 taste buds? There are 4 main tastes: salty, bitter, sour, and sweet.
  • What other food would you like to eat it with?
  • Stick your card on the Food Tracker in the correct food column.
  • Should we eat less of some foods and more of others?
  • Look at the different choices we have from each group.
  • Think about eating from as many food groups as possible every day.
  • Do you notice that some food cards belong in more than one column? For example, broccoli is a vegetable and has a lot of protein.

Food card ideas

  • Fruits: pears, apples, berries, peaches, bananas, mangoes, oranges
  • Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber, cabbage, leafy greens, green beans, tomatoes, peppers
  • Whole grain foods: quinoa, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, whole rolled oats or oatmeal, whole grain brown or wild rice, whole grain cereals, whole grain crackers, farro, freekeh, amaranth, buckwheat
  • Protein foods: eggs, lean meats and poultry, nuts (peanuts, almonds) and seeds (chia seeds), fish and shellfish, lower fat dairy products, plant-based foods (e.g. quinoa, nutritional yeast, broccoli, tofu, edamame, chickpeas, whole rolled oats, beans with rice, kale, green peas, lentils, Spirulina
  • Drink: water, fruit and herb infused water (add a piece of fruit to flavor your water, play with different ways to make your water exciting), white milk, unsweetened fortified plant-based (soy, almond), unsweetened coffee and teas

Note to facilitator: The food tracker cards in this lesson are suggestions. It is recommended to add and/or modify the options represented by the cards in order to have food choices that are representative to availability and geographic variation.


Suggested time:
15 minutes, this could also be repeated as a post-lesson activity

Lesson Activity: Our environment provides us with food

All living things require some sort of food energy to survive and thrive. Plant and animal populations can only grow if there is enough necessary nutrition in the community and habitat. For example, some soils have more plant nutrition (such as nitrogen and phosphorus) to help plants grow. Carnivore consumers can only survive and thrive if there is enough prey in the area, otherwise, their population would starve and start to die off. Most animals and plants are limited by the nutrition in their community and habitat.

Through technology, people are able to move and distribute food and nutrition to other areas. For example, lions that are traditionally in hot savannah environments are able to survive in zoos across the planet because people bring the necessary nutrition and provide care for the animals. Humans are also able to irrigate their crops (develop ways to keep crops moist instead of waiting for it to rain) and add fertilizers and pesticides to help keep crops healthy. 

However, regardless of what food is moved from place to place, all the nutrition that all living things need come from the chemistry and water of our planet and the energy from the sun. 

The way our food is produced, processed, and distributed can have environmental impacts. Industrial agriculture including monocultures and meat processing, in particular. There are hidden abuses of animals, and large processing facilities in the USA lead to regular recalls of products due to disease. The way we consume and dispose of food – potentially resulting in food loss and food waste – can also have environmental impacts. 

Discussion: What are some of these impacts and what are some choices we can make to reduce them? Examples:

  • eating from local markets and farmers for food that is fresher and which reduces our carbon footprint caused by transporting food from other places
  • composting food that is spoiled
  • storing food in clean areas and keeping food cool and sealed as much as possible
  • reheating food to a high temperature to destroy any bacteria that might be growing

Suggested time:
15 minutes 

Lesson Activity: Nutrition of processed food and preserving food

There are depths of historical records that created a need to preserve food. Humans were nomadic, meaning they would move from place to place in search of a good food source consisting of a balance of crops and animals. Communities are challenged with changing seasons, different growing and harvesting periods, and migrating and hibernating animals.

Early communities found that cooking their food over fire, including smoking and salting (two different methods of removing moisture from food to prevent the growth of bacteria causing food decomposition). This meant that communities would have to travel less, and they could start to preserve and store the food for later. Scientific knowledge and techniques developed to preserve food longer, including refrigeration and freezing (both of which slow and stop the rate of food decomposition).

Food science also determined that processing the food, with machinery and adding a range of chemicals, could ensure that the food lasted longer, and that food that was not as fresh could be made to taste better, making it more enjoyable to eat “older” food. If the food appeals to our sense of taste, then animals (including humans) will eat it. However, just because the food tastes good does not mean it is nutritious, or that there are better and more nutritious options that should be considered.

Demonstration: Cutting an apple allows the air to react with the natural sugars in the apple causing it to turn brown. Some people think that the apple is no longer good to eat, and the taste of the apple is not as fresh. Adding a little vinegar to the exposed areas helps slow the color change, but it does slightly change the taste (this can also be demonstrated with an avocado with a little olive oil brushed on top, however the reaction time is slower than that of the apple).

Food labels contain a lot of information, including the product name, the serving size and the number of calories per serving, product claims, an ingredient list, and a nutrition fact table, which identifies the nutrients in the product, and other information, such as the amount of sodium. 

How can you use this information to evaluate food choices? 

Activity: Divide the class into small groups and provide them with at least 10 different processed food labels (there should be enough food labels in each group to have about 2 labels per student). Students need to create a “rating scale” and explain how they know some foods are better than others.

Activity Extension: What is a “serving size?” How might understanding what a serving size is affect the choices we make about highly processed foods? For example, a bag of potato chips often contains multiple serving sizes, and the nutritional label is based on serving size, not the quantity in the bag; devouring a bag of chips often means consuming more than one serving size, which often exceeds recommended daily intake.

Activity Extension: Fast Food – how could this skill of reading food labels also affect the choices we make when dining out or eating fast foods?

Suggested time:
15 minutes of instruction

15 to 20 minutes for the demonstration and activities

Lesson Activity: Marketing

Discussion: Earlier in the lesson we explored a variety of food labels from the packaging of store-bought and commercially prepared food. 

Why might people choose one type of food over another? What do you notice about the packaging for foods that are more popular? Examples:

  • target audience, such as advertising to kids and teenagers
  • emphasis on locally-sourced and fair-trade products
  • products that are soy/nut/gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, kosher, etc.
  • celebrity and cultural endorsements
  • bold words/text to make certain features stand out
  • specific color choices

What are some of your favorite foods, and where do they come from? 

The focus is on home/community prepared meals, rather than processed/fast foods.

Activity: In small groups/pairs/individually, create food packaging for healthy foods that you enjoy and be as creative and as accurate as possible to include:

  • all known ingredients
  • features that are on the package that might make it more appealing
  • how this favorite food supports a nutritious lifestyle
  • reheating food to a high temperature to destroy any bacteria that might be growing

Suggested time:
15 to 20 minutes 

Lesson Consolidation: Discussion

There are two key factors to maintaining a healthy diet: choosing a wide range of nutritious options and maintaining portion control. One of the difficult challenges in maintaining a healthy nutritional program is managing portions. It is very tempting to over-indulge on both delicious and unhealthy food.

These are some observation we can make in order to help maintain good portion control:

  • Too much additional food, beyond what we need to stay healthy can be wasteful (e.g. ordering too much food when dining out). There are many cultures that value taking “enough” rather than taking “as much as you want.” In some cultures it is important to finish all the food on your plate or even more important to have a second “serving.” That means it is important that each portion be enough, or even less than enough when someone is expected to show appreciation for the preparation of the food by finishing everything on their plate, and having a second serving.
  • Inconsistent portion control confuses the body’s digestive process. The body naturally converts some good energy into fat energy, which is essential for the body when the portions keep changing. The body naturally does this in order to use the energy stored in fat to continue to power the body when there are longer gaps in meals, or when participating in long strenuous Extra large portions may indicate to the body’s digestive system that it is important to store most of the good energy as fat, however if that energy was not being used then it simply accumulates in the body. For example, a variety of mammals often hibernate in winter seasons. Prior to hibernation, many of these animals have extra large portions over weeks to increase their body fat, knowing they will be hibernating for several months. This is a natural process for these animals.
  • A helpful quick tip is to use the size of a closed fist to represent a portion. This works for both young children and older adults. It is not an accurate measurement, but it is a helpful guide. For example, an apple the size of a closed fist is about a portion. If a plate of food was visualized as 4 fists, two of those fists should be fruits and vegetables, one fist for whole grains, and the fourth fist for proteins. This is important to consider when portioning out food for the diverse population in a community at a large gathering or family function. Just because a child is “growing” does not mean they should be provided with the same size portions as an adult. 
  • We know that there are a variety of ways to make food taste delicious, and that the body enjoys eating delicious foods. Sometimes these delicious meals do not follow a good balance of healthy ingredients and seasonings, or proportion of the foods we need. These delicious foods should be enjoyed in moderation.

Activity: In small groups/pairs/individually, create a plate that represents a well-balanced meal. Try to consider the proportions of the different food groups as you create the image.

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

The focus of this lesson is for students to understand how to support themselves and their community for making good, healthy, and nutritious food choices. Students should be empowered to support, rather than police, other members of their community.

Create a checklist to follow when preparing food to eat. Think about making connections with what you know about hand washing, oral and personal hygiene, and keeping a tidy home.

If participating in a community pot-luck or other food-related events, then work as a class and a community to provide a wide range of healthy options for people to select.

Create a marketing strategy, such as a song, drama performance, social media piece, or radio announcement to advertise your product you created today.

Suggested materials: a wide selection of packaged food labels, ranging in degree of processing, for students to analyze and compare, a collection of old (clean) food packages (e.g. cereal boxes) Food Tracker, laminated food cards, healthy snack, plates, cups, forks, spoons, paper plates, construction paper, baskets for construction paper scraps, glue, tape, string, markers

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 8: Reproductive Health & Consent

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


In this lesson, students will explore concepts of puberty, reproductive health, consent, healthy sexual practice, and sexually transmitted infections. This lesson is largely a class discussion, and the content in each section provides specific detail and talking points to address during the discussion. It is important that a strong sense of class community is established to ensure all students feel safe.

Note to facilitator: be sure to check with local administrative policies. A letter home may be required in order to facilitate this particular lesson. There are important cultural contexts that should be respected. It is important to recognize that students may need counseling and mental health support if they are victims of sexual interference, abuse, and violence. The content of this lesson may trigger past experiences. The framing of prompts and content was adapted from Ontario’s Health and Physical Education Curriculum, Grades 1-8, 2019.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: Know and name all reproductive organs.
  • Understanding: Explain and describe the importance of asking for, providing, and observing consent.
  • Skills: Apply strategies for positive social relationships through consent, respect, and responsibility.
  • Attitudes and Values: Show concern for each other by soliciting, providing, and respecting consent. Support each other by knowing safe and caring adults to speak to in the event of an incidence and/or disclosure.

Lesson Supports

Kids' Art



Introduction: Consent – Offer Someone a Cup of Tea 

Note: Some students, especially those with special education needs, may have difficulty with thinking about the consequences of their behavior or the meaning of consent, and with understanding the boundaries between private and public with respect to behavior or their own bodies. It is important to work in partnership with the local teacher and support networks for any disclosures that may result during this lesson. Students need to be taught about ways of showing affection appropriately and recognizing and respecting consent. 

Guided Discussion

  • Caring behaviors are found in healthy relationships. How might you feel in a healthy relationship?
  • How might you feel in a relationship that is not healthy?
  • What are some situations in which you might feel that way, and how might you respond to your feelings in these situations?
  • Why is standing up for yourself and showing respect for others important in a friendship?
  • Consider different types of relationships – with friends, siblings, parents, other adults – and think about the kinds of behavior that help to make those relationships healthier. What can you do if you are having problems with a relationship?

Activity: Thames Valley Police, England, created a Public Service Announcement using the analogy of offering someone a cup of tea as a form of exploring the ideas of consent. The following dramatic role-play prompts are inspired by the video.

Consent is necessary for a sexual relationship. It is important to know that consent to one sexual activity does not imply consent to all sexual activities, so partners must ask for consent at every stage. Consent is always communicated, never assumed.

Have students work in groups dramatize offering tea focusing on the key look-fors:

  • offering tea and accepting rejection politely
  • offering tea and preparing it to how the other person would like it, including not adding sugar, milk, or anything else that was not asked for because the person making the tea thinks the other person wants it
        • offering a variety of additions to the tea, including cookies, milk, sugar, honey, lemon, and ice as metaphors for complex layers of consent
        • just because someone wants milk does not mean they also want lemon, honey, and sugar too
  • offering tea to someone younger/older and accepting rejection politely
  • politely accepting that someone might want tea and change their mind once the tea is presented, or after they start drinking it
  • politely accepting that someone might not like the tea and not want to finish it
  • being comfortable to refuse tea when offered, especially if it is from someone who is older than you
  • being comfortable to ask for things they want, and don’t want, in and with their tea
  • being comfortable changing their mind once they start drinking it
  • being comfortable with not wanting more tea after the cup is empty

Activity Consolidation: Consent is always communicated, never assumed. You can ask your partner simple questions to be sure that they want to continue: ‘Do you want to do this?’, ‘Are you okay to go on?’, or ‘Do you want to stop?’ At any stage, a ‘no’, or an indication that someone wants to stop, means no and does not require any further explanation. If your partner hesitates or doesn’t respond clearly, the activity should stop. It is against the law to have any type of sexual activity with someone without their consent.

Journal/Reflection Prompt: What are some of the signs of a healthy relationship, and what are some signs of potential trouble? How can you help a friend who may be in an unhealthy relationship?”

Suggested time:
15 minutes for the discussion including the video

Additional 10 minutes for the activity

Additional 10 minutes for the journal/reflection

Note: these recommended times should be guidelines for this particular lesson. It is recommended to take the necessary time to allow students to process and understand the importance of the discussions.

It may be good to conclude the lesson with this section, and continue the lesson the following day to allow for more personal reflection and processing time.

Species Reproduction: In One Health – all living things have the capacity to reproduce; humans have the choice

There are many cultural and colloquial terms that are often used when discussing anatomy and reproduction. The focus of this conversation is to unpack some misconceptions. This may be facilitated as a guided discussion and should be supplemented with picture books to support the conversation around animal diversity and reproduction.

There are 5 types of animals in our biosphere, and every living organism has the capability to reproduce and produce offspring. Sometimes there are individual differences within a species that may prevent reproduction (injury, disease, genetic alteration).

What are the different categories of vertebrate animals?

  • Amphibians
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Invertebrates are in a different category of animals and include insects, shellfish, etc.
  • Bacteria and other single-celled organisms are not animals, but as living things also reproduce

Humans, as mammals, raise their young very similar to other mammals. For example, the mountain gorilla has similar timelines to humans:

  • the offspring is inside the female’s uterus (colloquial: the womb. Note: it is inappropriate for students to make the false connection that the offspring grows inside the stomach or tummy) gestates for 9 months, similar to humans
  • most mammals, like people and mountain gorillas, provide nutrition for the offspring from the mother’s milk, and these offspring are slowly weaned off once their digestive systems and teeth become stronger to break down other sources of nutrition for energy. Mountain gorillas and humans typically have a three year period of the offspring nursing on the mother’s milk. Humans have developed alternatives for their own offspring, as well as alternatives when caring for animals abandoned by their parents/pack/herd or when they are in specialized animal and veterinary care.

Check-in questions: What are some animals that you know lay eggs for their babies? What are some animals that you know that give birth to live babies, without the need of an external egg?

One of the functions of an egg is to protect the embryo, a baby that is just conceived, as it develops before it can start to survive outside of the egg with its parents, family, and community helping to protect, care for, and feed the babies. Most animals lay eggs and protect the eggs until the babies are strong enough to hatch. All of the nutrients that are needed for the embryo to grow strong enough to break through the eggshell are stored inside the egg. The female and male parents may lay on the eggs to keep them warm and safe (like birds). Some may lay their eggs somewhere safe and possibly bury them, like sea turtles on a beach or fish underwater, and hope that the eggs hatch safely and are not discovered by other predators. In some species like eels and many octopuses, the female sacrifices her life in order to protect the fertilized eggs she lays with the last of her energy. She does not eat or move away from protecting the eggs. The female mother dies shortly after the birth of the babies, using up her remaining energy to keep them safe until they hatch. The babies then feed on the mother’s corpse in order to gain much needed nutrition before swimming off and escaping predators. Given the constant threat of predation, many species produce large amounts of offspring at the same time; some species can produce thousands of offspring at once.

Plants and animals reproduce in a similar manner. The offspring is a mix of genetic information from a female and a male. Offspring through reproduction, commonly called “babies,” are a mix of the genetic information from a male and a female of the same species. Other species, like some frogs, are asexual, meaning that depending on the circumstances, they can be either female or male in order to reproduce. Some species, like dogs and cats, are able to cross-breed to produce different offspring (e.g. a labra-doodle is a mix between a Labrador dog and a poodle, and both are species of canines). Most species are unable to cross-breed because the genetic information is not compatible. Flowers, like orchids, are an example when flowers cross-breed and genetic information is compatible.

Conception is the moment in which the genetic information from the male is combined with the genetic information in the female. This means that the offspring will have some of the features from both the female and male “parents.” The genetic information from a male, typically stored in a fluid called sperm, must enter the ovum (if it is kept inside the body like in birds and mammals) or enter the egg (if the female lays the egg before fertilization).

Suggested time:
15 minutes

Puberty and Reproduction

Mammals are not capable of reproduction right after birth. All animals go through a period of transition as they take on adult characteristics and reach sexual maturity, or the ability to reproduce.

Discussion During puberty, our bodies undergo many changes. Everyone experiences these changes at different rates and at different times. Increases in weight and body fat are normal. Sometimes it is hard to get used to the changes that are happening so quickly. Feelings can be much more intense. What are some of the feelings you might have as you start to experience changes with puberty (e.g., the increased importance of regular bathing/showering and regular clothing changes; use of hygiene products; continuing importance of regular hygiene practices, including handwashing, and oral health care.

Some cultures have traditions associated with puberty that mark the transition from childhood to adulthood. Can you give me some examples of these?

Anatomy and Sexual Health

Note to facilitator: We recommended keeping girls and boys together for these discussions to foster deeper respect and a sense of community. Sample images for anatomy can be found online and from your local public health offices. Please consult with local school board/district authorities on other approved materials.

Not all bodies experience changes of the same kind, or at the same time. Fertilization can occur when sperm is ejaculated into the vagina, and the sperm and egg connect. Let’s understand this process better:

Female Body Parts that mature and develop as a part of puberty include the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, endometrium, and clitoris. Female bodies develop breasts and start menstruating for the first time during puberty. An increase in weight and body fat is normal.

Menstruation is the medical term for having a ‘period’ and is the monthly flow of blood from the uterus. This begins at puberty. Not all female bodies begin menstruation at the same age. Generally, every month, an egg leaves one of the ovaries and travels down one of the fallopian tubes towards the uterus. In preparation, the walls of the uterus develop a lining of extra blood and tissue to act as a cushion for the egg in case fertilization occurs. When an egg is fertilized, it attaches itself to the lining of the uterus and begins to develop into an embryo. If fertilization does not occur, the lining of the uterus is no longer needed and is discharged through the vagina. This is the monthly flow of blood. The whole process is called the menstrual cycle.

Male Body Parts that mature and develop during puberty include the penis (with or without the foreskin), scrotum, urethra, testicles, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, and vas deferens. These changes occur as people become capable of reproduction.

Male bodies become more muscular, develop deeper voices, and grow facial and body hair. The penis and testicles grow larger. In the male body, the testicles are glands within the scrotum that produce sperm and hormones, beginning at puberty. After sperm develops in the testicles, it can travel through the epididymis until it reaches the vas deferens where it is stored until ejaculation occurs. During ejaculation, the prostate gland releases a liquid that mixes with the sperm from the vas deferens to make semen, which then leaves the body through the urethra.

Discussion Think about some things that could lead to stress for adolescents. For example, as they grow, people sometimes feel self-conscious about their bodies, but we all grow at different rates and you can’t control how fast you grow. When you think about how to respond to stress, consider what is within your control and what is not? How can the changes experienced in puberty affect relationships with family and others?

Revisiting Consent: Being respectful but clear about your ideas and feelings; listening actively; interpreting body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions; respecting signals of agreement or disagreement and consent or lack of consent – all these are important skills. A clear, specific, and enthusiastic ‘yes’ that is ongoing and given freely is a signal of consent. A response of ‘no’, an uncertain response, or silence needs to be understood as no consent. It is important to remember that a person can change their mind and say no at any time to something that they said yes to before.

On pornography and explicit images: Sexually explicit material is easily accessible and can be found in a variety of media, including social media, online games, music videos, movies, and pornography. This content can portray people and relationships in ways that are misleading and inaccurate, and can promote harmful gender stereotypes. It may not show people behaving with respect for themselves or their partners, or giving or respecting consent. What are some other ways in which viewing sexually explicit media can affect healthy development?

Suggested time:
15 minutes

Healthy Sexual Activity

Note to facilitator: The content below is meant to scaffold about healthy sexual activity. It is important to recognize that students may need counseling and mental health support if they are victims of sexual interference, abuse, and violence.

The decision to be sexually active is a personal choice that everyone gets to make for themselves. No one should feel pressured to engage in sexual activity.

What do teenagers need to know and think about in order to set appropriate personal limits with respect to sexual activity?

Things like ejaculating when you are asleep (wet dreams) or experiencing vaginal lubrication are normal and happen as a result of physical changes that come with puberty. Exploring one’s body by touching or masturbating is something that many people do because it feels good. It is common and is not harmful and is one way of learning about your body.

Being intimate with someone includes having a good understanding of the concept of consent and incorporating that understanding into behavior.

What are some of the important things that we need to understand about consent?

Thinking about your sexual health is important. It’s important to have a good understanding of yourself before you get involved with someone else. It’s not just about making a decision to have sex or waiting until you are older. It is about things like your physical and emotional readiness; having safer sex and avoiding consequences such as becoming a parent before you want to or contracting an STBBI; your sexual orientation and gender identity; your understanding of your own body, including what gives you pleasure; and the emotional implications of sexual intimacy or being in a relationship. Knowing the readiness of your partner is also an important component of One Health. Some people can experience anxiety and a range of other emotions after the breakup of a relationship that has had strong physical and emotional components. People can seek help or counseling if they feel that they are caught in a cycle of unhealthy relationships.

Contraceptives must be used during any sexual activity, along with good personal hygiene, in order to keep yourself safe. There are a variety of methods used to prevent pregnancy, including barriers (condoms for both females and males, diaphragms, specifically designed sponges, and cervical caps), hormonal (such as the birth control pill) natural, and surgical methods (such as vasectomy for males, and tubal ligation for females). Some types of barrier contraception also provide protection against sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections.

Note to facilitator: Discuss with the local educators to determine whether or not this is the appropriate audience to demonstrate how to properly put on, and dispose of, a condom.

Hold the tip of the male condom between your forefinger and thumb to make sure it’s put on the right way and no air is trapped inside (the condom may split if air is trapped inside). Place the condom over the tip of the penis. While squeezing the tip of the condom, roll it down over the length of the erect penis. If the condom will not unroll, it’s probably on inside out – start again with a new condom as there may be sperm on it.

After ejaculation (when the man has come) and while the penis is still hard, hold the condom in place and carefully withdraw the penis from your partner’s body. You should only take the condom off the penis when there’s no further contact with your partner’s body. Wrap the used condom in a tissue and put it in the bin. You should never flush condoms down the toilet as they may block the toilet and can cause environmental damage.

Carefully remove the female condom from its packaging, taking care not to tear it. Place the closed end of the condom into the vagina, holding the soft inner ring between your forefinger or middle finger and thumb. Use your other hand to separate the folds of skin (labia) around the vagina, then put the squeezed ring into the vagina. Put your index or middle finger or both in the open end of the condom until the inner ring can be felt and push the condom as far up the vagina as possible, with the outer ring lying against the outside of the vagina. The outer ring of the condom should rest closely on the outside of the vagina at all times during sex – if the outer ring gets pushed inside the vagina, stop and put it back in the right place. Make sure that the penis goes in the condom – take care to make sure that the penis does not go between the condom and the wall of the vagina.

Immediately after sex, slightly twist and pull the end of the condom to remove it, taking care not to spill any sperm inside the vagina.

It may be the case that your partner does not want to use a condom.

  • “I don’t need a condom – I’m healthy”

You can’t tell whether someone’s got an infection by looking at them – many people with an STBBI have no noticeable symptoms. Just because you can’t see any obvious sores or warts, that doesn’t mean someone is free of STBBIs.

  • “I don’t like using condoms – I like it natural”

Sex with a condom can feel natural – try superfine condoms, or both get involved in putting the condom on so it becomes part of having sex together. Condoms can also add new sensations to sex. There are condoms that make you and your partner tingle or feel hot, which makes you look bigger or help you stay erect longer. There are also textured, flavored and colored condoms. Having sex without a condom may seem natural, but it puts you and your partner at risk of infection and unintended pregnancy.

  • I don’t want to wear a condom – I lose sensitivity”

If condoms have made you or your partner lose sensitivity in the past, look for brands that sell light condoms. Some are very thin and can feel as if you’re barely wearing one. Alternatively, you may want a textured condom to boost sensitivity for you and your partner. Some people prefer condoms that reduce sensitivity, which can be great if you’re worried about coming too quickly.

  • “I don’t want to wear a condom – it affects my performance”

Some people find it hard to keep an erection when wearing a condom. This is often because the first time they try to use a condom is when they’re just about to have sex. Their erection might start to go, they get worried about it, lose their erection and then associate it with the condom. People can also feel anxious about what their sexual partner might think. If this worries you, practice putting on a condom when you’re not about to have sex with someone. Learn to enjoy sex while wearing a condom. Try masturbating with a condom on to help you learn to stay hard and have an orgasm. This way, you’ll feel more confident about staying erect next time you have sex.

  • “I don’t want to wear a condom – it ruins the moment”

People don’t think of reaching for a sex toy or taking off sexy underwear as a distraction, although they briefly interrupt sex. This is probably because they find it sexy. Get used to putting on a condom and thinking about sex while you’re doing it – your partner can put it on for you, or you could watch your partner undress as you’re putting the condom on. This way, you’ll stay aroused and putting on a condom will become part of sex, not an interruption.

  • “I can’t wear a condom – they hurt or they’re too small”

A condom that’s too tight may feel uncomfortable, but condoms come in a range of sizes so you can find one that fits. If the condoms you’ve been using are too small, look out for brands that come in a bigger size. Try one on before you have sex to see how it feels. Your community contraception clinic or pharmacist can help you find a brand that suits you – find sexual health services near you, including contraception clinics.

  • “I don’t need a condom – I’m sterile/I had a vasectomy”

Only a small number of men under 30 are sterile, so if someone tells you they are, they may not be telling the truth. And whether a man is sterile or not, he can still get and pass on STIs by having unprotected sex, whatever his age.

  • “I don’t need a condom – we’ve been seeing each other for a while”

Many STIs, such as chlamydia, don’t have any noticeable symptoms and can go undetected for a long time. Even though you may have been with your partner for a while, you still may not be risk-free.

  • “I can’t wear a condom – I’m allergic to them”

Only a very small number of people are allergic to condoms, so don’t always trust someone who tells you they are. An allergy isn’t a good excuse to have unprotected sex, as there are condoms that don’t cause allergies.

Suggested time:
20 minutes

Materials: samples or images of contraceptives

Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections

It is important to recognize that students may need counseling and mental health support if they are victims of sexual interference, abuse, and violence.

Contraceptives and good personal hygiene (contraceptives must be used, good hygiene is not effective on its own) help to prevent the transmission of infections through sexual activity.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, infections that are “either sexually transmitted or transmitted through blood. This includes, but is not limited to: human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and human papillomavirus (HPV).”

STBBIs remain a significant health concern even though they are largely preventable, treatable and in many cases, curable. STBBI levy a significant physical, emotional, social and economic cost to individuals, communities, and society.

There are several factors that contribute to the spread of STBBIs:

  • Many are unaware of their infection because of the asymptomatic nature of some infections.
  • Misperception of risk.
  • Lack of holistic, comprehensive, and consistent sexual health education.
  • Use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Inconsistent or incorrect use of condoms.
  • Implementation of more accurate diagnostic tests.

A holistic approach to STBBI prevention, treatment, care and support involves talking about sex and gender openly and without judgment.

Suggested time: 20 minutes

Activity: Making connections in 3 parts

1 – In small groups, create a list of the conditions and considerations people should make in order to create a safe and nurturing environment for human babies. Some examples might include:

  • having the maturity to be mindful and aware of the obligations of birthing and nurturing a child
  • having space in the family home, or planning to move, in order to have more space for a larger family
  • having access to healthy food for the family to ensure the nutrients are passed to the baby during breastfeeding and when they start consuming solid foods
  • having access to clean water and sanitation to help care for the baby
  • having access to education and health care services

2 – Remix the groups so that students are working with different classmates, and explore the different conditions and considerations that animal care workers, including zoologists and veterinary lab technicians, ensure are in place when trying to help an endangered species population recover. 

3 – Create a third set of groups for students to compare the two different lists and develop a presentation/response to some of the following prompts:

  • What considerations are important for animal care workers and parents of babies to address in order to create a safe and nurturing environment?
  • What role do orphanages and other care and support systems play in helping to nurture offspring?
  • How might personal choices affect the care and support an individual can provide to a baby?

Suggested time: 15-20 minutes, however, more time will be needed if experts are invited to participate and if students are engaging in additional research

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

Puberty, sexual health, and reproduction can be very sensitive topics for students. Personal reflection, one-on-one conversations, and an anonymous question box may be useful for students to feel comfortable.

Consent is an important part of building and maintaining close relationships. Create a story to show why consent is important.

How do various animals help to protect and nurture their young following birth until maturity?

How is this similar and different from a human family or community?

Suggested materials: an anonymous question box to use between lesson breaks and throughout the week will be very important to help create a space of trust and support. These questions should not be read aloud in class, rather drive the conversation or be highlighted in future lessons.

Module 1 - Human Health: Staying Healthy with Personal Hygiene Habits

Lesson 9: Get Regular Exercise

Big Idea

We must first understand how to care for ourselves, each other, and our community in order to have the strength and knowledge to improve the quality of life of all living things.


In this lesson, students will explore various concepts and partnering activities that could develop positive habits of regular exercise. Physical fitness through regular exercise is important for our own health so that we can take care of our community. 

Note to facilitator: This lesson uses partner-yoga as a way to help students build trust and feel connected to each other. There might be physical limitations/restrictions that will require modification. Some partner postures are inappropriate for pairing students with facilitators in the event of an odd number of participants, whereas others may be modified to accommodate groups of three. Ensure to create positive and supportive conditions for learning; it is not a failure if students are unable to move into and hold certain poses and postures. Please consult with your local educational institution and public health center for more ideas and considerations when engaging in partnering work.

By the end of this lesson students will:

  • Knowledge: Engage in regular exercise.
  • Understanding: Describe how getting regular exercise supports staying healthy.
  • Skills: Perform and carry out a variety of community-based exercises designed to build trust and connection within a community.
  • Attitudes and Values: Show respect and concern for the safety of each other through regular exercise. Trust is a key part of the core values.

Lesson Supports

Artifacts of Learning

Kids' Art



Introduction: Discussion

What are some of the benefits you feel after participating in an activity that is physically engaging and/or challenging?

  • engaging activities are familiar and fun
  • challenging activities are new and help us learn something new to grow
  • learn about the spirit of fair play, competition, and that there are benefits to both winning and losing in competitive sports
  • activities that are engaging and challenging help focus and calm our minds
  • the feeling of a sense of accomplishment is good for the spirit/soul
  • team sports and activities help us build trust and support each other
  • individual activities help us learn more about ourselves
  • group activities can be done with a friend from the community and help build a stronger sense of community and friendship

What are some of the activities that you enjoy doing?

How do you know if you are enjoying physical activity?

How does it feel in your body, your thoughts, and your emotions?

Suggested time:
5 minutes

Hook: Group Participation

We are going to do some partnering yoga poses that require trust, respect, and teamwork. How should we prepare for this activity?

  • stretching
  • breathing 
  • staying hydrated
  • communicating with your partner/team
  • focus on slow, controlled, and calm movements

Partnering yoga when students of similar height are paired.

Suggested time:
5 minutes

Materials: yoga mats, blankets, yoga cards

Lesson Activity: Partnering Yoga

Note: There are a variety of ways to create opportunities for students to participate in the partnering poses. Students may be unsure of how to safely support, and make physical contact, with other students. Facilitators should demonstrate the postures, emphasizing slow and controlled movements, and verbal discussion with their partner (e.g.; do you feel safe? is this stable enough for you?). Having students rotate through centers will provide more variety and may help to support students that are self-conscious and exhibiting some anxiety about not being successful. If so, it is important to have additional adults or students act as spotters, supporting larger groups of 3 or 4 students. Additional consideration should be made to ensure all students with a wide range of mobility can participate in some, if not all, of the stations.

Lesson Consolidation: Reflection Provide students with copies, or cut out labels of each of the yoga poses (or some other way for students to have access) and invite the students to rank them by the level of enjoyment/fun, level of challenge/difficulty, level of comfort, etc.

Sometimes people think that getting regular exercise means doing a high-intensity activity, being on a professional and competitive team, or winning some sort of event. The habits of getting regular exercise means finding activities that appeal to you, and setting small personal goals to help accomplish them.

Suggested time:
10 minutes

Assessment Prompts

Attitudes and Values

Intention of the Assessment

Examples of how students can demonstrate their learning

The focus of this lesson is less about yoga and more about creating an opportunity to build trust and community within a class of students, and then take that energy into their larger community.

Create a schedule for some physical activity during the week. Make some time to do some activity on your own, as well as with members of your family or community.

Organize an activity, like an obstacle course or activity relay race for you and your family/friends.

See Module 5 – Community for Change. 3K Gorilla Fun Run, children’s tennis tournaments, and other community-based activities.

Suggested materials: yoga mats, blankets, yoga cards

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