Health Science Curriculum for Middle School
Every once in a while, we are asked if we have health science curriculum for middle school students. Our answer, as with many questions like this, is yes and no.
Most health science curriculum you'll find, ours included, is developed and designed for either the high school or community and/or technical college level. So, the primary intention is likely for students that are older than the middle school level. Our content, for example, is generally written at a 9th grade reading level.
That being said, I'd like to share with you a story about a teacher, his students, and their remarkable school and how they've taken college level health science curriculum and made it age-appropriate for 10th graders. If that can be done, then surely there are ways to take fantastic health science curriculum resources and use them in ways that are appropriate for the age group that you are teaching.
Here's their story...
Health Science Curriculum for 10th Graders
Health Sciences High and Middle College (HSHMC) is a public charter school in San Diego. They give high school students a head-start in health science careers. Results at the end of high school are a certificate for employment or options to continue their education at a four-year college. The result? A largely diverse student population with a wide range of needs and abilities. Even more challenging…finding college-level content that works for young high school students.
Because the HSHMC is leading students towards certification in health science careers, they have to cover health science curriculum typically geared towards older students. Jeff Bonine, an instructor at HSHMC, teaches Medical Terminology and Anatomy and Physiology to 10th graders.
The greatest challenge that Bonine faces is getting the typically college-level content to resonate with his 10th grade students. “How do we get that high-level content down to our 10th graders?” Bonine asks. “Textbooks,” he explains, “are not accessible, and are often not engaging or interactive.”
With the technological ease of an online product, Bonine is using HealthCenter21 to successfully teach college-level health science curriculum to his 10th grade students. Now, Bonine sees his 10th grade students one day a week in health classes and they also do a day in an internship in the hospital.
During their 90 minute class, Bonine uses HealthCenter21 online to frontload the content for students. Students are given time to work on HealthCenter21 during class time. What they don’t finish in class, they complete as homework, another great benefit of the anywhere/anytime online program.
After an allotted time, Bonine brings students together for some “lecture” time, where he can interact with students. During lecture, he reviews what they’ve learned online and in some cases, delves a little deeper. Most importantly, he’s able to us the time to answer questions or help clear up any misunderstandings students may have about what they’ve learned. The class rotates through HealthCenter21, lecture, and other components to reinforce what they learn online, their initial exposure to the content.
“HealthCenter21 provides strong areas of content. I am comfortable that if students go through this, that when they come to lecture, I don’t have to spend time going over a lot of the basics, we can delve into more detail or more practice with the content. They go through it, then we practice, manipulate, and talk about content,” Bonine explains. “Lessons are really straight-forward, not wordy, clean. Content is broken up into small chunks. It’s presented in a way that is not overwhelming," he adds.
Bonine appreciates the online program as the school is moving more toward blended learning. “This is a nice component for the health program,” he says. Additionally, with the diversity of students and their needs and abilities, HealthCenter21 works, as some students really enjoy hearing it read. “And hearing it read along with reading along on screen is a huge support for those students,” Bonine says.
“Other students can listen to just vocab words and hear how words are pronounced without having to listen to the entire narration,” he explains. “This type of program with its narrations and images is much more engaging than traditional textbooks. In addition, these extra features makes the content much more accessible to all students,” he adds.