7 Health Science Lesson Plans Perfect for Middle School Blog Feature
Chris Zook

By: Chris Zook on September 14th, 2017

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7 Health Science Lesson Plans Perfect for Middle School

Health Science | Education

Middle school includes some of the most formative years of a student’s physical and intellectual development.

It’s also the first time many students are introduced to health classes, whether that includes physical development, personal wellness, or any other health-related topic.

Teaching middle school requires you to tread a fine line though. You want to teach important information, but you have to be careful with wording, content, and presentation.

Otherwise, you could have an upset parent (or administrator) at your door.

To help, these are the seven best lesson plans to use in a middle school health class.

Whether you’re a first-year teacher or you have 30 years under your belt, these lesson plans can help!

1. Nutrition

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HealthCenter21 Module: Wellness & Nutrition

Nutrition is an essential part of any middle school health curriculum.

Today, more than 33% of all children are overweight or obese. By teaching nutrition, you can be a part of the solution for many children who otherwise may not know what’s good for them to consume.

In that respect, nutrition isn’t just helpful for students to learn now — it shapes their lives and their understanding of the world around them.

This is especially important for American students who live in a culture of constant advertising and impulse fulfillment, even as ads creep into cash-strapped schools to fulfill funding needs.

Thankfully, nutrition education is simple at the middle school level.

Basics like essential nutrients, food groups, dietary restrictions, and exercise can all make a life-changing difference in any student’s life.

You just need to supply the information!

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2. Anatomy & Physiology

HealthCenter21 Module: Anatomy & Physiology

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Anatomy & physiology is another important topic to cover in middle school health.

If a student is going to understand how to be healthy, they need to know how their bodies work.

These lessons tie into every other part of a health class, especially nutrition. Anatomy & physiology (or A&P) lays the groundwork for the future of your classroom.

You can cover the digestive system, muscle groups, respiration, and any other bodily process once your students have anatomy nailed down.

But there’s so much that you could cover in an anatomy lesson. Plus, it’s hard to find a starting point since so much of the body depends on other parts of the body.

Picking up a physiology lesson plan gives you a roadmap you can follow to make sure you start, continue, and end on the right topics.

The only catch is that you need to identify lessons for the curriculum you want to follow.

You could also defer to a general anatomy & physiology lesson plan. We offer one in our product HealthCenter21, which is great for laying out the basics before moving onto more complex information.

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Woodland Hills Anatomy & Physiology

Cambria Heights School District Anatomy & Physiology

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3. CPR

HealthCenter21 Module: CPR Methods (2015)

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Health teachers address cardiopulmonary resuscitation — better known as CPR — much earlier today than they did 20 years ago.

There are two big reasons for this:

  1. CPR can save someone’s life
  2. CPR is frequently misrepresented in media

The first reason is obvious. In a severe situation, CPR can save someone’s life and prevent life-changing injury before emergency services arrive on a scene.

The second point is less obvious. CPR is often represented in television and film as a first-resort, near-perfect solution to helping someone who’s in dire straits.

In actuality, CPR should only be administered when someone is unconscious because of cardiac arrest or breathing emergency.

Plus, CPR can lead to major health complications when performed incorrectly.

Because of these facts, it’s become critical to teach students about CPR as early as possible. That way, they know when it’s being represented accurately on television or in film.

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American Heart Association CPR in Schools

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4. Diseases & Disorders

HealthCenter21 Module: Diseases & Disorders

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Lessons for diseases & disorders can cover a lot of different topics.

For many middle school health classes, that could include sexually transmitted infections (STIs), genetic disorders, the history of diseases, and more.

This information is important for students because it lets them understand illness at a basic level.

That means they have the information to identify symptoms when they’re stick and help others stay calm when they’re sick.

More importantly, it lets students identify and avoid locations that may support the spread of disease.

Poor living conditions, unclean areas, and habitats for common illnesses are all included in fundamental disease education.

Disorders are important to cover as well, especially since medical professionals recognize so many different disorders with tons of ways to treat them.

Understanding these disorders can destigmatize those who are differently-abled while giving the context for why or how disorders occur in the first place.

This knowledge doesn’t just help students intellectually — it also helps them socially.

It helps them understand why someone may look, act, or think differently than they do. And once students understand that, they can empathize.

In that regard, lessons on diseases & disorders can dramatically improve the quality of life and social interaction for middle school students at a time that’s challenging in their lives.

That’s why diseases & disorders are so important to teach at the middle school level. 

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Infection Disease Module

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5. Human Development

HealthCenter21 Module: Human Growth & Development

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Human development is one of the most common courses taught in middle school health classes.

These lessons go hand-in-hand with anatomy & physiology, but they’re focused on the physical, mental, and emotional growth of the human body.

Commonly, this is the beginning of sexual education. But it’s also the beginning of understanding empathy and personal characteristics.

It also answers questions students have about themselves. Middle school is a time of physical and emotional change, and as a health teacher, you’re responsible for contextualizing that change.

Human development lessons also tie back to nutrition and diseases. When students understand how they grow and change, they can better understand the importance of proper nutrition and the danger of potential disease.

Better yet, they can implement that knowledge into actionable items in their personal lives.  

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Discovery Education Human Development

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6. Bloodborne Pathogens

HealthCenter21 Source: Bloodborne Pathogens

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Lessons on bloodborne pathogens teach students why they should be careful around any amount of blood.

These lessons can be a subset of your disease & disorder lessons. But bloodborne pathogens are so dangerous that they merit extra attention.

Hepatitis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) are all examples of bloodborne pathogens.

It’s true that some of the diseases in these lessons will overlap with your lessons on STIs. But these diseases are so dangerous that it’s important to talk about all the different ways students could contract them.

It’s even more important to teach students how they can’t catch these diseases.

That helps destigmatize these diseases while protecting students who don’t have them.

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South Caroline State Accident Fund Bloodborne Pathogens

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University of California Riverside Bloodborne Pathogens

7. Domestic Violence

HealthCenter21 Source: Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence is a difficult topic to cover in middle school.

At the same time, this is when many students may start dating one another and entering into relationships they may not wholly understand.

In some cases, those relationships could be detrimental to their health — emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Plus, covering domestic violence in the classroom can help students identify if their loved ones are involved in bad relationships.

Then, they can get help either for themselves or for their loved ones.

In some schools, these lessons are called “relationship management” or something similar. In truth, “domestic violence” is used more by medical professionals and medical students.

Still, the principles apply at the middle school level.

Making students aware of abusive relationships and how they work are key to exiting those relationships.

After all, the first step is identification. 

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Break the Cycle Domestic Violence Single Day Lesson Plan

Students Against Violence Everywhere Dating Violence

Minnesota Literacy Council Domestic Violence

Start Using Middle School Health Lesson Plans

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It takes a long time to create your own lesson plans. That’s why we made so many for you!

All you need is an email address to grab our lesson plans for yourself.

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About Chris Zook

Chris Zook is the content marketing manager at AES. He enjoys everything about online marketing, data science, user experience, and corgis.

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