Health Science | Middle School | Lesson Plans
7 Health Science Lesson Plans Perfect for Middle School
Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for AES, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students through listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.
When teaching health science to middle school students, you are responsible for introducing learners to several different health science subjects. This will be the first time many students learn about some of the critical topics you will cover.
You may be concerned that your students receive age-appropriate lesson material to their experience as middle schoolers. You also want to make sure you are providing them with high-quality content that will help them grow academically and be prepared for more advanced material in the future.
Based on what we’ve heard from teachers, seven of the most popular lesson plan topics for your middle school health science class are:
- Health Career Exploration
- Health Care Careers
- Client Status
- Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
- Medical Math
- Wellness and Nutrition
Below, you’ll find more information about each of these health science lesson plans and how they can help you teach your middle school students.
1. Health Career Exploration
HealthCenter21 Module: Health Career Exploration
When teaching middle schoolers health science, the perfect place to start is a lesson on health career exploration. For students contemplating the CTE health careers pathway, it’s important to ensure students are fully aware of the opportunities and challenges facing them if they pursue an occupation in healthcare.
A solid health career exploration activity introduces students to opportunities in each of the five healthcare career pathways:
- Diagnostic Services
- Therapeutic Services
- Health Information
- Support Services
- Biotechnology Research and Development
When students have learned about each of the pathways, you can introduce them to specific careers within each path and allow them to explore the diverse possibilities working in a health science occupation can offer them.
Where to Find Health Career Exploration Lessons
There are some great places to find health career exploration lessons, including these sources:
- Health Occupations for Today and Tomorrow (HOTT)
- Healthcare Career Exploration Activities Bundle
- Health Smart Virginia Health Careers Unit
You can also look here for more recommendations on How to Teach Health Science Careers in Middle School.
2. Healthcare Careers
HealthCenter21 Module: Healthcare Careers
A natural next step for teaching health science to a middle school audience is instruction on healthcare careers.
While health career exploration aims to familiarize students with their options for working in an occupation in the CTE health science pathway, healthcare careers lessons take a step further in the learning process.
Healthcare careers lessons look at the specific skills, knowledge, degree, and certification requirements necessary for students to achieve their occupational goals. A good healthcare careers lesson leads students to select a career aligned with their personal values and interests and helps them understand the steps they will need to take to work in the field of their choice.
After completing instruction in healthcare careers, students are more likely to be motivated to work toward a particular academic and vocational goal that they’ll keep in mind for the remainder of your class and beyond.
Where to Find Healthcare Careers Lessons
You can locate healthcare lessons from reliable sources like these:
- National Institutes of Health (NIH) Changing the Face of Medicine
- University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health
- Texas CTE
3. Client Status
HealthCenter21 Module: Client Status
After a thorough introduction to the possibilities available to middle school students in the health science careers pathway, a logical next step is to teach the most basic element of healthcare, measuring client status.
Client status consists of accurately taking and recording body measurements and vital signs. In a good client status lesson, your middle schoolers will learn about different types of body measurement for infants and adults and the type of equipment medical professionals use to make these measurements.
Students will learn how to take and record basic measurements such as:
- Blood Pressure
Learning to measure client status is a fundamental aspect of healthcare essential to students’ progress in the CTE health science pathway.
Where to Find Client Status Lessons
There are many lessons available online that cover specific measurements within client status:
- Blood Pressure Basics from TeachEngineering
- Ins and Outs of Respiration: Determine Your Respiratory Rate from the Science Museum of Minnesota
4. Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
HealthCenter21 Module: Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
Even at a beginner level, it’s paramount that learners understand a healthcare worker’s unique legal and ethical responsibilities. As future healthcare workers, students need to know specific regulations that will affect them daily.
Legal and ethical responsibilities lessons can cover several measures particular to working in healthcare, including:
- The Patient’s Bill of Rights
- Scope of Practice
- Tort law
- Contract law
- Confidentiality and privileged communication
When you introduce students to their unique responsibilities early in the learning process, they’ll better appreciate how essential understanding the law is to providing healthcare of the highest standard.
Where to Find Legal and Ethical Responsibilities Lessons
There are great resources on the legal and ethical responsibilities of healthcare workers that you can access online:
- Legal and Ethical Responsibilities Lesson Plan from Joshua ISD
- Introduction to Legal and Medical Ethics from Del Valle Health Science Technology
HealthCenter21 Module: Communications
Learning solid communication skills is appropriate for health science students of every age, including middle school. In healthcare occupations, it’s critical to communicate with clients in a manner that is both professional and sensitive to their particular situations.
In communication lessons geared towards middle school health science students, learners discover the fundamentals of interpersonal communication and different types of communication technology used in medical care. They’ll also learn how to overcome personal, cultural, physical, and environmental barriers when communicating with patients.
By developing compassionate communication skills early in their education, students will be ready to work directly with patients sooner and be well on their way to becoming sensitive healthcare professionals.
Where to Find Communications Lessons
You can locate many free and low-cost health science communication resources from reputable sources, including these options:
- Health Science Communication Bundle from The Purposeful Pedagogy
- Mad Gab - Healthcare Edition
- Communication Barriers Lesson Plan from Texas CTE
6. Medical Mathematics
HealthCenter21 Module: Medical Mathematics
Healthcare workers frequently use mathematical skills as part of providing proper patient care. Middle school is a great time to review basic math that students will use when working in health science.
Since medical math is part of everything from measuring and administering doses of medicine to patient intake and output, students need to be fluent in measurements according to the household, metric, and apothecary systems.
In particular, students should be to work with:
- Whole numbers
By learning and continually reviewing medical math, students are less likely to make crucial mistakes later when working directly with patients in a clinical setting.
Where to Find Medical Math Lessons
Medical mathematics is a popular health science subject with several valuable resources available to teachers:
- Medication Dosage Activity from Lesson Planet
- Basic Medical Math Curriculum Bundle from Mrs. Curfew
- Medical Math Bell Ringers from The Purposeful Pedagogy
You can also try these free medical math lesson plans.
7. Wellness and Nutrition
HealthCenter21 Module: Wellness and Nutrition
Perhaps the most long-lasting health science lesson you can provide your students is a quality overview of wellness and nutrition. Especially during middle school, young students need to understand the basics of their personal wellbeing.
Learning nutrition and wellness early on will help students as they continue their studies in school and begin to make decisions that affect their health.
A comprehensive nutrition and wellness lesson equips learners with the resources to create their own wellness plan and pursue holistic health.
Some topics you can explore in your nutrition and wellness lessons include:
- Holistic health and healthy living
- Nutrition, food groups, and diets
- Choosing healthcare providers
- Prescriptions and medications
- Effectively managing stress
When you teach wellness and nutrition in your middle school health science courses, you’re giving your students the knowledge they need to make better choices and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
Where to Find Wellness and Nutrition Lessons
Thankfully, there are many places to find nutrition and wellness lessons appropriate for your middle school students. Here are just a few:
- 8 Nutrition Activities for Elementary and Middle School Students
- Let’s Eat Healthy Middle School Curriculum
- John C. Stalker Institute of Food and Nutrition
- USDA Nutrition.gov Kids’ Corner
Teach Health Science with a Comprehensive Curriculum
As a middle school health science teacher, it’s essential to find appropriate resources for your students to prepare them for future coursework in the health careers pathway and eventually a health occupation.
Each of the topic areas in this article is an excellent fit for students to explore during your middle school class. If you’re looking for lessons on a specific subject area, any one of the lesson recommendations could give you the resources you need for your particular situation.
However, you may find that you need to cover many or all of these subjects in your health science classes. In that case, consider HealthCenter21 from AES. HealthCenter21 is a comprehensive health science curriculum that provides teachers with resources to cover subjects throughout the health careers pathway, starting in middle school.
Click below to learn more about HealthCenter21 and discover if it's the right fit for your classroom.