Body Systems

Continued, lessons 5-9

Central Idea:

  • The effective interdependence between body systems and how they contribute to peoples' health

Learner Outcomes:

  • Active Living:

    • Identify way to live a healthier lifestyle​

    • Understand that there are substances that can cause harm to health

    • Understand the interdependence of factors that can affect health and well-being

    • Reflect and act upon their preferences for physical activities in leisure time

  • Identity:

    • Embrace a strong sense of self-efficacy that enhances their accomplishments, attitudes and personal well-being​

Lesson 5:

  • This lesson was focused on the digestive system. Using TinyBop, we explored this system together. The students have been learning about Mind-Mapping in the homeroom, so I thought it would be ideal to put it in use in a new setting. Using a mind-map on a whiteboard, I asked the students to write anything relevant they found out on the app on the board.


  • Once we discussed our findings, we went out onto the field. After our usual warm-up, I explained the next activity. We started with a game of Shark, a game they have played many times:

    • Initially start the game with 2 catchers – they are the sharks

    • The people have initially 2 islands to run back and forth.

    • Once a shark catches a person who runs out of the island that person turns into a shark.

    • As the game progresses and there are more sharks you can include additional islands.


  • This is always a popular game but I made it relevant to the digestive system. I named 4 islands into parts of the digestive system: mouth, stomach, small intestine, large intestine.

    • The class starts at the mouth, they are all food.

    • There are 2 catchers to start with.

    • To run from the mouth to the stomach, they need to be in groups of 4.

    • Once they successfully reach the stomach, they break into groups of 2 and run to the small intestine.

    • Upon reaching the small intestine, they can run individually to the large intestine.

    • When they reach the large intestine, they scored a goal and have one point for themselves.

    • If a catcher catches a food item, they are a catcher.


  • After finishing a round, we had a quick discussion:

    • “When we eat, does our food go from the mouth directly to the large intestine?”

    • “Then why did I see some of you do that?”


  • I needed the class to focus a bit more on the format of the game and what it was trying to accomplish. They did better the next couple of rounds. Towards the end of the lesson we reviewed what was accomplished.

Lesson 6:

  • By this stage, we completed our lessons on the three different systems and we have covered how they are interdependent. We did a brief review of our unit using Kahoot again and then we referred to the goals they set themselves for the 1000m and 200m runs. I asked the students, “how can we achieve these goals?”, “how do these goals relate to what we have just learned about the three body systems?” They discovered that they need a set plan to achieve their goals rather than blindly running.



  • Once they completed the challenge, they could start working on their formative assessment: “Tell me everything you have learned so far in this unit.” I encourage the kids to be creative with their assessments, experiment with different mediums and methods. They could hand this in via Seesaw, AirDrop or hand into me directly.

Lesson 7:

  • When marking these assessments, I look for the following, of which the students are aware:

    • Creativity: Is it unique and engaging?

    • Application of knowledge: Are there elements of the lessons being presented?

    • Organization/logical presentation of ideas: Is it presented in a way that is logical and easy to read/view?

    • Key terms: Are our big ideas being presented?


  • Overall, the students did quite well. Each student needed work on one or two of the items above, but mainly the work was quite good. Some of our EAL (English as an Additional Language) students did need some clarification. Fortunately, I have a good relationship with the EAL teachers and I recruited their help to assist these students to understand the big ideas of the unit.


  • We reviewed some areas that needed clarifying together, such as the connections between the body systems. Afterwards, we went out for a quick game of Stuck in the Mud and then they got stuck into another 10 minute challenge.


  • I then introduced them to their summative assessment. For 7 days, the students were to record their physical activity and food intake. Using this information, they can determine whether their lifestyle is conducive to positive health. They can present their information in any method they wish but they will need to organize their data logically.


  • To assist them with this task, we completed a physical activity recall for their previous day. Starting from 12:00am and ending at 11:59pm, we worked together to determine their activity status for the day. By this stage of the unit, the kids were getting familiar with the Table features in Pages, but they did need some help in organizing their information into headers and columns coherently.


  • Once they listed their different activities, we rated each one into different intensities: Very Easy, Easy, Medium, Hard, Very Hard. Some students were listing their class time, such as Chinese Language, as Hard. Therefore, I did need to clarify that intensity refers to physical intensity. Although, I do agree that Chinese Language is mentally hard.


  • This activity was quite arduous but it did provide a great chance for the students to reflect intensely on their physical activity for the day. It also allowed them to work on a fairly important skill – gathering and organizing data.

Lesson 8

  • The students are well and truly into this unit and are working hard to achieve their goals. I do see some of my students running laps during their recess times.

  • Now, it was time for them to create their own fitness program. I uploaded a video that shows 44 bodyweight exercises they could implement into their fitness program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POdzasJklxw, (P.S.: The guy is a beast).


  • Creating their own exercise program is an ideal way for the students to demonstrate their self-efficacy – one of the learner outcomes. The students are taking control of their health by setting up their goals, creating their programming and taking note of their daily physical habits.  


  • With about 15 minutes left of the lesson, I randomly selected pairs using Team Shake and they took each other through some of their exercise program.


  • Towards the end of the lesson, we reviewed aspects of the exercise program and indicated key elements of an effective program:

    • Clear exercises, Sets, Repetitions, Rest, Realistic, Specific – targets the goal

Lesson 9

  • This lesson required a bit more prep but I wanted to bring forward a subject matter I am quite passionate about – nutrition. Particularly, sugar. It is so concerning to see such horrible, processed, sugary food in my students’ lunch boxes. It is almost criminal. I wanted to really drive home what it means to be wise about food choices. The kids know that junk food is bad, chocolate, sweets, chips etc., are all bad. But this lesson needed to be more than that. Inspiration – the Biggest Loser. There is plenty wrong with this TV show but this one challenge was ingenious and could be altered for the classroom.


  • There is a challenge in the TV show where there are a series of food items underneath cloches. The contestant needs to pick one of the cloches and can choose to eat the food item but needs to do an exercise if so. I did the same with my class:

  • I got 22 plastic cups and turned them upside down to cover the items of food

  • I selected:

    • Hardboiled eggs

    • Carrots

    • Grapes

    • Apples

    • Starbursts

    • Dove Chocolate

    • Snickers bars

    • Skittles

  • Underneath each cup I wrote down the following information on a flash card and placed it faced down:

    • The item of food

    • The amount of energy in kilojoules

    • The amount of exercise it would take to burn it off

  • For example:

    • 2 carrot sticks

    • 18 kilojoules

    • 1 minute jump rope

  • Each student got to choose a cup and they tallied who ate the food item, what exercise they needed to do and for how long.


  • Prior to doing this “healthy food choice challenge”, I showed them an image regarding energy balance. You can find it here. In their table groups, they discussed what it means to them. They could do a quick internet search to help them. After sharing their conclusions, I showed them a clip from “That Sugar Film.” You can see it here. This clip really shocked some of the kids – juice is really not that good for you. If you have not seen the movie, I really recommend it. Was eye-opening.


  • Afterwards, we got into the Healthy Food Challenge. Quite a few of my students chose not to eat the junk food. Several of my “unique” students chose short-term satisfaction and will do their consequences in the next lesson. But what was really interesting is how they started to understand the difference between the junk food and healthy food in terms of the energy content – 1 serving of Skittles (25g) is 425 kilojules. That is 23 carrot sticks. I asked the class which one would keep you fuller for longer. Still, one student ate the Skittles.


  • This was an important lesson that did require extra effort to set up but it was really worth it. The students started to question their food choices and I did see more fruit and vegetables for snacks afterwards. All I need to do now is try and arrange this challenge for the parents.

To continue with this lesson plan, please click here.

 

©2020 by David Cooney