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Diabetes: Through the Eyes of a 9th Grader

Diabetes is a disease that affects children, teens and adults. My primary goal with this curriculum unit is to develop a more direct and realistic approach to understanding the disease, both from the scientific aspect as well as the changes adolescents need to make to their lifestyle to live comfortably with the disease. Students will be able to identify and understand the indicators of the disease and why it is necessary to follow a prescribed diet and/ or medication regime. The Unit discusses all three types of diabetes, treatments, complications, and lifestyle changes. The students will analyze the role that proper nutrition and exercise play in the prevention of the disease. Students will compare nutrition and exercise of a diabetic to that of a healthy person with the focus on teens.

This unit is written to be used in the 9th grade Health curriculum but can be used throughout the high school Health program. It can also be incorporated into the high school Biology curriculum. I have created this unit to include both Biology and Health information. The main focus is on factors that affect normal, everyday living. Each lesson has engaging student activities that are relevant and meaningful. The activities include a chart walk to assess prior knowledge, researching nutrition requirements and limitations by analyzing food labels and creating meals for diabetics as well as meals that can be enjoyed by everyone. Students will develop fitness programs that will benefit diabetic teens as well as the average healthy teen. The game of Jeopardy has been created and can be found in the Appendix. I have also included activities that can be used to differentiate for different learning styles and levels: making a book about the disease for younger students, writing a rap, and making a poster. There is also a writing exercise. Links to videos, articles and websites are listed within each lesson description so that you have access to the materials that support the objectives.

Sue George
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