A Healthy Body

Elizabeth James
National Science Teachers Association Recommends

[Review of Nutrition and You Series] This package includes four 20-minute videos with an accompanying Teacher’s Guide in a binder format. Designed for middle school, each lesson is correlated to the National Science Education Standards for Grades 5-8 and to Benchmarks for Science Literacy at the 8th grade level. The topics include Nutrition Basics, Balanced Diet, Healthy Eating Habits, and A Healthy Body. Each is colorful and visually appealing, divided into chapters and indexed for easy navigation, and concluding with a summary and quiz. The accompanying materials include the exact script and masters for producing pre- and post-tests, as well as a written version of the video quiz. Several activities are provided for each video, ranging from review worksheets to reading comprehension instruments to vocabulary review exercises. Many of the activities involve the student applying concepts to life outside the classroom and could involve collaboration with a parent. For example, the “Natural Daily Food Log” has students keep track of and evaluate the food they eat over the course of a day. Students learn to read nutrition labels, and they are encouraged to find their personalized food pyramid on the internet. The narrator of the videos speaks slowly and clearly. This would be especially helpful for English language learners. The option of English subtitles might also help reinforce English learning. If the pace is too slow, one can speed the videos up to 1.5X speed, and the audio and visuals are still perfectly clear. I especially liked the way the videos and the activities applied concepts to students’ daily lives. This is still a relatively passive form of instruction, and the questions on the activities are at a fairly low cognitive level. Even so, these videos would be fine supplements to a health or nutrition unit at the middle school level.