Nutrition Resource Kits Grade Six - Lesson Plans

Nutrition Resource Kits Grade Six - Lesson Plans
Nutrition Resource Kits
Grade Six – Lesson Plans
Developed by Registered Dietitians
Nutrition Services
Grade Six - Lesson Plans
Table of Contents
Page 2
Background Information for Teachers: Nutrition
Canada’s Food Guide
Discovering the Food Groups
Analyzing Eating Behaviours
Page 3 – 4
Page 5 – 7
Page 8
Background Information for Teachers: Physical Activity
Relaxation and Sleep
Page 35 – 39
Background Information for Teachers: Body Image
Page 46 – 47
Student Activities
Program Lesson Plans
Health and Life Skills Outcome(s):
W – Wellness; R – Relationship;
L - Life
ABC’s of Healthy Eating
What Does Food Mean to You?
Be a Restaurant Entrepeneur
Nutrition Jeopardy
Combination Foods Challenge!
What’s the Serving Size?
Food Journal
Why I Eat
Physical Activity, Relaxation and Sleep:
Ready, Set, Go- Healthy Eating for
Let’s Relax!
Sleep IQ
Body Image:
Seeking Solutions
Self Esteem; Self Image
That’s Vitality!
Other Health Topics:
W-6.5, W-6.7
W-6.5, R-6.9
W-6.5, R-6.9
10 – 11
13 – 23
24 – 25
26 – 28
29 – 32
33 – 34
W-6.1, W-6.5, L-6.1
W-6.1, L-6.1
42 – 45
R-6.1, L-6.1, L-6.3, L-6.4
48 – 49
50 – 52
Keeping You Healthy- Rules&
Regulations for Your Protection
Grade Six
This Nutrition Resource Kit is designed for Grade 6. The manual is a curriculum-based tool that
is divided into sections that promote healthy living, following the Alberta Education Health and
Life Skills Curriculum. Each section includes: Background Information for Teachers, References,
and Student Activities. Also included is basic information on Canada’s Food Guide, which
provides a review of material covered in primary grades, as well as a knowledge base for material
to be covered in intermediate grades.
The purpose of this manual is to promote and teach a healthy lifestyle. There are three major
components of a healthy lifestyle: eating well, positive body image and being physically active.
A combination of these could prevent many adverse health effects and even some diseases.
Healthy eating, physical activity and a positive body image should be encouraged early in life to
develop lifelong commitments to health. Learning to make and enjoy healthy food selections
early in life can greatly impact long-term health.
Alberta Health Services has developed a comprehensive list of provincial resources that have
been approved for use in schools across Alberta. To receive this School Nutrition Education
Resource List please email the Alberta Health Services Nutrition Education Resource Team at:
[email protected] The Nutrition Education Resource team can also
provide more information on the nutrition services available to schools and answer any questions
regarding school resources.
Outcome Objectives 1
Students will be able to:
W – 6.1
W – 6.4
W – 6.5
W – 6.7
W – 6.8
R – 6.1
R – 6.9
L – 6.1
L – 6.3
L – 6.4
Evaluate the need for balance and variety in daily activities that promote
personal health.
Examine how health habits/behaviours influence body image and
feelings of self-worth.
Analyze personal eating behaviours – food and fluids – in a variety of
Identify and communicate values and beliefs that affect healthy choices.
Analyze how laws, regulations and rules contribute to health and safety
Recognize that individuals can choose their own emotional reactions to
events and thoughts.
Make decisions cooperatively.
Expand strategies for effective personal management.
Analyze influences on decision making.
Identify and develop strategies to overcome possible challenges related
to goal fulfillment.
Alberta Education. (2002). K-9 Health and Life Skills Outcomes.
Grade Six
Background Information for Teachers: Nutrition
Canada’s Food Guide
Healthy eating is a very important part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating Well with Canada’s Food
Guide is the tool used to teach healthy eating patterns and practices.
Canada’s Food Guide provides an easy framework for healthy eating through the use of a
colourful rainbow used to demonstrate the four food groups (Vegetables and Fruit, Grain
Products, Milk and Alternatives and Meat and Alternatives). Just as different colours make up a
rainbow, different food groups are the basis for healthy eating. Healthy eating is the overall
pattern of foods eaten, and not only one food, one meal or one day’s meals.
Canada’s Food Guide describes both the amount (quantity) and type (quality) of food people
need as part of a healthy eating pattern. The eating pattern provided by Canada’s Food Guide
promotes overall health by ensuring that nutrient needs are met each day, and by helping reduce
the risk of obesity and other nutrition related diseases.
Canada’s Food Guide is divided into categories that provide age and gender specific
recommendations on the amount of food that should be eaten from each food group each day.
Table 1 below provides the recommended number of food guide servings required from each food
group for children from 9 years to 13 years of age.
Table 1: Number of Food Guide Servings
Vegetables and Grain Products
Age 9-13
Milk and
Meat and
Note: Canada’s Food Guide provides examples of what counts as one serving size from each food
group. The serving size is not intended to necessarily represent what would be eaten in one
It is also important to include a small amount of unsaturated fat in the diet each day for essential
fatty acids. 30-45 mL or 2-3 Tbsp of added oils and fats are part of the eating pattern.
The food guide also provides statements on the types of foods that should be chosen from the four
food groups in order to; meet all nutrient needs (i.e. vitamins, minerals and other nutrients), limit
energy intake (i.e. limit excess calorie intake), limit sodium (salt) intake, limit fat intake, and limit
sugar intake. The following are the quality tips from each food group:
Vegetables and Fruit
- Eat at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day
- Choose vegetables and fruit prepared with little or no added fat, sugar or salt
- Have vegetables and fruit more often than juice
Grade Six
Grain Products
- Make at least half of your grain products whole grain each day
- Choose grain products that are low in fat, sugar or salt
Milk and Alternatives
- Drink skim, 1%, or 2% milk each day
- Select lower fat milk alternatives
Meat and Alternatives
- Have meat alternatives such as beans, lentils and tofu often
- Eat at least two Food Guide Servings of fish each week
- Select lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no added fat or salt
The Food Guide also encourages people to enjoy a variety of foods from the four food groups and
to drink water to satisfy thirst without adding extra calories to the diet.
People of different ages and at different stages of life have specific nutrient needs in addition to
following Canada's Food Guide. The section of the Food Guide titled “advice for different ages
and stages” provides additional messages and guidance for children, women of childbearing age
and adults over 50.
Under “read the label”, the Food Guide encourages consumers to use the Nutrition
Facts table, and to compare and choose products which contain less fat, saturated
and trans fats, sugar and sodium.
The purple “eat well” box on the back page of the Food Guide discusses limiting foods and
beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or salt (sodium). When teaching Canada’s Food Guide use
terms such as choose least often to talk about foods high in fat, sugar or salt. The choose least
often should be limited but can be enjoyed at times. What matters most is how people eat on a
regular basis.
More information about Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is available at:
More information about Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide is available at:
Please refer to the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth for more information on
creating healthy school environments and promoting healthy food choices and healthy attitudes
about food. A copy of the Alberta Nutrition Guidelines for Children and Youth can be found at:
Grade Six
Discovering the Food Groups
Healthy eating includes eating food from each of the four food groups every day. A good place to
start is learning what the four food groups are and what foods fit into each food group.
When discussing the food groups, there will be many foods that do not fit into any of the four
food groups. It is important to remember to use terms such as everyday foods and sometimes
foods when discussing these foods. Emphasize that all foods fit into a healthy eating pattern;
however some foods should be chosen less often.
1. Vegetables and Fruit
The outside and most prominent arc of the food guide rainbow represents the Vegetables and
Fruit food group. Being the largest arc of the rainbow is a visual way to emphasize the
importance vegetables and fruits play in a healthy eating pattern. Vegetables and fruit come in
many forms (fresh, frozen and canned), which should be emphasized.
Vegetables and fruits are usually low in fat and calories, and are the source of many important
nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals and fiber.
There are many products with “vegetable” and “fruit” in their names, or written on their
packaging. However, many of these products are actually very high in fat, sugar or salt. Examples
include candy, fruit jams, fruit drinks that are not labeled 100% juice, or vegetable chips. These
products may come up when discussing vegetables and fruit. It is important to reinforce the idea
of variety and sometimes food when discussing these foods.
What is One Food Guide Serving?
• 125 mL (½ cup) fresh, frozen or canned vegetables
• 125 mL (½ cup) cooked leafy green vegetables
• 250 mL (1 cup) raw leafy green vegetables
• 125 mL (½ cup) fresh, frozen or canned fruit
• 125 mL (½ cup) 100% fruit juice
2. Grain Products
The second most prominent arc in the rainbow represents the Grain Products food group.
Relative to some of the other food groups, a large number of servings are recommended from this
group. Many different foods fall into the Grain Products category, providing many essential
nutrients, therefore variety is important to emphasize.
Grain products include all grains, cereals, pasta, rice and products that are made with grain flour
(including corn flour)
Choosing more grain products that are whole grain will help increase fiber intake. Whole grain
products are made with grains that have not been refined, and therefore contain all nutrients
naturally found in the grain, including many essential nutrients needed for health. Grain products
that are not whole grain are products that are made with refined grains. This means that they have
been processed and are missing parts of the grain, therefore missing some naturally occurring
essential nutrients. Choosing half of your grain products as whole grains will help ensure nutrient
needs are met!
Grade Six
What is one Food Guide Serving?
• 1 slice of bread
• ½ bagel
• ½ pita or tortilla shell
• 125 mL (½ cup) cooked rice, bulgur or quinoa
• 175 mL (¾ cup) hot cereal
• 30 g cold cereal
• 125 mL (½ cup) cooked pasta or couscous
Hurray For Fibre! – Dietary fibre is found in plant-based foods such as whole grain
breads, cereals, vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), nuts and seeds. Fibre
cannot be digested and therefore passes through our digestive system. It helps maintain a
healthy digestive tract!
Milk and Alternatives
The blue arc in the rainbow represents the Milk and Alternatives food group. Although few Food
Guide Servings are recommended from this food group each day, this group provides many key
nutrients that are important for developing strong bones, helping with proper growth and
development, and helping keep our teeth strong. Calcium is a commonly known nutrient, which is
provided along with other essential nutrients from the Milk and Alternatives food group.
The Milk and Alternatives food group includes milk, fortified soy beverage (fortified with
Vitamin D and Calcium), canned milk, powdered milk, yogurt and cheese.
What is one Food Guide Serving?
• 250 mL (1 cup) milk or fortified soy beverage
• 125 mL (½ cup) canned milk
• 175 mL (¾ cup) yogurt or kefir
• 1 ½ oz (50g) cheese
Meat and Alternatives
The smallest arc of the food guide rainbow represents the Meat and Alternatives food group. Like
the Milk and Alternatives food group, large numbers of servings per day are not recommended.
These foods do however provide many key nutrients that are necessary for proper growth and
All foods from this group are high in protein; protein is the building block for cell growth and
development and helps our bodies fight infections. Fat is also an important component of Meat
and Alternatives; it gives us energy and essential vitamins. Red meats are a high source of iron
needed for healthy blood. Legumes are high in carbohydrate and fibre.
Healthy tips to follow when choosing foods from the Meat and Alternatives group: Try removing
excess fat from beef, pork and chicken. Eat bacon, sausages, bologna, and breaded and fried meat
less often. Enjoy lean cuts of meat and fish. Choose foods like baked beans, split pea soup or
lentil casserole.
Grade Six
What is one Food Guide Serving?
• 2 ½ oz (75 g) or ½ cup (125 mL) cooked fish, shellfish, poultry, lean meat
• 175 mL (¾ cup) cooked legumes
• 150 g or 175 mL (¾ cup) tofu
• 2 eggs
• 30 mL (2 Tbsp) peanut butter
• 60 mL (¼ cup) shelled nuts and seeds
Note: Serving sizes recommended by the Food Guide do not necessarily reflect the amount eaten
at a meal or a snack. Children may have more than one serving at a time. For example, 250 mL
(one cup) of spaghetti, one pita or one hamburger bun each count as two servings of Grain
Products. 250 mL (one cup) of fruit is equivalent to 2 servings of Vegetables and Fruit.
Grade Six
Analyzing Eating Behaviours
Analyze personal eating behaviours - food and fluids- in a variety of settings; e.g. home,
school, restaurants.
It is important to recognize that eating patterns may differ when eating at school or restaurants
because the availability of food is different. It is still very important to follow the Canada’s Food
Guide especially when eating out of the home frequently.
Here are some tips to help out when choosing foods at school or restaurants:
Look for places that offer a variety of lower-fat choices from each of the 4 food groups with
lots of Vegetables and Fruit.
Don’t hesitate to ask for substitutions or alterations to menu items. A simple change such as
substituting milk for a soft drink can greatly improve the nutrient density of a meal.
Balance out restaurant choices with choices made at home. For example, if your restaurant
meal doesn’t contain many vegetables or fruit then choose these as a snack later on.
Plan ahead if you are going to be eating many of your meals and snacks away from home. By
bringing a few items along with you from home you won’t be limited to what is available in a
vending machine or concession stand.
Look for vending machines that contain healthier choices.
Teacher Background Information on promoting healthy eating in schools can be found at:
Grade Six
Student Activities: Nutrition
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
ABC’s of Healthy Eating
To have students begin thinking about what is incorporated in healthy eating.
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide: A Resource for Educators and
1. Brainstorm with the class some ABC’s of healthy eating. Start by making the
following headings on the board: A, B, and C.
2. Ask students to think of things that come to mind about healthy eating that
start with “A”. (You may suggest a few of these examples to get them
started: Apples, Amounts, Vitamin A, Appealing, Appetizing, All 4 Food
Groups, Appreciate, etc.)
List the examples that students name under the “A” on the board.
3. Ask students to think of things that come to mind about healthy eating that
start with “B”. (Examples include: Breakfast, Balance, Bananas, B
Vitamins, Bread, Benefits, Bakery, Banquet, Broccoli, etc.)
List the examples that students name under the “B” on the board
4. Do the same for “C”. (Examples include: Canada’s Food Guide, Classify,
Colourful, Vitamin C, Cafeteria, Chow Mein, etc.). Keep going through the
alphabet as time allows.
5. Acknowledge that every student has different ideas about what healthy
eating incorporates.
6. Wrap up the activity with a discussion of healthy eating. There are many
components to healthy eating. Healthy eating includes.
-Variety, balance and moderation
-Having favourite foods
-Selecting many different foods
-Having regular meals
-Including foods from all food groups
-Enjoying eating
-Balancing food intake and physical activity
-Not skipping meals
-Knowing limits for “junk food” such as
candy, chips, pop
-Eating enough to meet nutrient requirements
Grade Six
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
What Does Food Mean to You?
To have students identify what meaning they attach to certain foods. Students
will play a word-association game that may reveal things about their
personalities and past experiences.
“What Does Food Mean to You?” activity sheet
1. Distribute the activity sheet and instruct students to complete it. After
reading each trigger word, tell students to write down the food that first
comes to their mind. There are no right or wrong answers.
2. Collect the completed activity sheets and read some of the responses out
loud anonymously.
3. In a class discussion, note that food has different meanings for different
people. This difference makes each person unique and adds variety to life.
Adapted from: Region of Peel Public Health Department, Toronto Public Health, York Region
Health Services, Discover Healthy Eating! A Teacher’s Resource for Grades 1-6, 1999.
Grade Six
What Does Food Mean to You?
Next to each word below, write the first food that comes to your mind
(e.g. "adventure" may remind you of "trail mix")
health ________________________
illness ________________________
party _________________________
expensive _____________________
yuck _________________________
cheap ________________________
home ________________________
cool __________________________
love _________________________
diet __________________________
friendship _____________________
baby _________________________
munchies _____________________
child _________________________
memories _____________________
teenager ______________________
holiday _______________________
dad __________________________
religion _______________________
mom _________________________
hunger _______________________
grandparent ____________________
tradition ______________________
refreshing _____________________
ethnic ________________________
comfort _______________________
excitement ____________________
yummy _______________________
convenience ___________________
unusual _______________________
Discover Healthy Eating! A Teacher's Resource for Grades 1 - 6, 1999 (Activities, Grade 6)
Grade Six
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Be a Restaurant Entrepreneur
To have students use their meal planning skills to plan a menu for a restaurant or
school cafeteria.
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide: A Resource for Educators and
Dietitians of Canada – Meal Planning ideas
Material Required
Poster board, construction paper, pencil crayons, glue, etc.
1. Divide students into small working groups of three to four students.
2. Have students include meals appropriate for breakfast, lunch, and supper.
They may want to design their menu in these different sections.
3. Have working groups gather together and let creativity take over.
4. First have students think of a catchy name for their food establishment. They
may also want to think of some delicious-sounding names for some of their
feature items.
5. Have the groups prepare their menus and then present their establishment to
the rest of the class. Remind students that they should keep Canada’s Food
Guide in mind as they plan their menus.
6. Ask the class to provide feedback on:
. the restaurant name
. use of healthy choices
. availability of vegetables and fruit
. names of menu items
. appealing combinations of food
. if the foods fit into Canada’s Food Guide
Grade Six
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
Nutrition Jeopardy
To have students test their nutrition knowledge.
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide: A Resource for Educators and
General information on vitamins and minerals – Linus Pauling Institute
Information on Vegetarian diets – The Vegetarian Resource Group
Jeopardy questions
Jeopardy categories and points
1. This activity is based on the TV game show Jeopardy. Student teams select a
category and point value from a pool of questions.
2. Set up the game on the blackboard or tack board, as below:
Nutrition Jeopardy
What’s to Eat?
Eating Well with
Canada’s Food
I’m Hungry
Vitamins and
3. Divide the class into teams of 4 – 5 students.
Grade Six
4. Teams take turns answering selected questions. Explain that the questions get more
difficult as the point level increases. Assign a time limit for the team to come up with
an answer (30 seconds is suggested). If the correct answer is not given, give the
question to the next team. Keep going until the question is answered correctly.
5. Take the time to explain each answer thoroughly as you go through the game. This is
an excellent way to initiate discussion on the various topics included in the questions.
6. The team is awarded the points based on their ability to answer the question correctly.
7. Count up the points for each team to determine the winning team.
(You may want to develop some of your own questions, using the Teacher Background
Information provided.)
Grade Six
Nutrition Jeopardy
What’s to eat?
This is what a vegetarian avoids.
Name four ways to eat eggs.
omelet, etc.
Why are we concerned about too much sugar in the diet?
Name 4 different ethnic foods and their country of origin. Pizza, Italy;
Burrito, Mexico; Perogies, Ukraine; Maple Syrup, Canada, etc.
Meat, Poultry
Boiled, scrambled, fried, sunny-side-up, poached,
Teeth, empty
Canada’s Food Guide
How many food groups are in a plain cheeseburger? 3-Grain Products, Meat
and Alternatives, Milk and Alternatives
Potatoes belong to this food group.
To what food group does peanut butter belong?
Canada’s Food Guide tells us to have vegetables of these two colours
everyday. Dark green and orange
Vegetables and Fruit
Meat and Alternatives
I’m Hungry
Name 2 orange vegetables.
This nutrient provides the best source of energy.
Name 2 lunches which include all 4 food groups. Answers can vary
Give 2 reasons why potato chips or cheezies are not the best snacks. High in
salt and fat
Carrots, squash, peppers, pumpkin, etc.
Vitamins and Minerals
This mineral is needed for strong bones and teeth.
Vegetables and Fruits are excellent sources of this nutrient.
(could also say fiber, potassium, folic acid, Vitamin A)
This vitamin is needed for eye health (plays a role in prevention of night
blindness). Vitamin. A
Meat and Alternatives are an excellent source of this mineral.
Grade Six
Vitamin C
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Combination Foods Challenge!
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
To have students review what combination foods consist of.
1. Review the concept of combination foods with the class. Combination foods
are made with food from two or more food groups, such as pizza, tuna
sandwich, lasagna or chili.
“Combination Foods Challenge” activity sheet
2. Ask students what their favourite combination foods are at home, school and
restaurants. Help students figure out which food groups are represented in
their favourite combination foods.
3. Have students work individually or in groups to complete the “Combination
Foods Challenge” activity sheet. Students will make up recipes for each of
the combination foods listed on the sheet. Recipes must include foods from
the indicated food groups.
4. When students are finished have each student or group present one of their
recipes to the class. Have the class vote on their favourite recipe.
Combination Foods Challenge!
Have students make a recipe for each of the combination foods listed below. Their recipe
must include the number of servings listed from each food group.
Example: Combination food: Pizza
2 servings of Vegetables and Fruit: 250 mL (1 cup) of pineapple, peppers, mushrooms
2 servings of Grain products: 1 whole pita
1 serving of Milk and Alternatives: 50 grams (1 ½ oz) cheese
1 serving of Meat and Alternative: 125 mL (½ cup) diced chicken
2 servings of Vegetables and Fruit:
2 servings of Grain Products:
1 serving Milk and Alternatives:
1 serving Meat and Alternatives:
2 servings of Vegetables and fruit:
2 servings of Grain Products:
1 serving Milk and Alternatives:
1 serving Meat and Alternatives:
2 servings of Vegetables and Fruit:
1 servings of Grain Products:
1 serving Meat and Alternatives:
You choose the
combination food.
1 or more servings of Vegetables and Fruit:
1 or more servings of Grain Products:
1 or more servings Milk and Alternatives:
1 or more servings Meat and Alternatives:
Grade Six
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
What’s the Serving Size?
To have students become familiar with serving sizes for different foods.
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
Canada’s Food Guide: What is a Food Guide Serving?
“What’s the Serving Size” activity sheet
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
1. Using Canada’s Food Guide, have students complete the “What’s a Serving
Size?” activity sheet. Remind the students that there is no recommended
number of servings for foods that do not fit into any of the four food groups.
These foods are low in nutrient value and are high in sugar, fat and salt, such
as: cookies, chips, pop and candy.
2. You may wish to work on the first couple of foods as a class in order to help
with students’ understanding of this concept. Then, as a class, take up the
answers using the answer key.
3. Ask the students to analyze and compare the amount of foods they eat at
lunch or dinner to the serving sizes listed in the “What’s the Serving Size?”
activity sheet.
Activity Adapted from Region of Peel Health Department, Toronto Public Health, York Region
Health Services, Discover Healthy Eating! A Teachers Resource for Grades 1-8, 2000.
Grade Six
What’s the Serving Size?
Using Canada’s Food Guide, determine the food group or other foods category to
which each food belongs. Then determine the amount of one serving for each of
the foods.
One Serving Equals
e.g., Grain Products
e.g., 1 slice
peanut butter
corn flakes
pita bread
canned tuna
cantaloupe pieces
potato chips
apple juice
french fries
Grade Six
What’s the Serving Size?
Answer Key
One Serving Equals
e.g., Grain Products
e.g., 1 slice
Vegetables and Fruit
½ cup or 1 medium
peanut butter
Meat and Alternatives
30 mL or 2 Tbsp
corn flakes
Grain Products
30 grams
Milk and Alternatives
1 cup or 250 mL
Meat and Alternatives
2 whole eggs
Vegetables and Fruit
250 mL or 1 cup
pita bread
Grain Products
½ pita
cheese slices
Milk and Alternatives
2 slices or 50 grams
canned tuna
Meat and Alternatives
½ cup or 125 mL
Vegetables and Fruit
1 medium*
cantaloupe pieces
Vegetables and Fruit
½ cup or 125 mL
potato chips
Others Foods
No recommended size
apple juice
Vegetables and Fruit
½ cup or 125 mL
Other Foods
No recommended size
Meat and Alternatives
¾ cup or 175 mL
Grain Products
½ cup cooked or 125 mL
*1 medium fruit or vegetable = size of a tennis ball
Grade Six
Food Journal
Objectives of
Teacher Background
To have students compare their food intake to the recommended amounts in
Canada’s Food Guide.
• For more examples of food guide servings visit the website below
Material Required
“Making a Food Journal” handout
“My Food Journal” activity sheet
1. Review the four food groups and portion sizes from Eating Well with
Canada’s Food Guide with students.
2. Have students complete the “Food Journal” activity sheet using their food
intake from the previous day (see example).
3. Once students have completed the activity sheet, have students compare their
total number of servings for that day to their recommended number of
servings from Canada’s Food Guide.
Grade Six
Making a Food Journal
Keep Track. Record what you had to eat and drink yesterday in the first column of
the Food Journal activity sheet. Include all meals beverages and snacks.
1 bagel with 2 Tbsp
peanut butter and 1 cup of
and Fruit
Milk &
Meat &
Foods to
Estimate your food guide servings. Find the food groups the foods you ate
yesterday belong to. Estimate the number of Food Guide Servings you ate.
Complete this for each meal and snack. Total your Food Guide Servings for each
food group.
Use Canada’s Food Guide as a resources to estimate serving sizes.
Bagels are part of the Grain Products food group. ½ a bagel is equal to 1 food guide
serving of a grain product. Peanut butter is part of the Meat and Alternatives food group.
2 Tbsp of peanut butter is equal to 1 food guide serving. Etc.
1 bagel with 2 Tbsp
peanut butter and 1 cup of
and Fruit
Milk &
Meat &
Grade Six
Foods to
My Food Journal
and Fruit
Total # of servings
Grade Six
Milk &
Meat &
Foods to
How do you compare? Using Canada’s Food Guide find your recommended
number of food guide servings for your age. Copy the number of Food Guide
Servings you need into the table below. Complete the table
Food Group
My recommended number of
Food Guide Servings
per day
My total
(from step 2)
Vegetables & Fruit
Grain Products
Milk & Alternatives
Meat & Alternatives
Check box(es) that apply:
Box 1
I ate the recommended number of Food Guide Servings from all four food groups. I am
on track!
Box 2
I ate less then the recommended number of Food Guide Servings from one or more
food groups.
Box 3
I ate more that the recommended number of Food Guide Servings from one or more
food groups.
- If you also checked box 2 you may need to substitute food from a food group
you ate more of and add more serving from another food group you did eat
enough of.
- If you are healthy and active, you may need these additional Food Guide
Servings from the food groups.
How many times did you eat foods that are “Food to Limit”?
Grade Six
Why I Eat
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
To have students recognize what factors cause them to eat.
1. Have students brainstorm factors that influence what they eat. Write them
down on the board (e.g. taste, availability of food, family culture, friends,
TV commercials, holidays etc).
“Why I Eat” activity sheet
2. Have students brainstorm factors that influence why they eat. Write them on
the board (e.g. hunger, time of day, mood, and nutrition).
3. Discuss how food is often associated with pleasant events (parties,
celebrations and holidays).
4. Have students list their five favourite foods. Then using the “Why I Eat”
activity sheet, have them consider why they eat these and or other foods.
5. Discuss that sometimes we eat when we are not even hungry because we
smell food, see other people eating, are bored, or are watching a commercial
on TV that makes us think we are hungry and want that particular food.
Sometimes we eat when there is a certain emotion within ourselves.
6. Ask students if they think it is harmful to our health to eat when we are not
7. Ask why they think it is important to be aware of their personal eating
triggers (e.g. being bored, watching TV, etc).
8. Have students set a goal to be aware of one personal eating trigger other than
hunger and select another activity to do instead of eating. Remind students
that they should eat if they are hungry.
Activity Adapted from Region of Peel Health Department, Toronto Public Health, York Region
Health Services, Discover Healthy Eating! A Teachers Resource for Grades 1-8, 2000.
Grade Six
Why I Eat
People eat for many reasons. You may eat because you are hungry, because the food
looks or smells good, because you are bored, or because you see other people eating.
Read each statement below and check the box that shows the reasons you eat.
I eat when I’m
With my friends
Treated unfairly
Told its time to eat
Watching TV
Grade Six
Almost Never
Background Information for Teachers: Physical Activity
Physical activity plays an important role in the health, well-being and quality of life of all
Canadians, and it is particularly important for children and youth. Healthy habits formed early
can last a lifetime. An active lifestyle with at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day brings
health benefits now, and helps children grow up to become healthy, active adults. Healthy active
living requires a ‘whole day’ lifestyle approach, with parents, caregivers and teachers all as primary
role models.
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) released new Canadian Physical Activity
Guidelines in 2011. The Guidelines describe the amount and types of physical activity that offer substantial
health benefits to children, youth, adults and older adults.
How much physical activity do children need?
The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that children aged 5-11 years should
accumulate at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous- intensity physical activity daily. This
should include:
Vigorous-intensity activities at least three days per week.
Activities that strengthen muscle and bone at least three days per week.
More physical activity provides greater health benefits.
What is moderate to vigorous aerobic activity?
On a scale of 0 to 10 (with 0 being completely at rest and 10 being absolute maximum effort),
moderate-intensity aerobic activity is a 5 or 6. Kids will breathe harder and their hearts will beat
faster. They should be able to talk, but not sing.
Examples of moderate physical activity include:
• Walking quickly
• Skating
• Bike riding
• Skateboarding.
Vigorous-intensity activity is a 7 or 8. Heart rates will increase even more and children will not be
able to say more than a few words without catching a breath.
Examples of vigorous activity include:
• Running
• Playing tag
• Jumping rope
• Soccer
• Swimming
Grade Six
What are strengthening activities?
Muscle-strengthening activities build up the muscles. Examples of muscle-strengthening for kids
include climbing and swinging on playground equipment, playing tug of war, and doing sit ups or
modified push ups.
With bone-strengthening activities, muscles push against bones helping make them stronger.
Examples of bone-strengthening activities include running, walking, hopscotch, and jumping
Combining aerobic and strengthening activities
To achieve health benefits, children need to do both aerobic and strengthening activities. Aerobic
activities result in faster breathing, a warmer feeling and an increased heart rate. Strengthening
activities build muscles and bones.
What are some health benefits of physical activity?
• Improved health
• Improved fitness
• Stronger bones and healthier muscles
• Better posture and balance
• Stronger heart
• Healthy growth and development
• Increased concentration
• Better academic scores
• Improved self-esteem
• Lower stress
• Opportunities for socializing
• Learn new skills
• Prevention of chronic diseases later in life. Examples include type 2 diabetes and heart
Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines
CSEP also developed new Canadian Sedentary Behavior Guidelines in 2011. These Guidelines
provide recommendations for Canadian children on limiting sedentary behaviour in order to
reduce health risks. Sedentary behaviours are characterized by little physical movement and low
energy expenditure.
Some examples are:
• sitting for long periods of time
• using computers
• playing passive video games
• motorized transportation
• watching television
Grade Six
The Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines state that for health benefits, children aged 5-11
years should:
• Limit recreational screen time to no more than two hours per day.
• Limit sedentary (motorized) transport, extended sitting, and time spent indoors
throughout the day.
Scientific evidence has shown a direct connection between increased sedentary time and
decreased fitness, poor self-esteem, weak academic performance, obesity and increased
The Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for children aged 5-11 are complementary to
the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for the same age range. The two Guidelines together
can be thought of as a recipe for families, teachers and caregivers to give children the best
possible chance to gain health and social benefits.
The Public Health Agency of Canada:
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines and Canadian Sedentary Behavior Guidelines
Grade Six
Teacher Background Information Continued
Students get stressed too! It is important for students to learn ways to calm their stress.
They need to realize that stress can effect their body physically and learning to cope
with stress can help them lead a healthier lifestyle. Relaxation can reduce the negative
effects of stress.
Relaxation can improve your mind, body and behaviour. Some improvements are:
• Fewer physical symptoms to stress, such as headache or back pain
• Less emotional response to stress, such as anger or frustration
• Improved energy levels
• Improved concentration
• Better ability to handle problems
• Better ability to cope with daily activities
For more information on stress and relaxation:
Canadian Mental Health Association:
Teens Health:
Sleep is a basic necessity of life, as important to our health and well-being as air, food and water.
Many aspects of our lives are affected by sleep. Our jobs, relationships, productivity, health and
safety are all affected.
A lack of sleep is linked with:
• Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
• Increased body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite
caused by sleep deprivation
• Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
• Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
• Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information
On the other hand, some research has found that long sleep durations (nine hours or more) are
also associated with increased morbidity (illness, accidents) and mortality (death).
Grade Six
So how much sleep do we need? Research cannot pinpoint an exact amount of sleep people need
but experts have agreed on the following “rule of thumb”:
Table taken from National Sleep Foundation, How Much Sleep Do We Actually Need? Available:
It's important that each person pays attention to their own individual needs. Do this by evaluating
how you feel on different amounts of sleep. Do you feel productive, healthy and happy on 7 hours
of sleep? Or does it take you 9 hours of quality sleep to give a good start to the day?
Tips for better sleep!
Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends
Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to
soothing music – begin an hour or more before the time you expect to fall asleep
Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool
Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
Use your bedroom only for sleep (avoid watching TV, using a computer or reading in
Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime
Exercise regularly during the day or at least a few hours before bedtime
Avoid caffeine close to bedtime
For more information on sleep needs:
Sleep foundation:
Grade Six
Student Activities: Physical Activity, Relaxation and Sleep
Ready, Set, Go – Healthy Eating for Athletes
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
To have students acknowledge that athletes have special food energy
Dietitians of Canada – Sports Nutrition
Visit and scroll down to
select ‘Sports Nutrition [Children & Youth]’.
1. Initiate this activity by having students acknowledge that increased physical
activity requires food energy, and that some foods provide ready sources of
food energy. We all need a variety of foods everyday to get the nutrients we
need for growth, development and energy. Canada’s Food Guide ensures that
we meet our nutrient needs.
2. Ask students to list foods they think are important sources of energy
(emphasis should be on Vegetables and Fruits and Grain Products because
they provide carbohydrates – the most ready source of food energy).
3. If protein or the Meat and Alternatives group is mentioned, discuss how its
main function is to help our bodies grow and stay in good repair. Protein is
not the best source of energy. It is important, but 1-2 servings daily is
enough, depending on your age and gender.
4. Discuss the need to balance intake and output. The more physically active
we are, the more food energy we need. Emphasize the focus on eating for
health. We all have a unique body size and shape. We should all strive,
however, to be as healthy as we can be. We need enough energy to play,
learn, and work. Getting enough fluids before, during, and after physical
activity is also very important. The best source of fluid is water.
5. Have the students pair up. One student is the interviewer/reporter, the other
person is an athlete preparing for an event.
6. “Reporters” interview the “athletes” about:
• The sport they play/participate in (they may provide a fictitious name).
• A list of foods they eat to give them energy to perform their best.
• Their favourite pre-competition meal. If needed, prompt them to select extra
choices from Vegetables and Fruits and Grain Products, and smaller amounts
from the other food groups.
7. Reporters then report back to the class, and identify which food groups the
selected foods belong to.
Grade Six
Objectives of
Let’s Relax!
To have students learn general relaxation techniques that can be done easily on a
daily basis.
Relaxation is important for stress relief and lifting one’s spirits. It is also
important in promoting personal health. The following include some general
relaxation techniques that can be done easily on a daily basis. Walk the students
through each technique.
Breathing Techniques:
1. Students should remove footwear and make themselves comfortable in a
seated position.
2. Students should take note of how they breathe. Remember that slow deep
breaths are relaxed breaths.
3. Have the students close their eyes and inhale deeply through their nose.
4. Ask the students to then exhale deeply through their mouth.
5. Repeat 3 and 4 for a couple of minutes.
6. Have the students open their eyes and remain seated for another minute. Do
they feel more relaxed?
Relaxing the entire body:
1. It is important to learn to relax every part of your body.
2. Ask students to close their eyes while sitting in an upright position with their
hands on their laps and their feet on the floor.
3. Ask the students to tighten the muscles in their legs, feet and toes and silently
count to five.
4. Then release and stretch those muscles in their legs, feet and toes.
5. Repeat this tightening exercise with the muscles in their chests and stomachs.
6. Repeat again tightening the muscles in their arms, fingers and shoulders.
7. Repeat again tightening the muscles in their face, mouth, nose eyes and teeth.
8. Have the students return to tightening their legs, feet and toes and then repeat
the exercise for the entire body again, tightening while they count to five and
then relaxing and stretching.
9. Ask students to open their eyes. Do they feel more relaxed?
Grade Six
Sleep IQ test
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
To have students test their knowledge about how much sleep they need and to
explore factors that can affect the quality of their sleep.
1. Have student complete the test individually and then discuss answers as a
“Sleep IQ test” activity sheet and answer sheet
2. Remind students that sleep is important to personal health. Balance
participating in daily activities with getting enough sleep at night.
Grade Six
Sleep IQ Test
1. Caffeine can take effect in as little as 15 minutes.
2. Chocolate has the same amount of Caffeine as soda or tea.
3. It is important to maintain a regular bed and wake time
schedule including weekends.
4. Daytime sleepiness always means a person isn’t getting
enough sleep at night.
5. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at
least 1-2 hours before bedtime.
6. During sleep your brain rests.
7. Boredom makes you feel sleepy, even if you have had
enough sleep.
8. Lying is bed with your eyes closed cannot satisfy your
body’s need for sleep.
9. Everyone dreams every night.
10. Most people don’t know when they are sleepy.
Grade Six
Sleep IQ Test: Answer sheet
1. Caffeine can take effect in as little as 15 minutes: False
Caffeine enters the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine and in most cases it
takes about 30 minutes to take effect. The equivalent of 2 cups of coffee can increase alertness for
several hours.
2. Chocolate has the same amount of Caffeine as soda or tea. False
An 8 ounce (oz) carton of chocolate milk contains about 5 milligrams of caffeine and an 8 oz
milk chocolate bar contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, compared with a typical range of 88160 milligrams of caffeine in 8 oz of regular-brew coffee.
3. It is important to maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule including weekends: True
Our sleep-wake cycle is regulated by a "circadian clock" in our brain and the body's need to
balance both sleep time and wake time. A regular waking time in the morning strengthens the
circadian function and can help with sleep onset at night. That is also why it is important to keep
a regular bedtime and wake-time, even on the weekends when there is the temptation to sleep-in.
4. Daytime sleepiness always means a person isn’t getting enough sleep at night. False
Excessive daytime sleepiness is a condition in which an individual feels very drowsy during the
day and has an urge to fall asleep when he/she should be fully alert and awake. The condition,
which can occur even after getting enough nighttime sleep, can be a sign of an underlying
medical condition or sleep disorder such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea. Daytime sleepiness can be
dangerous and puts a person at risk for drowsy driving, injury, and illness and can impair mental
abilities, emotions, and performance.
5. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least 1-2 hours before bedtime. False
In general, exercising regularly makes it easier to fall asleep and contributes to sounder sleep.
However, exercising sporadically or right before going to bed may make falling asleep more
difficult. In addition to making us more alert, our body temperature rises during exercise, and
takes as much as 6 hours to drop. A cooler body temperature is associated with sleep onset. Finish
your exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime. Late afternoon exercise is the perfect way to help
you fall asleep at night
Grade Six
6. During sleep your brain rests. False
While your body rests, your brain doesn't. An active brain during sleep prepares us for alertness
and peak functioning the next day.
7. Boredom makes you feel sleepy, even if you have had enough sleep. False
When people are active, they usually don't feel sleepy. When they take a break from activity, or
feel bored, they may notice that they are sleepy. However, what causes sleepiness most is sleep
loss: not getting the sleep you need. Adults who don't get enough good sleep feel sleepy when
they're bored. Boredom, like a warm or dark room, doesn't cause sleepiness, it merely unmasks it.
8. Lying is bed with your eyes closed cannot satisfy your body’s need for sleep. True
Sleep is as necessary to health as food and water, and rest is no substitute for sleep. When you
don't get the sleep you need, your body builds up a sleep debt. Sooner or later, this debt must be
paid...with sleep. If you drive when you're sleepy, you place yourself and others at risk because
drowsy drivers can fall asleep at the wheel with little or no warning. Sleepiness contributes to
driver inattention, which is related to one million crashes each year!
9. Everyone dreams every night. True
Though many people fail to remember their dreams, dreaming does occur for every person, every
night. Dreams are most vivid during REM or rapid eye movement sleep.
10. Most people don’t know when they are sleepy. True
Most people don't know when they're sleepy. Researchers have asked thousands of people over
the years if they're sleepy, only to be told no... Just before the individuals fell asleep! What does
this mean? Many people don't know if they are sleepy, when they are sleepy, or why they are
sleepy. When driving, don't think you can tough it out if you're sleepy but only a few miles from
your destination. If you're sleepy enough, you can fall asleep...anywhere.
Grade Six
Background Information for Teachers: Body Image
What is body image?
The mental picture you have of your physical appearance and the attitudes you have towards it.
These mental pictures may not be similar to your actual body shape. Between the ages of 9-12,
many children become unhappy with how they look and assume that peers perceive them in the
same way.
What is self-esteem?
Self-confidence and self-acceptance are two factors that influence a person’s self-esteem. Selfesteem is the individual’s image of self-worth; how they feel about themselves and value
themselves based on who they feel they are and who they feel they should be.
How do they work together?
Self-esteem and body image usually greatly influence each other. People who have a positive
self-esteem are more likely to accept and to have a realistic image of their physical appearance.
Others who have a negative self-esteem feel poorly about their inner and outer image, which can
lead to distortion of their body image.
Impacts on body image
Interests: Interests differ from child to child and will affect the things they do to promote a
healthy lifestyle.
Activities (especially physical activity): When children are active, they are more likely to feel
good about themselves and to recognize when they are hungry and when they are full. This
allows them to eat enough to meet their nutritional needs and have the energy they need to be
active. Children who are hungry or who do not eat well are less likely to have enough energy to
be active and to get involved in activities that will help them feel good about themselves.
Accomplishment of more sedentary activities such as sewing, drawing or puzzle making can also
help a child’s self-confidence, which in turn creates a positive body image.
Abilities: A child’s newly developed abilities can also help create a positive body image by
increasing their self-esteem. These abilities prove to the child that they are capable of learning
new skills that were once impossible. Once students learn to appreciate their own talents and
abilities, such as athletic capabilities, musical dexterity and artistic flair, they will increase their
chances of creating a more positive body image.
Grade Six
How health habits/behaviours influence body image:
Skipping breakfast regularly- This reduces concentration and may affect school performance.
People who miss breakfast tend not to meet their daily requirements for essential nutrients, in
particular- calcium, iron, thiamin (vitamin B1), and fibre. Breakfast is important in maintaining
healthy blood sugar levels. People who regularly skip breakfast experience decreased blood
sugar levels, which naturally lead to cravings for foods high in sugar. Eating foods high in sugar
on an empty stomach can lead to physical discomfort such as shakiness, dizziness and nausea.
Eating frequently throughout the day, beginning with breakfast, regulates metabolism more
efficiently and provides a more constant supply of energy.
Dieting- When dieting the body is unable to differentiate between a deliberately constructed lowcalorie diet and an actual famine. The reduction in caloric intake causes the body to seek to
protect from starvation by gradually burning fewer and fewer calories, making weight-loss
ineffective. Once dieting is terminated, the body will work not only to regain any lost weight, but
will also store extra in the event that starvation occurs again. Diets therefore do not work as is
commonly thought and can actually contribute to overweight.
Not eating regularly- To wait until the body is overly hungry could result in overeating or binge
eating because the body is desperate for food. If these behaviours become a habit, it could lead to
serious eating problems. Waiting until this point frequently results in lack of energy, mood
swings, lack of concentration and fainting. This could interfere with daily functions including
school performance and relationships with others. Not eating regularly can also slow down the
metabolism, which can lead to fluctuations in weight.
Physical activity- Active living is a way of taking good care of our bodies. The benefits of
regular physical activity are many, including improved strength and coordination, improved
cardiovascular fitness, reduced tension, increased energy and a sense of well-being.
Physical activity should be seen as an enjoyable part of life. Active living can be achieved by
moving a little more often. It can be a simple walk to school, a bicycle ride, raking the leaves,
shoveling snow or carrying the groceries
Enjoying a variety of healthy food- Eating from the four food groups provides you with the
nutrients you need to be healthy. You need foods from each group because each gives you
different nutrients. You also need to choose different foods from within each food group to get
all the nutrients your body needs. As well, ensuring a variety of choices helps avoid the boredom
that can come from eating the same foods day in and day out. Variety also means trying food
from other cultures, which can help children learn about their friends and the world around them.
Sleep- Just as healthy food choices and physical activity are important factors in overall health
and well being, adequate sleep is necessary for people to function properly throughout the day.
Some can function with less, while others require as many as twelve hours. Students should take
into consideration their daily activities and be sure that they are well rested, so they can optimize
their health. As always, it is important to listen to internal body cues and rest as needed.
Grade Six
Student Activities: Body Image
Seeking Solutions
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
To have students take a problem whereby a decision must be made, weigh its
pros and cons, and then make a decision accordingly.
1. Students are to think of a problem that may or may not be real. For example,
mom and dad give you a weekly allowance and you are trying to decide
whether to spend all of it on one movie, or to save it and not go to the movie.
In this case, the decision is to spend or save and you could design the pros
and cons of either spending or saving.
‘Seeking Solutions’ activity sheet.
2. Distribute copies of the “Seeking Solutions” activity sheet.
3. Have the students complete the activity sheet including their actual pro and
con list.
4. After completing their lists, explain to the students that the decision should
be made in favor of the column that bears the most weight. For instance, if
the pro list is larger (and/or includes things that are very important to you)
you should decide in its favor. On the other hand, if the con list is larger
(and/or includes things that are very important to you) you should decide in
its favor.
Grade Six
A decision I have to make is: ______________________________
Which list is larger?
My decision is:
Grade Six
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
Self Esteem, Self Image
To have students think about their own feelings on self esteem.
Refer to Teachers Background Information
“Smoking, Self Image and Self Esteem” handout
“Be Your Own Best Friend” handout
1. Have a class discussion on the following:
- What do we mean by “self esteem?” (how we feel about yourselves)
- What do we mean by "self-image"? (how we see ourselves)
(Self esteem and self image are closely connected because if you have a
poor image of yourself your self esteem will be low)
- What is our "ideal self-image"? (how we'd like to be; the qualities we
admire in others)
2. Give students a few minutes to read Smoking, Self Image and Self Esteem.
Before asking the following questions, remind students that there is no right
or wrong answer here. They should feel free to answer honestly.
• Do you agree or disagree with the idea that teens with low self-esteem
and negative self-image are more likely to smoke than teens with positive
self-image? Why or why not?
• How many of you have friends or relatives who smoke to deal with stress
or worries? Does it seem to work?
• Think of teens you know who smoke. Would you describe them as
attractive, popular or mature?
• Think of your five best friends. Do any of them smoke? Do most of you
share similar attitudes about smoking?
• If you don't smoke and a few of your close friends started smoking, how
would you react?
• This article talks about how the advertising industry preys on teens with
poor self-image and low self-esteem. Do you agree or disagree with this
• What do you consider to be the biggest influence on how you feel about
3. Sometimes it's easier to be positive about our friends than about ourselves.
Distribute “Be Your Own Best Friend” handout. Discuss each point. Ask
students to try to remind themselves of these points over the following week,
perhaps by posting the sheet in their room. They could keep a journal for the
week, in which they make a note of any times they are able to be their own
best friend.
Grade Six
Smoking, Self-Image and Self-Esteem
According to the World Health Organization, self-esteem, self-image and tobacco
use are directly linked. Adolescents who smoke tend to have low self-esteem, and
low expectations for future achievement. Often they see smoking as a way to cope
with the feelings of stress, anxiety and depression that stem from a lack of selfconfidence.
Adolescent girls are more likely to cope with stress by worrying, and then turn to
cigarettes to cope with worry. Adolescents who see cigarettes as a way to handle
negative feelings are more likely to ignore the long-term health consequences of
smoking. Young non-smokers, on the other hand, tend to have higher self-esteem
than teens that smoke.
Teens’ attitudes towards their friends, classmates, boyfriends and girlfriends who
smoke can make a difference to their own likelihood of smoking. Studies have
shown that the single most direct influence on smoking among young teens is the
smoking habits of their five best friends. Girls with a best friend who smokes are
nine times more likely to become smokers themselves than those with nonsmoking best friends.
Some teens believe that smoking cigarettes will improve their image, by making
them appear more mature or cool. Role models who smoke are frequently seen as
tough, sociable and sexually attractive. For these teens, smoking is an attempt to
improve the way they're perceived by friends and peers. Studies have shown that if
peers do react positively to this strategy, then the new smoker is likely to continue
This attitude is not lost on tobacco advertisers, who portray smoking as a proof of
adulthood, maturity, sophistication, popularity and sexual attractiveness. In the
case of young girls, smoking is also equated with thinness - feeding on adolescent
insecurities about body image. Being slim gives these girls self-confidence, and
makes them feel fashionable. Surrounded by a culture that supports such beliefs,
some teenage girls may see cigarettes as a way to attain these goals.
Jonathan Samet and Soon-Young Yoon (eds.), "Women and the Tobacco Epidemic: Challenges for the 21st
Century." The World Health Organization, 2001. Pages 55, 57.
Handout from the Media Awareness Network
Grade Six
Be Your Own
Best Friend
Know Yourself
Accept your strengths and your weaknesses.
Everyone has both!
Accept Help
Some problems are too big to solve alone.
Confide in someone you trust, and lighten the load.
Go Gently
Don't be hard on yourself. Be careful not to expect too much,
or to over react to your mistakes.
Be True to You
Don't try to be someone else. Be proud of who you are. Pay attention
to your own thoughts and feelings, and do what seems right for you.
Control Self-Talk
Listen to the voice inside your head. If you hear put-downs - "I'm so
stupid." "I'm not worth it." "I should be more like him/her." - then STOP!
Take a deep breath, and change the tune to - "Everybody
makes mistakes." "I deserve it." "How I am is good enough for me."
Take Time Out
Spend some time alone and enjoy your favourite music, reading a book
or magazine, or write in your journal.
Stay Active
When you walk, run, dance and play hard, your body gets rid of
nervous energy and tension. And when you feel fit and strong, you're
ready to meet life's challenges.
Grade Six
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
That’s Vitality!
To have students acknowledge what positive lifestyle choices are.
Poster Paper
Markers, magazines glue etc
1. Review with the students the three positive lifestyle choices that make up the
Vitality approach to living. (Eating well, being active and feeling good about
- Eating well: emphasize Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide
- Being active: emphasize the importance of participating in activities
that fit comfortably and conveniently in the usual routines of daily life,
like riding a bike, walking or washing the car. Being active means doing
some type of physical activity that increases your heart rate each day. See
Canada’s Physical Activity Guide for Youth.
- Feeling good about yourself: refers to people learning to accept and
respect themselves. People with a healthy self-image and body image
will have a stronger sense of themselves, have more control over their
lives and tend to feel and look happier.
2. The Vitality approach to living is a psychological, social and cultural shift
away from the importance of weight loss, dieting and body weight to a focus
on eating well, being active and feeling good about yourself.
3. Discuss, as a group, the following questions:
“What does eating well mean to you?”
“What are the benefits to eating well?”
“What can you do to improve or maintain healthy eating habits?”
“What does ‘enjoy being active’ mean to you?”
“What are the benefits of active living?”
“What can you do to improve or maintain your activity level?”
“What does feeling good about yourself mean to you?”
“What are the benefits of feeling good about yourself?”
“How does physical activity and healthy eating relate to feeling good
about yourself?”
4. Home (or in class) - In pairs, have students design a poster to promote the
Vitality approach to living. Encourage them to use some of the ideas brought
up during the discussion.
Grade Six
Student Activities: Other Health Topics
Keeping You Healthy – Rules and Regulations for Your Protection
Objectives of
Teacher Background
Material Required
To have students become familiar with rules and regulations that are in place to
protect the health and safety of the public.
1. Divide the class into small groups of 3 – 5 students.
Access to internet and libraries
2. Have each small group select a specific regulation that is in place to protect
health and safety of the public. The group must research the regulation and
report their findings back to the class
3. In their report, the group should try to identify:
♦ What the regulations specify
♦ Why the regulations exist
♦ Who the regulations protect
♦ When the regulations were developed
♦ How the regulations are enforced
♦ Where they found their information
♦ Which groups in the community most actively support the regulations?
♦ Is anyone against the enforcement of the regulations? Why?
♦ Do they, as a group, support the regulations? Why?
4. Examples of regulations that protect the health of the public include:
♦ Food safety regulations for food service establishments (such as
♦ Pasteurization of milk
♦ Smoking bylaws
♦ Minimum drinking age
♦ Wearing seat belts
♦ Immigration policies on bringing live plants and animals into Canada
♦ Use of car seats for infants
♦ Mandatory courses for a personal watercraft license
♦ Food policies for schools
♦ Gun control regulation
♦ Working alone legislation
♦ Menu planning guidelines for day cares, group homes, or seniors lodges
♦ Reporting of communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis, Whooping
Cough, and Measles
Grade Six
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