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The Government Connection to Healthy Citizens

Author: Sylvia Kniest



Time: 4 class periods
Preparation
Time:
Prepare questions and mapping instructions for the computer lab
Materials: Instruction sheets for the computer lab, construction paper, markers, colored pencils, old magazines, glue sticks

 


Abstract
Students will participate in an inquiry lesson where they explore the Department of Health and Human Services as an example of how the government supports health in America.

Objectives
Students will be able to:
1. Describe the objectives of the Department of Health and Human Services.
2. List the agencies within the Department that deal with health issues in America.
3. Explain the role of government in skin cancer prevention.

National Standards For Civics and Government
I-A What is civic life? What is politics? What is government? Why are government and politics necessary? What purposes should government serve?

II-A How are power and responsibility distributed, shared, and limited in the government established by the United States Constitution?

II-B How is the national government organized and what does it do?

Teacher Background
Before introducing this lesson provide a lecture on the Executive Department. A recommended web site for background information is: http://www.firstgov.gov/Agencies/Federal/Executive.shtml

Resource Websites
http://www.firstgov.gov/Agencies/Federal/Executive.shtml Executive Branch (for background lecture on the executive department)
http://www.hhs.gov/ Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.nih.gov National Institutes of Health
http://www.fda.gov Food and Drug Administration
http://www.cdc.gov Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

Activity - Day 1 (One Class Period)
Before introducing this lesson provide a lecture on the Executive Department. A recommended web site for background information is: http://www.firstgov.gov/Agencies/Federal/Executive.shtml
Follow up the lecture by asking the students to rank the departments (1) most important and (15) least important. Tell them that they will defend their ranking with the rest of the class.
Take students to the computer lab.

Students will log on to http://www.hhs.gov/ and click on “About HHS” and “What We Do”


1. Students will search the site to write a job description for the executive department; Health and Human Services; specifically stating how the department addresses health concerns and works to improve the quality of health in the United States. The job description must include information on the following topics: disease, disasters/emergencies, aging, families/children, safety & wellness.
On the HHS page scroll down and click on the following sites:
National Institutes of Health http://www.nih.gov
Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov


2. Explain how one or more of these agencies might provide health assistance to each of the following individuals:
a) A cosmetologist who works in a beauty salon.
b) A former professional baseball player who suffers from osteoarthritis in his knees.
c) A person who works in a factory that manufactures refrigerators.
d) A man who is food shopping at his local grocery store.
e) A woman who is caring for her elderly mother suffering from Parkinson ’s disease.

Activity - Day (One class perios)
Take students to the computer lab.
Divide Class into groups of four: each group member will be assigned one government site:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2. Department of Health and Human Services
3. National Institutes of Health
4. Food and Drug Administration


Students will go to their specific site in order to research the agency or department’s role in the prevention of skin cancer.
Students should answer the following questions as they research their sites:
1) What does the site tell the reader about skin cancer?
2) What recommendations are provided to the public regarding the prevention of skin cancer?
3) What government regulations (if any) are mentioned regarding tanning products?
4) Describe any educational programs provided by the department or agency.
Students will use the following mapping instructions in order to navigate their site:

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov

  • Click on Swim Healthy, and Safely and
  • Choose Your Cover: When Out in the Sun, Protect the Skin You're In!


2. Department of Health and Human Services http://www.hhs.gov/

  • Click on Safety and Wellness
  • Click on Environment: Sun, Air, Home, Workplace, School
  • Click on Sun Exposure/Protections

3. National Institute of Health http://www.nih.gov

  • Click on Health Information
  • Click on Cancers (under Conditions/Diseases)
  • Scroll down and click on Merkel Cell Carcinoma see skin cancer and Melanoma


4. Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov

Activity - Day 3 (one - two class periods)

Students may work in the classroom or computer lab for the following lesson.
Students will work in their groups to compile their research in order to construct a pamphlet about Skin Cancer and the Government Connection. Recommend that students include visuals, graphs, pictures and charts in their pamphlets.
Tell students that they will present their pamphlets and findings to the rest of the class.

Closure
Groups will present their pamphlets to the class and describe their findings.

Homework
After day two assign students to search for pictures, graphs, and charts from magazines and the Internet that they can use in constructing their pamphlet.

 

Embedded Assessment
The pamphlets on Skin Cancer can be used to assess student learning by evaluating the amount of solid information in the pamphlet and how useful the graphics are in creating an interesting visual product and in teaching about how to avoid getting skin cancer. Use the Government Protection exercise to assess how thoroughly the students understand how the different government agencies protect citizens and what areas each has to regulate.


PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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LOGO - NIEHS Center LOGO - NIEHS

Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: November 10, 2009
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