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NIH Curriculum Supplement for Middle School

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The Science of Healthy Behaviors

Request printed materials Request printed materials Web version Web versionGrades 7- 8

Students explore the scientific study of behavior and how behavioral and social factors influence health.

Learning Focus and Activities
1. Defining BehaviorBehavior is any activity in which an organism engages, whether innate or learned. Students view and discuss video clips to expand their understanding of behavior as it relates to short- and long-term impacts of health.
2. Influences on BehaviorReasons for behavior originate from various influences. Students create a diagram to depict various influences on behavior and to understand that some, but not all, of these influences can be modified by individuals.
3. Tools of Social and Behavioral Science: The SurveyScientists use surveys to provide quantifiable information about behaviors and trends. Students participate in a survey and use data to design and answer research questions to study the relationships between influences on behavior and physical activity.
4. Behavioral Specialists at Work: The Healthcare SettingHealth is influenced by various biological, behavioral, and social factors. Using Web-based or printed materials, students role-play as behavioral clinicians to analyze the behavioral and medical history for a fictitious patient, then recommend specific changes to improve his health.
5. Behavioral Specialists in the Healthcare Setting ... AgainScientists ask well-designed, specific questions as a tool to study human behavior. Students continue to role-play by gathering information about the influences on the patient's behavior.
The Science of Healthy Behaviors cover page

“The adolescent survey was highly motivating for students. The inquiry-based activity about the survey was excellent. The simulation was excellent--it made students feel important, and they were more motivated to learn.” --Field-Test Teacher

“I liked analyzing things, not just being told them and memorizing them; it wasn't boring. I liked working in a different area of science; it made it more interesting. I liked learning something that can actually apply to the outside world. It made the learning feel more purposeful.” --Field-Test Student

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