The Science of Healthy Behaviors
sponsoring Institutes
Main Getting Started Teacher's Guide Student Activities About NIH
map | contact 
National Institutes of Health website National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) website Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) website

 

National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Nursing Research
Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

The Science of Healthy Behaviors

Main    Getting Started    Teacher's Guide    Student Activities    About NIH

Map    Contact

Teacher's Guide hand using a mouse

Teacher's Guide

Lesson 5—Evaluate

Behavioral Specialists in the Healthcare Setting…Again

At a Glance

photo of man eating a sandwich while telephoning  photo of man working at a desk

Overview

This lesson consists of one activity and should take one classroom period to complete. It provides an opportunity for students to pull information together and demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts investigated in earlier lessons. Students continue to role-play behavioral specialists in a hospital scenario. After learning that Joe M., the fictitious patient from Lesson 4, has had only limited success maintaining his program of behavior modification, students are presented with their final tasks. They prepare a list of influences on Joe’s behaviors and then design questions to gain specific information about these influences.

Major Concepts

Individuals exhibit specific behaviors. Behaviors originate from various influences. Asking well-designed, specific questions is an important tool of scientists who study human behavior. Modifying behavior depends on complex relationships among many influences in a person’s life.

Objectives

After completing this activity, students will

Teacher Background

See the following sections in Information about the Science of Healthy Behaviors:

  1. 2.3 Behavioral and Social Science Tools
  2. 3 Influences on Behavior
  3. 4 Behavioral and Social Science Research and Cardiovascular Disease

In Advance

Web-Based Activities
Activity Web component?
1 No

Photocopies
Activity Master Number of copies
1 Master 5.1, The Final Memo
Master 5.2, The Final Tasks
1 copy per team or 1 transparency
1 copy per student

Materials
Activity Materials
1
  • None

Preparation

Activity 1

Students who used the Web version of Lesson 4 will need either access to a computer to review Joe M.’s patient information or a hard copy of Master 4.3, Patient Notes. Students also will need their recommendations for modifications to Joe M.’s behaviors from the previous lesson.

Procedure

Activity 1: The Problem Remains

  1. Ask students if they have ever tried to change a behavior.

You can ask for a show of hands and then accept a specific example from one or two students.

  1. Ask students if they were successful in changing a behavior. If they were not successful, why do they believe they could not change the behavior?

You can ask for a show of hands and again accept an example from one or two students. Keep the discussion short, but make sure it includes mention of the many influences on behavior and the relationships among influences. Students studied these in Lessons 2 and 3.

  1. Tell students that it is time to see how well Joe M. did with his behavior modification plan. Divide the class into groups of three or four. Give each group a copy of Master 5.1, The Final Memo and read it with the class. Alternatively, display a transparency of Master 5.1 for the class to follow.

The memo describes the final tasks for the class. Students’ major tasks are twofold. First, after reviewing Joe’s old and new patient information, students are to pick one of Joe’s behaviors and list influences on that behavior. If necessary, clarify for students that “people (groups)” could refer to family, friends, or co-workers, for instance. They may identify additional groups. Second, students should prepare lists of questions to gain specific information about the influences they identify. They should prepare a list for each influence.

tip iconTip from the field test: It may be helpful to show students the transparency of Master 2.1, Influences, to reengage them about the many influences on behavior.

  1. Give each student a copy of Master 5.2, The Final Tasks, and ask them to review the updated behavioral history information for Joe M.

Students learn that Joe M. has had some success modifying his behaviors. They learn that Joe successfully quit smoking, and his wife’s quitting at the same time had a positive influence on this. Furthermore, students learn about Joe’s partially successful and unsuccessful attempts to change some other behaviors. A hint is provided concerning Joe’s attempt to increase his physical activity.

  1. Explain to students that they should begin by choosing one of Joe’s behaviors and then listing influences in Joe’s life on that behavior.

Students can list the influences on the back of Master 5.2, The Final Tasks. Give students five minutes for this task. Students may choose from any of Joe’s behaviors, including engaging in physical activity and eating. They should be able to identify a number of influences on the behavior they choose (such as family, co-workers, Joe’s job itself, climate, and various aspects of Joe’s environment), as well as speculate about a number of others (for example, Joe probably has friends, watches TV, and reads magazines). Students may identify influences relating to socioeconomic status. For instance, they may speculate that Joe’s income may determine whether he can continue to afford his gym membership or buy healthy foods, which tend to be more expensive than less-healthy foods. Allow students to be creative.

National Science Education Standards icon
Content Standard F:
Students should understand the risks associated with natural hazards, biological hazards, social hazards, and personal hazards.
  1. Reconvene the class. Ask several groups to share the influences they identified.

After one or two groups have responded, you can ask if other groups have anything new to offer. Limit discussion at this point and move to the next task.

  1. Tell students that they now must gain specific information about the influences in Joe M.’s life. They should make a list of questions to gain information about the influences they identified.

Allow students about 15 minutes to do this. You may want to limit students to what they determine to be the three or four major influences. In the interest of time, each group member can focus on a different influence. Good questions are simple and ask for only one piece of information at a time. Questions should be specific and ask for information that will enhance students’ understanding of why people behave as they do. For instance, students probably have identified family as an influence for Joe. Consequently, they may want to know if Joe’s wife engages in regular physical activity. If she does, in what activities does she engage? How often does she engage in physical activity? Is it possible for Joe and his wife to exercise together? Does anyone in Joe’s family like to cook? What are typical meals at Joe’s house? Does the family eat together? Because there are so many questions that can be asked, you may consider limiting the number of questions students should generate (for example, 5 to 10).

  1. Ask students to include a brief statement of how the answers to these questions will help in preparing a new behavior plan for Joe.
Assessment icon
Assessment:
As a formal assessment, collect students’ copies of Master 5.2, The Final Tasks.

Students are answering the questions, Why do I want to know the answer to this question? and How would I use the information I get from Joe? If, for example, Joe’s family engages in regular physical activity, Joe may find it easier to become more physically active himself. A new behavioral intervention plan could suggest that Joe and members of his family make time to walk together, for example.

  1. Reconvene the class. Ask different groups to share the questions they came up with and explain specifically why they want to ask each question.

Do this as time allows.

Lesson 5 Organizer
Activity 1: The Problem Remains
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Ask students,

  • “Have you ever tried to change a behavior?”
  • “If so, were you successful?”
  • “If you were not successful, why did you fail?”

Steps 1 and 2

Explain to students they will now learn what progress was made by Joe M. in changing his behaviors related to risk for heart disease.

  • Divide the class into groups of three or four students.
  • Give each group one copy of Master 5.1, The Final Memo.
  • Display a transparency of Master 5.1 and ask a student volunteer to read it aloud.
master iconStep 3

transparency icon

Give each student one copy of Master 5.2, The Final Tasks. Ask students to review the updated behavioral history for Joe M.

  • Groups should select one behavior and list influences in Joe’s life on that behavior.
master iconSteps 4 and 5

Reconvene the class and ask groups to share their results.

Step 6

Explain to students that they need to obtain specific information about the influences in Joe M.’s life. Instruct them to work in groups and create a list of questions designed to gain information about the influences that they identified.

Step 7

Ask students to write a brief statement explaining how answers to these questions will help prepare a new behavioral plan for Joe.

Step 8

Reconvene the class. Ask groups to share the questions they have prepared. Students should explain why they want to ask each question.

Step 9
master icon= Involves copying a master.
transparency icon= Involves making a transparency.

Return to Lesson Plans