In this lesson, students will explore the importance of perseverance, or never giving up. Students will discover that perseverance is necessary for accomplishing personal goals, as well as community goals.
Time required: 45 minutes
Materials required: What Does It Take to Be a Champion? student magazine; paper; pen or pencil
- Ask students if they have ever had a goal that required perseverance. If necessary, remind them that “perseverance” means never giving up, even in the face of difficulty. Many daily activities, such as homework or exercise, not to mention long-term goals, such as learning to play a musical instrument, require perseverance. Perseverance is key to accomplishing goals because there are always a million reasons to quit. Perhaps the task is difficult, or perhaps there are distractions. But telling yourself that you’ll never give up keeps you focused on the objective and working on it every day.
Using the Student Magazine
- Direct students to read “Sunshine in April,” the interview with April Holmes, in the What Does It Take to Be a Champion? student magazine. April’s story is one of challenge and perseverance. Through hard work and determination, she met her goal many times over.
- Remind students that one should have both personal and community goals and that perseverance is required for both. Discuss different behaviors that could threaten one’s commitment to a goal. In particular, ask how underage drinking could keep someone from doing his or her best. Ask students to be specific. For example, if a young person chooses to drink alcohol rather than work toward a community goal, he or she could be letting a lot of people down.
- Divide students into small groups. Tell them that they will be writing and performing a five-minute skit. The subject of the skit is the harmful effects of underage drinking on perseverance and accomplishment. Students should take a few minutes to discuss how alcohol abuse can prevent someone from meeting his or her goals
- Instruct students to write drafts of their skits. Drafts should be two to three pages long. Remind students to divide the work evenly among members, including both writing and performing. Groups should then take turns performing their skits in front of the class.
- Reflect on the skits performed and the idea of perseverance. Have students think of a challenging personal goal they might have. As a homework assignment, have students brainstorm ways they can persevere and achieve their goal. Students should consider possible deterrents from achieving their goal and come up with ways in which to overcome these deterrents.
Lesson 2: Be a Valuable Community Member
In this lesson, students will think about what it means to be a member of a community and consider ways they can be champions for their community. In particular, students will analyze challenges, including underage drinking, that might prevent them from being useful contributors to their community.
Time required: 30 minutes
Materials required: What Does It Take to Be a Champion? student magazine; Worksheet A; pen or pencil
- Ask students: What is a community? A good definition of “community” is a group of people who share similar interests or common characteristics. A community can be large or small.
- Ask for examples of communities that students might be a part of. Answers might include the school band, a sports or cheer team, an after-school club, a volunteer organization, a study group, or a church.
Using the Student Worksheet
- Instruct students to read “How to Be a Champion for Your Community: 3 Steps!” in the student magazine. This chart describes three steps that a person can take to better their community.
- Discuss personal behaviors or habits that could threaten a community’s well-being. Ask volunteers to suggest such habits. An example of a detrimental habit is underage drinking.
- Have students consider the different ways that underage drinking could affect a community— such as rudeness, unreliability, and neglect, among other problems.
- Distribute Student Worksheet A. Instruct students to read the short introduction about community and to think about how it applies to them.
- List three goals for becoming better community members. Students will also provide specific details proposing how to meet those goals.
- Instruct students to fill in the three boxes. Tell them to think about their everyday lives and to be as specific as possible.
- Have students trade worksheets with a partner and share their ideas. Encourage them to discuss their proposals in order to learn about different ways of joining and being actively involved in communities.
- Ask for volunteers to talk about someone they know who is active in a community. Have students speculate about the obligations that person might have, as well as the benefits he or she may get from being a community member.
Lesson 3: Play Defense for Your Body
In this lesson, students will examine how the body’s organs and systems work together and the ways underage drinking could impair these functions. Students will explore the intersection between science and personal behavior.
Time required: 30 minutes
Materials required: What Does It Take to Be a Champion? student magazine; Worksheet B; pen or pencil
- Explain to students that their bodies are complex organisms that consist of many moving parts and countless physical and chemical processes. Describe the many ways that body parts are interconnected. Ask students to name a few organs and processes and how they are connected. Answers might include: heart, lungs, liver, brain, or skin. The brain, stomach, and intestines work together on digestion, the brain and lungs work together on respiration, an involuntary function; and so on.
- Point out to students that understanding cause-and-effect relationships is crucial for studying the body. Scientists must understand causes and effects in the body in order to conduct research. Likewise, doctors must understand the same thing in order to treat patients. Tell students that understanding cause and effect can help them take care of their bodies.
- Discuss how alcohol can interrupt or impair those processes. Sometimes alcohol just slows down a process, other times it might lead to more critical physical problems. Underage drinking, in particular, can have detrimental effects on the young brain. Alcohol affects brain cells shortly after consumption. Those effects can create damage, and teen brains are even more sensitive than adult brains. The long-term effects of alcohol also include possible damage to the frontal lobes of the brain, the region of the brain responsible for making decisions. Alcohol is also known to damage memory.
Using the Student Magazine/Worksheet
- Direct students to the “Be a Champion for Your Body” page of the student magazine. This page illustrates how bodily systems operate and how different parts of the body work together. Some of this information will be new to students and some of it will be familiar. There is also a chart that illustrates the many effects of alcohol on the body.
- Divide students into small groups. Tell them that they will be reviewing the information in the student magazine about the effects of alcohol on the human body.
- Instruct students to discuss how each organ or bodily system is affected by alcohol. Tell students to recall information they already know about biology to assist their discussion. Allow several minutes for discussion.
- Distribute Student Worksheet B. Tell students to read the instructions. Students should be able to label at least as many body parts as were mentioned in the student magazine. 8. Have students write a letter, on Worksheet B, in the voice of a particular organ or bodily system. The letter will conclude with a plea to make healthy choices. Students should be able to demonstrate clear connections between cause and effect. Letters should demonstrate proper use of grammar, spelling, and persuasive language.
- Referring to what they have learned, have students set three personal goals on how to say “YES” to a healthy lifestyle, and “NO” to underage drinking. 10.
- Set a classroom goal to learn one new thing about the body every day for two weeks. Ask for volunteers to pair up and choose a day. Draw a 10-grid table on the board and, each day, fill in each box with a summary of that day’s facts. At the end of the two weeks, discuss the importance of each bodily system and how it might be affected by bad choices such as overeating, underage drinking, and lack of exercise.