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To Your Health! Investigating Personal Health History
Content Topic:
Health/ Personal Health
A family tree is a common assignment for students. This unit will expand on that assignment to look into family health history. Adolescence is a time where teens go to the doctor alone and need to have medical history information. This information will impact what medical care they need to receive. In order to be advocates for their own health care, students will prepare a family tree of health history and research how this history will impact the care they will need in the future. They will also research a condition found in their family health history, looking specifically for reliable health information through databases.
Collaboration Potential:
Computer Applications and Health Classes
Total Estimated Time:
3 hours
Suggested Number Of Sessions:
  • My Family Health History (A tool from the Surgeon General @
  • Online Databases: Badgerlink (EBSCOhost), Teen Health and Wellness, Facts on File: Health Reference Center
  • Interviews with Family Members/others
  • Rubric for personal health history completion
  • Rubric for reflective paper
Instruction / Activities:

Day 1

Direct Instruction

·         TL and classroom teacher present the assignment objectives:


You are going to your first appointment with a new doctor and you have been asked to fill out a medical history form. Please begin filling out the information in class. (Give students time to fill out as completely as they can). How much could you not fill out on your own?


Your appointment with your new doctor will be next week (date), you must provide as much medical information as you can at this appointment.


·         Within the next week: Using the information that you have compiled, fill out the online form. This is private information so therefore it will not be collected. It is for your information.


Day 2 (following week)

Direct Instruction

·         TL and classroom teacher continue the assignment objectives:


Your doctor has told you that because of your family history, you are at a higher risk for _____ (fill in one condition from your family history or in which you have a specific interest). After discussing briefly with your new physician you try to find out as much as possible before your follow up appointment next week.


Modeling and guided practice

·         TL shows his/her own (or an example) health history and then with what could be filled out after interviews

·         Demonstrate choosing a health topic from health history and searching for information


Independent Practice

·         Students work independently, using an appropriate database to find out:

o   basic information about this condition

o   specific tests and screening for this condition

o   dietary and lifestyle changes that can prevent or improve this condition

o   any alternative medicine recommendations for this condition

o   traditional medicine and therapy used for this condition

o   the impact of having this condition in your family history


Students are instructed to prepare this information in a useable format for their next appointment making sure they cite their sources to prove their information is reliable.


Day 3

Sharing and Reflecting

·         After collecting the information students will write a one-page reflection paper to convey their understanding of why knowing their medical history is so important and why locating reliable information is necessary.  The requirements include a discussion of the specific condition the students have researched, a personal reflection about the exercise, and citations for all sources used.

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Presented By: Donna Smith
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