Selecting a Health Issue

Purpose of The Activity

This is the point at which students will select the topics they will research and work on for the rest of the unit.

Organizational Note:

  • All teachers can do these same activities at the same time (but please do these steps in sequence).

Desired Outcomes:

  • Process: Students thoughtfully select a health topic they will work on for the remainder of the unit
  • Process: Students are members of Production Teams
  • Process: Production Teams clarify their topic

The Process

Time Frame: 1 Project Block

Step 1: Brainstorm Possible Topics

  1. Formally brainstorm possible topics;
  2. Record topics on a projected word processor document or on chart paper;

Step 2: Discuss the Possible Topics

  1. Have students discuss the topics that were brainstormed: Which does each student think he/she would like to select? Why? Who is effected by the topic? Why would it be important to educate the public or to find a solution?

Step 3: Why Haven't These Problems Been Solved?

  1. Have students brainstorm reasons why some of these community health problems have not been solved. Have each student write down at least five explanations as to why he/she think these issues have not been addressed.

Step 4: Selecting Topics & Breaking into Groups

  1. Individually, have students think about which topics they are interested in working on;
  2. Divide students into small work groups (no more than four students to a group) by topic;
  3. These will the Production Teams for the rest of the unit.

Step 5: Clarifying Topics

  1. Clarify choice of a topic through an initial discussion of community need and support;
  • Variation: Have students journal about these questions;
  • Variation: Have each Production Team create a (single) written brief answering the questions.

Questions to Ask About Your Health Issue (Internet access might be helpful):
  1. Are there specific reasons that the health issue that you have chosen stands out as important in your community?
  2. Has it been in the news?
  3. Is it a political issue?
  4. Can you find evidence of medical research on your topic?
  5. What segment(s) of the population does it affect?

Based in part on Choosing a Health Issue Activity (PDF)


Solving Health Problems in Your Community, Health Career Resource Center, pp.57-58 (download PDF)