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Health Education Curriculum and Instruction

The 2012 Contemporary Health Education Curriculum is a planned, sequential, K-12 curriculum that addresses the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health. The curriculum is designed to motivate and assist students to maintain and improve their health, prevent disease, and reduce health-related risk behaviors. It allows students to develop and demonstrate increasingly sophisticated health-related knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices. The curriculum includes 9 content strands that include: 

  • Personal and Consumer Health, 
  • Mental Health,
  • Family and Social Health,
  • Human Growth and Development,
  • Disease Prevention and Control,
  • Nutrition and Fitness,
  • Substance Abuse Prevention,
  • Community/Environmental Health, and
  • Safety and First Aid.

Five Key Points to Include in Every Health Education Lesson:

  • Teach students the value of making healthy choices. (Tie every lesson to the health skills that students need in order to stay healthy throughout their lives – eating healthy foods, exercising regularly and making wise health decisions.)
  • Teach students the consequences of making poor health choices. (Consequences may include: poor quality of life, illness and shortened life expectancy.)
  • Teach students where to search for valid health information. (Students need to know who they can talk to, where they can search and sources they can trust to provide valid health information.)
  • Teach students to set high health goals for themselves. (Encourage students by sharing benefits they can receive from making healthy choices.)
  • Teach students to advocate for the health of themselves and others. (Help them to know that they can be advocates for good health for everyone.)

Health In Action Lesson Plan Website: 
This database provides over 1300 lesson plans that incorporate health and physical education activities and can  be used in academic classroom settings.

Using Books to Teach Health Concept and Skills

The Office of Healthy Schools offers Health Literacy Training that highlights the use of books to teach health concepts and skills. Training participants receive resources and training to be able to use books to teach health topics in their classrooms. Books, classroom posters, rubric cards and access to the HEAP of Books website are resources that are included in this FREE training. If you have questions concerning this training, contact the Office of Healthy Schools at 601-359-1737.


Resources for Teaching Sex-related Education: 
Code 37-13-171  (Amended 2011) Mississippi requires each local school board to adopt a Sex-Related Education (SRE) Policy to implement either Abstinence Only or Abstinence Plus Education into its local school district curriculum. Contemporary Health for grades 9-12 (2012) addresses prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Code 37-13-171 states that abstinence education shall be the state standard for any sex-related education taught in the public schools and any course containing sex education offered in the public schools shall include instruction in abstinence education. The sex-related education curriculum offered in schools must be approved by the State Department of Education. The listing of approved curricula for the teaching of sex-related education can be found at

Resources for Teaching About Bullying:

A lot of young people have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying happens over and over.

  • Punching, shoving, and other acts that hurt people physically
  • Spreading bad rumors about people
  • Keeping certain people out of a "group"
  • Teasing people in a mean way
  • Getting certain people to "gang up" on others

Bullying also can happen online or electronically. Cyberbullying is when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other cyber technology. This can include:

  • Sending mean text, email, or instant messages
  • Posting nasty pictures or messages about others in blogs or on Web sites
  • Using someone else's user name to spread rumors or lies about someone

Anti-Bullying Resources