Although there is an overwhelming amount of literature already accessible about smoking I still have a large portion of students who can be found in the mornings just off school grounds inhaling their morning dose of nicotine, or trying to sneak out in the middle of the day for a cigarette break. I would like students to understand how smoking affects their lungs, the long term effects of smoking and how quitting can be beneficial. I think representing this visually will be extremely effective. Students will create posters about one of these aspects of smoking.
Body image is also extremely important to my students. I often hear comments such as, "I need to eat, I want to be thicker," or "I'm too fat. I'm going on a diet." I would like to take this opportunity to talk to my students about the definition of both the word "healthy" and the word "beautiful" as they relate to the human body. As a class we will look at all of the media that influence our definition of beauty, and students will then create posters expressing a healthy body image.
Nutrition is another important topic for my students. Many of them are unhappy with the choices they are being given in the cafeteria for lunch. Many of them do not eat breakfast and refuse to eat lunch in our cafeteria, meaning although they wake up at six in the morning they do not put any nourishment into their bodies until around three in the afternoon when they get home from school. That is nine hours of asking their bodies and brains to perform without needed energy. I would like students to realize how eating patterns like this can be both unhealthy and detrimental to their performance at school. Students will create posters to promote healthy eating habits.
Information about smoking, body image and nutrition is not only important to the students in my digital art class, but to the students throughout my entire school. Health is an area where my students are lacking information. They receive some information regarding health during their freshman year, but after that unless they have a health class they are not exposed to it for the rest of their high school careers. As an educator this worries me greatly. Students need to be made aware that the decisions and the lifestyle choices they make now can have a drastic effect on their health in the future.