Think for a second about the number of questions you have about your body! Our ancient ancestors knew far less than we do about the human body. Questioning and research over hundreds of thousands of years has increased our knowledge of energy, waste, nutrition, and exercise. Scientists of the human body make a living studying and testing theories to help us maximize our potential. But who has access to this clandestine information? This unit addresses the problem of obesity and lack of knowledge about diet and nutritional health in many urban communities. Teachers and students will analyze the effects of diet, exercise and genetics on the human body. The lessons and activities in the unit are designed to better inform students about their bodies. Students will begin to pay closer attention to the amount of food they eat. They will also develop eating habits that are relative to rest, physical activity, and particular times of the day. Discussions will begin on the skeletal system and move towards muscle formation and cardiovascular function. Bone development and the impact of aerobics at an early age will be an important lesson that may have a real tangible impact on many students who are concerned with or want to maximize their own physical form. In addition, students will be able to contrast the effects of protein and fat intake on lean muscle formation. Carbohydrates will present a fun new concept for students to grasp.
There will be a unique opportunity for students to familiarize themselves with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint. Each student will practice designing surveys, creating data logs, and presenting the results of their data.
At the conclusion of the unit, students will understand the important role the thyroid gland plays in hormone production and metabolic rate. Students will have a comprehensive and insightful understanding of why being too thin is just as dangerous as being too fat. They will walk away with an awareness of how water and other essential nutrients regulate the human body. Students will better understand what their body needs to perform at its peek physical and mental capacity. Enrichment exercises for advanced students will include creating algebraic equations to express net intake (food consumption – energy burned).