Editor's note: If you are planning to use the news story that this lesson plan is based on for a homework assignment, please write the URL on the board and have your students copy it. CNNfyi.com updates the site in the early evening, so students may have difficulty finding it without the URL. You can find the lesson plan by going to the Subject Areas page and clicking PREVIOUS in the square for Today's Lesson Plan.
National Science Education Standards
Personal choice concerning fitness and health involves multiple factors. Personal goals, peer and social pressures, ethnic and religious beliefs, and the understanding of biological consequences can all influence decisions about health practices.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
New medical techniques, efficient health-care delivery systems, improved sanitation and a fuller understanding of the nature of disease give today's human beings a better chance of staying healthy than their forebears had. Conditions now are different from the conditions in which the species evolved. But some of the differences may not be good for human health.
CNNfyi article, "Complementary cures"
One class period
1. Ask your students: What are some health problems that concern you? What do you think are some remedies for these health problems?
2. Read the CNNfyi article "Complementary cures." Conduct a general class discussion about the information to be sure that students understand the content.
3. Divide students into four groups. Assign one of the following topics to each group: acupuncture, magnetic therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy.
4. Have each group research its topic. Students are to create a short narrative discussing the benefits and drawbacks of each alternative to medicine. They must also include a list of potential symptoms associated with each one.
5. Direct each group to select a speaker, who will present both the advantages and disadvantages of his or her group's alternative health treatments to the class.
After listening to all the presentations, have students create charts listing each alternative along with potential benefits and drawbacks.
Visual/spatial: Students can design symbols to represent each alternative healing practice.
Students can develop an alternative healing technique (or investigate one not already explored in the above activities, such as chiropractic). Direct them to write narratives stating how the therapy helps people and how it is practiced. They may also include symbols to represent the alternative healing technique.