Grade: Middle
Subject: Health

#3554. Eating Disorders Unit

Health, level: Middle
Posted Sun Aug 21 15:40:37 PDT 2005 by Deanna Schwindt (
St. Michael's Junior High, Weyburn, SK, Canada
Activity Time: 6 weeks
Concepts Taught: Eating disorders

1.Have students take out a piece of paper and list words that come to mind when they read each of the statements below: 90 pound female 90 pound male 180 pound female 180 pound male(Remind students that I want honesty and that they will not get into any trouble, for words that immediately pop into their head, we need everyone to be honest for this to work)
2.Give students at least five minutes to work on this silently; this is an individual project to see what each of them thinks.
3.Once they have had the time, ask different students words that came to their minds for each statement.
4.Ask the students why they feel this.
5.Go on to the silent study if there is at least 20 minutes left of class.
6.If not have the students do a journal entry on why they believe the words that came to mind did so.
Silent Study
1.Introduce the unit with the silent study.
2.Hand out the cards and go over expectations regarding treatment of the cards.
3.Explain that the entire class has to be absolutely quiet and must be listening so they know when their part is up. They need to do what their card tells them to do.
4.Give them the go ahead to start the activity.
5.Allow students to go through the motions.
6.After it is all done, take the cards in and ask the students what we will be studying for the next little bit.
7.Have a whole class discussion about eating disorders, what they know and if they feel it is something they will have experience with regarding friends and other people they know.
8.If time permits, hand out the agree disagree cards and review the silent study.
9.Students can write a journal regarding eating disorders and their beliefs.

Agree/Disagree & Paper Plate Activity
1.Introduce the lesson by asking the class what they know about eating disorders from last day and from personal experience.
2.Let them know that there are many myths and facts out there regarding this subject.
3.Hand out agree/disagree cards to the class.
4.Read out a list of statements and have them decide whether they agree with it or disagree with it.
5.Talk about each statement as it comes and ask if they are surprised.
6.Say statements that relate to personal images and thoughts of oneself, to see where their self-esteem levels are.
7.Read the poem "She", to the class and discuss how this girl feels and why.
8.Do the paper plate activity where the students write one nice thing about each other. Plates stay at desks and the students just move desks. 9.Have students write a journal entry explaining what they knew about eating disorders and what they learned today. Did they enjoy the activity? What was good/bad?

The Waistland Video or The Discovery of Dawn
1.Hand out the video questions to the class and explain that many people both male and female suffer from eating disorders. Here is a video for you to watch and answer the questions as you do so.
2.The video will likely take the entire period. Have the students work on questions.
3.Take up questions afterward and have a class discussion.
4.If time permits have students write in their journal.
5.Have the students bring magazines and other media resources to school for next day. Get some positive magazines.

Media Analysis
1.Have the students talk about the media and what they see regarding images.
2.Is there a common body type or look? What is it?
3.Put the overhead "Home-grown Muscle" on the machine and have the class look at it for a few minutes. Tell them to write down what they note about this add. What is it advertising?
4.Have a discussion about the effects this ad might have on the average male.
5.Now put on the Special K (Kellogg's) ads and let the students read them and think about them for a bit.
6.What do they see?
7.Discuss the effects these ads might have on various people.
8.Ask the students to get the magazines and other forms of media out to analyze.
9.Ask the students to find adds that promote healthy eating, lifestyles, a range of looks and body types, etc.
10.Have them complete worksheet "Let's Have a Look".
11.Discuss what their final results are in this assignment.
12.Could this possibly influence eating disorders among various people?

The Swan/ The Loser/Reality T.V.
1.Start class discussion about the Fox T.V. Series called the Swan. What does this show consist of? What do they do? What is the whole contest about? Why are they doing this? What do the students think about it?
2.If possible have the students look at the different photos of before and after on the Internet --
3.Ask the students what is wrong with this picture?
4.What is this series telling society?
5.Discuss the effects this has on people in society.
6.Have students compete the statement: I don't need a make over because. . .
7.This will be done on Plain white paper and will be decorated and presented in a desirable fashion because we will hang it on our corkboard in the hall way. Students have to list at least 5 quality reasons.
8.Show students the sample of the letter and have them write their own letter to the director of the swan series or The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, or any reality T.V. show that portrays people inaccurately or.

Social Pressures in the Media: Body size and the media
1.Talk about the previous day's learnings relating to the media and the reality shows. What do they think about the media?
2.Hand out the social pressures in the Media worksheet and have the students complete it on their own.
3.Once this has been completed have the students discuss this in their pods. They will all have favourite T.V. shows and actors/actresses. What are they all like.
4.In pods have students discuss why the majority of the famous people they have are thin. (Because there are not a lot of actors/actresses in the media that are not the ideal body type).
5.Ask students if they feel this could contribute in someway to eating disorders.
6.Put the "Christina Lingerie" overhead on the projector and ask the following questions: What is the model actually doing in this ad? What is your reaction to the ad when you first see it? How would the ad change if this woman didn't have the ideal body type? Who does the ad appeal to more? Males/Females? How would the ad change if it were a man rather than a woman?
7.Have a class discussion about what the students see in this ad.
8.Have the students reflect on this ad in their journal.

Eating Disorders Jeopardy
1.Put questions on sheets of construction paper and stick to board.
2.Headings will be Warning Signs, Vocabulary, Characteristics, Effects, etc.
3.Put students into 5 teams. They will throw something at the board in order to select their topic.
4.Discuss incorrect answers to the whole class.

Match the Meal with the Person
1.Give each student a card with either a meal or a person on it.
2.They will need to go around the room to find their match. . .they will have to look real closely as some are challenging.
3.Once they have met their partner, have each pair share their meal and person combination with the rest of the class.
4.Have student pairs come up with their own meal and person combinations.
5.Share these with the class.
6.Journal entry: Do you think you practice healthy eating habits? How could you change your habits to make them better?

Dos And Don'ts
1.Write the dos and don'ts when confronting someone with an ED on the board and have the students write them down in their books.
2.Have a quick discussion about the list. Does any piece of advice strike you as odd? Were you surprised by any of it?
3.Allow 15 minutes at the end of class for the students to reflect about this topic in their journals.

Conscience Skits
1.Hand out the three eating disorders information and briefly discuss each type of disorder. Discuss the dilemmas the people in the video were having.
2.Split them into groups of three and draw ED out of a hat for each group.
3.The groups are then to create a skit whereby they come up with one person struggling with an ED and two consciences (positive and negative) feeding him/her words.
4.They must show the struggles while facing a mirror and while having lunch with friends.
5.They will have this class period to work on it and it is to be presented next day.

1.Hand out test to the class to complete.
2.They will have to have out a book to read when they are done the test.