NBC Learn K-12 Subscriber Spotlight: Teaching Health in an Engaging Way

Posted on 05/05/2016 07:28 AM

Anne Yarnot, a health teacher at Germantown High School, has been teaching for 22 years in Germantown school district in Wisconsin. She first discovered her love of the subject through playing basketball, volleyball and softball. Since health education is a constantly evolving field, Yarnot says it can make it a difficult subject to teach.

“It’s something that can change every hour because of the dynamics of my students, it’s never the same old, and you can take the topic so many different ways.”

When looking for new content to share with her students, Yarnot goes straight to the Health & Wellness collection on NBC Learn K-12 to find the most up-to-date stories, so she is prepared for any discussion topics her students may bring up.

One of the subjects Yarnot’s class covers is cancer and similar illnesses. She uses the “Breast Cancer Treatment Avastin at Center of Approval Battle” video to demonstrate the progress doctors are making in fighting this disease. Since the story does not disclose the Food and Drug Administration’s final decision, Yarnot breaks the class up into small groups and asks students to discuss the topic and decide what they think the FDA should do.

Another one of Yarnot’s favorite videos comes from the special collection, “Science of NFL Football: Nutrition, Hydration & Health.” The video looks at the physically demanding pre-season ritual of NFL training camp, and explores what NFL players must do to stay hydrated and well-nourished.

“It’s one thing to give lists of nutrients and examples of food, and another to prove it to [my students] through the video,” Yarnot says.

Yarnot uses NBC Learn K-12 videos to address many of the topics she is teaching.  For example, in order to help her students learn how to be educated consumers, she has them watch such videos as, “FDA Investigates 5-Hour Energy Drink” and “New York Attorney General Targets Herbal Supplements.”

“It’s quick, to the point, and their attention is always glued to the screen.”

Yarnot even finds that the resource is helpful for ending a class, when she uses some of the more upbeat stories, such as “Teen Uses Twitter to Compliment Peers” or “Boy Helps Brother with Cerebral Palsy Take on Wrestling.” Yarnot says the stories help set a positive mood as her students get ready for the rest of the school day. 

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