6 Online Resources for Planning a Health Curriculum

Two years ago, I finally did it. I threw away (or recycled, actually) the stacks of textbooks that had been collecting dust on my shelves for years.

I’m not sure why I didn’t do it sooner. Textbooks are often outdated, and health is a subject with a constantly changing curriculum. It’s best to first find out what the student health concerns are within your community, and then find supporting materials online.

It can be overwhelming to sift through all of the resources out there, so I use Twitter to help streamline my news feed, and subscribe to the blogs that I know will consistently deliver good information.

Here are some that have helped me keep my health curriculum up-to-date:

1. The New York Times – Well

Covering a wide range of topics and written by a team of experts, this blog is full of breaking health news, tips for healthy living, and the latest research and studies.

2. The Atlantic – Health

Dr. James Hamblin writes the health column for The Atlantic, and his fresh take is insightful and often very funny. His video series “If Our Bodies Could Talk” takes a humorous look at current health trends, and his Twitter feed was named one of the best of 2014 by Time Magazine.

3. NPR Shots

This health column from the NPR blog is updated frequently and delivers the latest news with a balanced focus on physical, mental, and emotional health. I like sharing these articles with my students when they’re doing health research, because it gives them the option of listening to or reading the stories.

4. Choices Magazine

This might seem like an obvious one, but Choices is a valuable resource for any health teacher. They tackle real issues that kids face today, and put a lot of thought into the stories that they publish – thanks to feedback from both teacher and student advisory boards.

5. The Greater Good Science Center from UC Berkeley

This has been an extremely useful resource for me over the last few years as I’ve incorporated mindfulness into my classroom. They’ve got the latest on social and emotional health, and their site for educators is full of resources and research to help any teacher whose goal is to educate the whole child.

Their focus is on the science of what makes a meaningful life, and their new website Greater Good In Action, is full of active, research-based practices to help improve health and happiness, which could easily be used in the classroom.

6. Common Sense Media

I can’t say enough about this site as a resource for teachers, students and their parents. It covers all things digital, including screen time, cyberbullying, and media literacy.

In our age of information, staying in the loop is key when it comes to getting buy-in from kids. The resources above are just a small handful of all the helpful teaching tools the Internet has to offer. Happy planning! 

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