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8th Grade Health

Why you should wear deodorant...and other things

There comes a time in a young man or woman's life when…

Okay, enough of that old-school stuff. Shmoop's here to give you an up-to-the-minute health course on the birds, the bees, fire escape plans, Instagram safety, and then some. Beyond those staples of contemporary life, you'll also

  • identify major conditions, both medical and emotional, through recognizing their symptoms.
  • advise your peers (and yourself) on how to treat and solve medical and mental health issues.
  • research health issues, health products, and places in your community where you can receive resources—and learn how to analyze the validity of a totally bogus "resource."
  • discuss complex health issues with your peers and apply legit medical research to back up your opinion.
  • write both informatively and creatively to evaluate multiple outcomes of tricky health situations.
  • create visual presentations to spread health awareness (yay!).

Basically, by the time you finish the ninety lessons of this standard-aligned course, packed with articles, videos, blog entries, teen resources, and actually-sorta-fun activities, you'll be giving your teachers advice on health instead of the other way around.

…Actually, maybe you shouldn't do that. That'd be pretty awkward.

Course Breakdown

Unit 1. All Up There

This course kickoff gives you info on key aspects of mental health. We talk about emotional stability, mental disorders and depression, grief and loss, therapy, and bullying. Most important, we give you the rundown on how to spot mental health issues  in yourself and others and how to get the necessary help.

Unit 2. In a Relationship

What does it mean—and what does it take—to change your status to "in a relationship"? Way more than clicking a button, apparently. This unit focuses on family, romantic, and peer relationships, with tips and reading that Shmoop 100% guarantees you can use in your daily life. 

Unit 3. Your Body

Part of being a teen is thinking about your body. A lot. (And Shmoop's gotta tell you: it doesn't go away when you become an adult.) Unit 3 focuses on hygiene, workouts and eating, health-related shopping, and how to do all these tricky things in the safest and healthiest way possible.

Unit 4. Disease and the Healthcare System

Think you're too young to learn about health insurance and infectious disease? No way. Disease is what happens all around you, every day—this unit's all about educating yourself about viruses, bacteria, health care, environmental health, resources for health information, and public health campaigning. Way crucial to reaching your goal age of 200 years.

Unit 5. Sexual Health

Yes, we said "sex." And we're going to be saying it a lot more in this unit; here we'll focus on sex in the media, hormones, male and female reproductive systems, sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS, pregnancy, risk reduction behaviors, and prevention. After this unit, puberty will be a breeze. Well, it probably won't, but at least you'll be able to talk about it breezily.

Unit 6. Saying No and Staying Safe

We know, we know: drugs are bad. But in this unit, we're going to get into the nitty-gritty of how drugs really mess up, your brain, your social life, and the lives of those around you. Finally, we're going to dig into safety. We're talking survival kits, planning, and weapon safety—the fun stuff.

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 1: The Science of Sleep

What a lovely day. It's time to stop and smell the inevitable biological changes of adolescence.

In other words, welcome to the Shmoop Healthstravaganza. Our first stop is personal hygiene. Just in case that isn't an everyday word for you, we'll spell it plain: hygiene is a reflection of how clean and neat we are. Cleanliness and healthiness are related—you're probably not at your physical best if your hair is messy and your teeth are falling out—so it's not weird to talk about personal hygiene in a class about personal health.

Shmoop's not about pointing fingers, but hygiene is super important for y'all in particular, because your bodies are undergoing some intense changes that'll make it harder to stay clean and shiny. For example: how's that armpit hair working out for you?

Today we'll go over our the basics of hygiene—showering, cleaning your ears, trying not to eat raw garlic every day—and transition to the biggest boost to personal hygiene that you can make: getting enough sleep.

"Just a few more hours; then you can eat me."

It's tough, we know. Just when your growing bodies need the most sleep, we stick you in a schooling system designed to deprive you of it and make you wake up too early to shower and properly clean your ears. And you won't feel comfortable with cutting down to 7 hours of sleep until you're 40 (at least), so it's best to think about maximizing your Z's now, while those mean ol' teachers are working you to the bone.

To round things off, we'll do plenty of deep thinking and debating about your sleeping habits. Which will be torture if you're reading this at 8:00 in the morning after pulling an all-nighter. Try to stay awake, and bear with us.

  • Course Length: 18 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 8
  • Course Type: Elective
  • Category:
    • Health, Physical Education, and Counseling
    • Middle School

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