Ask students to define community in their own words. Make sure that the students come to a definition similar to the one given in the background. After students understand the definition of community, they should be asked to name things in their community that are related to their health or that affect their health. Use the chalkboard or a transparency to make categories for their ideas. The categories should include nutrition, physical activity and “other.” The students’ responses should fit into those categories. The “other” category may include places where they are exposed to secondhand smoke, school (where they interact with others, affecting their social health) and areas that are unsafe and/or should be avoided. The other category can also include places where they feel safe and where they can make healthy choices. For instance, school may also be placed under physical activity because they can be active during recess or physical education, and they can come back after school to play on the playground. Use a Venn diagram to show students that some categories will overlap.

When a variety of places have been named discuss each response. Star the places that positively affect one’s health. For instance, star all the places where they can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, eat balanced meals, be physically active, maintain healthy relationships, etc.

After discussing the responses, have the group answer the following questions:

  1. What makes your community great?
  2. What are the three most important places in your community to promote good health?
  3. What can you do if you do not live close to healthy places?

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