Health and Well-being

19 May 2012

The Year 3 students at the Aga Khan Academy, Mombasa recently participated in a learning unit on the theme “Who we are.”

The Year 3 students at AKA, Mombasa explored the idea of the self in a transdisciplinary theme on “Who we are.” Through the unit, the students inquired into personal values and ethics as they considered their physical, social and spiritual health.

The statement that guided our learning was, “People make choices about nutrition, exercise and hygiene that affect their health.” This central idea allowed us to explore our eating habits through a food diary. We created “paper plates” to show different food portions and tracked what we ate.

We found that a lot of our food belongs in the carbohydrates group, potatoes and chips being a favourite. We asked, “What happens to our food after we chew and swallow?” We explored how the body processes food, and we looked at the basic digestive system, including parts and functions. We have a lot of energy after lunch — PE, running around and swimming feel great at the end of the day.

Next we inquired into the effects of exercise and hygiene on health. We visited a gym and performed yoga. We learned that chemicals that make us feel happy are released in the body after exercise and that exercise is important to help us stay healthy. We also discussed habits and routines, such as brushing teeth, that are part of daily hygienic practice.

After we spent five weeks exploring different aspects of everyday living, we had to make choices. To eat the chips, or not to eat the chips? We realized it’s more important to ask, “How many chips and how often?”

To bring our understanding together, we created posters to advertise fictional health retreat centres and discussed meal plans, exercise regimens, and tips on staying healthy and clean. At the unit celebration, students brought in samples of a meal that would be served at the health retreat.

Making informed choices to keep our bodies healthy is vital. Here, students reflected on personal habits and came up with goals related to food, exercise and cleanliness. We make sure to do daily exercises and love our PE lessons. We try to brush our teeth after every meal. Many have opted for healthier snacks and bring a fruit each day, but others won’t part with their bag of chips just yet!