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Health Literacy Special Collection
Mini-Grant Lesson Plans


Presentations on Breast Cancer

Andrea Nicholson
6459 NDCBU
Taos, NM 87571


Lesson Summary

Four ESOL students used the LINCS website to obtain information about breast cancer and used this information to prepare an oral presentation for the introductory level class. They did research on the website and with that information prepared posters and transparencies to do the oral presentation. Time: Started to work in the project the first week of May and did the presentation on May 20, 2003. The class meets every Tuesday, but to complete the project we held extra meetings and classes.


Class Description

Three women posing for photo

I worked with four women from the advanced level ESL class. They are in their thirties, all of them immigrants from Mexico. Only one of them has college education, the others have GED level or below. None of them had previous experience using computers or the Internet. Only the one with college education years ago was exposed to the use of computers, but has been without any interaction with them for a long period of time. Only this student had experience doing research, and preparing an oral presentation. For the remaining three the whole experience was new. These four students are the only students in the advanced level. The rest of the students, around eighteen of them, attend the introductory level class.

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Learning Objectives

The objectives of the lesson plan were:
1. Exposed them to a computer and to the Internet. Teach them the basics of computer usage.
2. Teach them how to do research.
3. Teach them how to prepare and deliver an oral presentation.
4. Have them work as a team.


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Most of the materials used came from the LINCS website. Below is a list of some of the different pages that they visited to acquire the needed information for the presentation:

Breast Cancer Tutorial from MedlinePlus

Breast Cancer Tutorial from MedlinePlus (Spanish)

Family Doctor (Spanish)

Cancer information

Prevention and Detection

Facts and Figures (Spanish)

Summary (Spanish)

Understanding Cancer (Spanish)

National Human Genome Research Institute

Mammograms and Breast Cancer

Note: Since they used more than one computer and at different locations, I do not have a complete list of the sites visited. Some of the pages I just listed the main page visited and they navigated within that page.

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1. The first step was just to show them how to use a computer and give them an idea how to navigate in the Internet. They learned how to turn on and off a computer, how to use the mouse, how to use the printer, how to connect to the Internet and navigate through it. Then I took them to the LINCS website and let them discover what was available there.

2. After they felt comfortable with this part they started to do some research. They got an idea what they needed and they prepared an outline of the presentation, divided the subjects and started to look for materials for each part of the presentation. One of the challenges that we had is that we are very small group and we do not have our own computer, so we used my personal computer at home where they took turns to use it. We also used the computers at the local library and at another public place in town. It was difficult to get them to work all together at once.

3. After they assembled the information necessary for the presentation, they started preparing the presentation. Since only one of them knew how to do research and prepare a presentation, I taught them how to prepare visuals and also taught them how to deliver a speech using an overhead projector.

4. The last two parts of the activity were the presentation itself and a written account by each of the participants of their experiences throughout the project.

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The fact that we do not have a computer available at the classroom made the project a little more challenging. Also it would be nice if more than one computer was available for the students to work on.

I would have started a little earlier, the reason I waited was to receive the contract and this delayed the beginning of the project. A lot got done in short period of time considering their lack of experience.

The women decided to do the presentation in Spanish considering that the audience doesn’t speak too much English. I would use more English for the next time, maybe not all in English but some vocabulary. They did research both in English and Spanish, but translated all the material into Spanish. The participants themselves got exposed to English but the beginners students did not.


Considering their lack of experience in the whole process, I was not sure what the end result was going to be. They ended up having an hour presentation about breast cancer, with some posters and transparencies. I was surprised to see them delivering to the introductory level class a very solid presentation. All the information they provided was accurate, they made very good use of visuals, using transparencies with drawings and text. They also got some extra material from the Department of Health like pamphlets and small breasts models to teach how to do a self-breast exam. It was interesting to see the audience very interested in what their upper level classmates did. A significant addition to the presentation was that they brought another immigrant who has been fighting breast cancer to give her testimony.

Overall I think the results were very positive. They were so excited that they want to continue using the Internet and try out the experience again with another topic. They said, “We need to raise money to buy a computer” so we can continue using it. They were happy that they were able to do so much, the research, putting the material together, and doing the actual presentation. Below are the impressions of the four participants:

Students Reflections


Hilda presenting
My name is Hilda and I enjoyed a lot doing the LINCS project because a learned a lot about breast cancer and how to use a computer. I learned how to prepare an oral presentation…well everything was new for me because I never made a presentation before, but I enjoyed doing something new. I also enjoyed the opportunity of working as a group because I learned from my classmates.

I liked doing this presentation about breast cancer because I noticed that the majority of women don’t worry about informing themselves about breast cancer and do not even know how to do a self-breast exam.

Even though it was difficult, I enjoyed using the Internet. This was my first experience using it; still I found a lot of material about breast cancer in the LINCS page. I talked about treatment options and I tried to do transparencies with a drawing for each of the treatments types, unfortunately this was difficult to find.

I think if I have another opportunity to do an oral presentation, I would gladly do it. Thanks to this presentation I feel more aware about breast cancer.


Magdalena presenting
For me this was a very good experience because I had the opportunity to talk to the introductory level women about the risk of breast cancer and I helped them to understand why our health is so important.

It was very nice to learn about how to use the Internet, and see that we have a world full of information just pressing the keys in our keyboard.

The LINCS page was very good, clear and very interesting.


Cristina presenting
My name is Cristina Rodriguez and I am one of the four women that participated in the oral presentation about breast cancer using the LINCS site. I really enjoyed teaching other women about breast cancer and how to detect it early. I found that the LINCS page was very helpful to find the information necessary to do the presentation.

This is my first time using the Internet and doing an oral presentation, but I enjoyed both of them. Even though I did not have practice using the Internet, I found all the information necessary in the LINCS site to do our oral presentation.

I enjoyed the project so much that I would like to do a similar project during my next semester.

(Completed 2004)

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