Health Literacy Special Collection
Mini-Grant Lesson Plans
is a Part of Life
Mazie Wilson and Thea Zimmermann
Melvina McDowell and Fred Stallworth
Adult Literacy Program
Southwest Georgia Technical College
Thomasville, GA 31792
Two students recommended from a GED class form a teaching
team with a health literacy teacher. They discuss which topic they will
teach to a GED class and decide on stress. After surveying the classes
on the topic, they become familiar with the Internet via the LINCS
Health Literacy Special Collection. They use it to research the
topic and help prepare the lesson. Together with the teacher, they introduce
the topics and lead discussion as well as giving assistance to those
needing help with the Web. Time:25hours
Southwest Georgia Technical College provides adult literacy services
to three Southwest Georgia counties-Thomas, Grady, and Mitchell. Adult
literacy classes are taught using a state-approved competency-based
curriculum in a variety of classroom settings and times throughout the
Service Delivery Area. In addition, Southwest Georgia Technical College
offers a health literacy component. In health literacy, students learn
to apply reading and numerical skills to health care settings. Students
learn to comprehend the concepts and tasks necessary to meet their health
Description of the Teaching Team
team submitting this lesson plan on stress includes the Health Literacy
instructor and two ABE students, Melvina McDowell and Fred Stallworth.
Both were recommended by their GED instructor, Ms. Susie Butler. The
students selected the topic for this project. Although neither had used
the Internet previously, they were very proficient with its use at the
Description of classes receiving instruction
One of the first steps in developing this lesson was distributing a
questionnaire to all Thomas County GED classes. We asked the students
to define stress, tell how their body feels when they are under stress,
three ways they cope with stress, and what would they like to learn
about stress. Their answers were used in the development of the lesson
and in the creation of our two handouts.
We taught this lesson to Ms. Susie Butler's GED class at Southwest
Georgia Technical College.
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The purpose for the class ( as well as the students on the teaching
team) was to increase students' skills in use of the Internet to read
and understand health literacy information.
Students will be able to:
1. Define stress
2. Identify how stress can be both "good" and "bad"
3. Identify signs of stress
4. Understand how stress can affect our physical health
5. Identify healthy ways for coping with stress
6. Understand and use the Internet
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questionnaire on stress
Lesson plan prepared
by teaching team
a. Have an adult literacy instructor recommend two students.
b. Meet with the students, explain the project, and agree on a subject.
c. Meet with the students to discuss questions they personally have
about stress. Some of these questions are used as the objectives for
the lesson and in developing a questionnaire to be completed by other
adult literacy students.
d. The instructor and students become familiar with the Internet and
the LINCS Health Literacy Special Collection website. As the website
is explored, articles relating to stress are noted for further research.
e. Continue researching the site, searching for answers to questions
f. Complete an outline for the lesson. This allowed the students and
teacher to narrow the search and concentrate on links and specific articles
found in the Student/Learner Literacy Resources.
g. Collect the questionnaires from the adult literacy classes. One
student tabulates the results.
h. The instructor writes the lesson plan from the outline and research.
i. Meet with the students to review lesson and develop handouts. The
questionnaire is used to develop the handout "Stressed Out?"
Student/teacher research is used to develop the handout "Evaluate
j. The students and instructor prepare to teach the lesson. Each person
is assigned a specific role.
k. The students and teacher teach the lesson. One student introduces
the topic and both students are involved in the discussion that ensues.
The students and teacher rotate around the room to assist students with
accessing and using the site. At this time, we identify strengths and
weaknesses in our curriculum and revise, if necessary.
The articles used in this lesson can be changed based on student's
reading levels. The NIH site <http://health.nih.gov/>
may not be appropriate for low readers or ESOL students, although Spanish
articles are available. Instructors could divide the class into different
reading levels and determine sites/ research articles based on this.
The students said they enjoyed the lesson. Several students had never
been on the Internet before and didn't realize that there was so much
information. One woman shared that she was the caregiver for her invalid
father. She found articles on relieving stress for caregivers that she
thought were very beneficial. Others commented that they would return to the
site, especially Familydoctor.org
and NIH Consumer Health Publications,
to learn more about certain diseases.
Ms. Butler's GED class has various levels of students. The students
also varied in their personal knowledge of the Internet. It will be
helpful to give the students instruction on accessing the Internet before
starting the actual lesson or use a PC/TV adapter so that the students
can access the sites along with the instructor. The directions to the
sites were written on the board and given orally. We revised our lesson
to include a Directions handout for the students. The handout allows
students to move through the sites at their own pace and reading ability.
Melvina McDowell stated "Learning about stress is important so
that I can deal with it better and I can help others, including my 16
month old son. I had never used the Internet before and really enjoyed
working on this project." When Melvina completes her GED, she plans
to continue at Southwest Georgia Technical College and major in nursing.
Fred Stallworth stated that "Learning about stress is important
so young teens learn healthy ways to deal with the stress in their lives.
Working on this project showed me how useful the Internet is. I appreciate
being asked to work on this." Fred also said "The reason I
am working on my GED now is that when I was younger, education wasn't
really important. I would like to work with young adults in the future
so that they won't have the hard time that I did."
We were able to teach this lesson in Ms. Susie Butler's class where
the response was favorable and gave us the information to revise our
initial lesson plan.
In addition to thanking Ms. Butler, we would also like to thank Lisa
Carroll, Administrative Assistant, for designing the student handouts.
We hope others can benefit from our research in completing this lesson
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