Classroom Freebies

Why I Do Not Teach a Health Triangle Unit

The Health Triangle

Since Health textbooks start out with the Concept of the Health Triangle (Physical, Mental, and Social Health), many health teachers begin health class teaching this concept. Most teachers have students read the chapter in the book, answer the questions and do an art activity involving the triangle. The art activity was meant to incorporate the concepts that each side of the triangle relates and affects other parts of the health triangle and that a healthy individual balances each side of the triangle.
By the time most health teachers are finishing the Health Triangle Unit, my class would have completed a Goals or Good Intentions Unit. They would begin a Personality Styles Unit next and they were totally engaged in the most important things of their lives — themselves.
The Health Triangle subject matter typically includes:

Physical Health:
  • Keeping fit by regular exercise
  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Maintain ideal weight
  • Practice good grooming habits
  • Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and drugs                                         
  • Get plenty of rest (8-9 hours)
Mental Health:
  • Develop thinking and decision making skills
  • Strive to learn new information
  • Learn how to deal with life's problems
  • Learn ways to deal with stress
Social Health:
  • Get along with family and friends
  •  Make and keep friends
  • Work well in groups
  • Disagree without fighting
  • Give and get support when Needed
I want my students to understand themselves better, before engaging them in the typical health science curriculum. My intent is to for people to be able to relate how health information is relative to their person.
For Example:
How does the pursuit of your future goals make you work on each of the Health Triangle areas?
  1. If Joe has a goal to play football for Georgia,
  • Will he have to be able to work well in a group?     
  • Will his ability to make good decisions be helpful to how his peers and coaches view him and move him into leadership positions within the team?
  • Will getting involved with people who do drugs help him get closer to his goal or farther away?
When you do this, the Health Triangle isn’t an abstract, boring thing for an easy grade. It becomes a specific area to be evaluated and improved upon. It will not only make a student a healthier person, but it gives direction to the student’s hopes and dreams.