Health, Nutrition, and Type 2 Diabetes

The increase in type 2 diabetes nationally and globally gives meaningful context for learning about nutrition, health, and the environmental and genetic contributions to this challenging disease.

Follow this link for teacher instructions, hyperlinked student roadmaps, student worksheets, slides, and other teaching resources.

Lesson 1: Students explore unit themes through a Silent Chalk Talk conversation. Students then see how diabetes and obesity have increased dramatically in the United States over the last two decades by watching a slide set from the Center for Disease Control. Students consider how the environment has changed during this time.

Lesson 2: Students learn how type 2 diabetes is influenced by our environments and assess their own environmental risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Students learn how the change in environment for one population has impacted their health over time.

Lesson 3: Students model glucose as the building block of most carbohydrates and learn how blood glucose balance is maintained (or not) when type 2 diabetes develops. Students then create analogies to explain the roles of glucose, insulin, and the pancreas.

Lesson 4: Students examine food and drink labels and calculate the percentage of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates contained in different foods and drinks, and visually illustrate liquid sugars in a beverage. Students consider changes in diet over time and figure out how different types of food impact blood glucose levels.

Lesson 5: Students learn ways in which exercise can aid in treating and preventing type 2 diabetes and determine durations of physical activity required for balancing calories consumed and calories burned.

Assessment: Students make final contributions to the Chalk Talk posters, identify themes for the unit, and assess the SMART goals they set for themselves. Lastly, students consider how they might make a meaningful contribution to the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

If you do not have access to Google, contact Joan at for an updated pdf of the entire unit.

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