On the whole, young adolescents know a lot about their own and other’s health, particularly the problems they are suffering (Diarrhoea, Malaria, Hunger etc.). They also have good ideas about how to prevent these (hand washing, using bednets, balanced diet).
However, there ARE teaching moments.
These don’t have to be ‘heavy’, but they are the moments where a teacher is needed to help (or seek help) in order to help the children to make realistic and effective health action plans. In our workshop in Mozambique, we demonstrated several of these micro-teaching moments. They don’t take long but they fuel the children’s subsequent ideas and activities.
Here is an example: the children are holding up their note books showing the diagram that records and consolidates each child’s understanding – afterwards we discussed the FIVE critical times to wash hands properly (with soap).
Whilst they probably already know this information, it’s worth discussing as it also throws up their personal challenges of undertaking hand washing consistently through the day in a setting where water is scarce and soap may only be bought and used in small amounts and prioritised for washing clothes.