Estimated Lesson Duration:

2 class periods;  Day 1: 10 min; Day 2:  45-55 min


The choices you make in middle school can affect your health now and when you are older.  How impulsive you are affects these choices you make.  This lesson helps students understand impulsive behavior and their own impulsivity so that they can identify tempting choices and take steps  make good choices for their future and not just their present.  People with high impulsivity have a higher caloric intake than people with low impulsivity and may have more difficulty in achieving goals.  High impulsivity is also associated with addiction.  People with low impulsivity do better in school and have more friends and are more likely to achieve their long-term goals.  While impulsive behavior can persist into adulthood, it can also be changed over time — which is why helping students to identify it is so important.


Key Concepts and Standards:

 Key Concepts:

Students will be able to:

·         Identify the quality of their health

·         Identify their health challenges

·         Develop strategies to improve their health

·         Recognize the problems associated with poor health


  • National Science Standards:Science in Personal and Social Perspective – Personal Health and Risks and BenefitsLife Science – Regulation and Behavior
  • Oregon State Science Standards:7.2L.2 – Explain the process by which plants and animals obtain energy and materials for growth and metabolism.
  • National Health Standards:1.8.1 Analyze the relationship between healthy behaviors and personal health.1.8.2 Describe the interrelationships of emotional, intellectual, physical, and social health in adolescence.

    1.8.4 Describe how family history can affect personal health.

    1.8.6 Explain how appropriate health care can promote personal health.

    1.8.7 Describe the benefits of and barriers to practicing healthy behaviors.

  • Oregon State Health Standards:Track progress toward achieving a short-term personal goal related to variety and moderation within healthy eating.Differentiate between diets that are health promoting and diets linked to disease.

    Identify the impact nutrition has on chronic disease.

    Explain the importance of variety and moderation in food selection and consumption.

    Promote healthy ways to maintain or lose weight through behavior change, not dieting.

    Identify personal stressors at home, in school and with peers.

    Practice managing personal stressors at home, in school, and with peers.

    Develop achievable goals to handle stressors in a healthy way.

    Identify how food choices are influenced by culture, family, media, technology, peers, body image and emotions.

    Use a decision making model to avoid or refuse addictive substances and/or behaviors.

    Explain the physical, academic, mental, and social benefits of physical activity and the relationship of a sedentary lifestyle to chronic disease.

Teachers may consult the Oregon Department of Education’s website for additional terms related to each lesson.


Preparations/ Materials

• Candy for students (1-2 per student)

• Worksheets and risk factor cards

• Surveys

• Marshmallow video  (



Downloadable Lesson and Supporting Materials

Lesson Plans with Worksheets and Surveys