Classroom resources for engaging young people
Be smart about your health resources are developed with and for lower secondary school teachers and students (13 to 15 year olds). They are free to use, optimised for teachers to access with a smartphone or laptop, (with or without a projector), and work both online and offline. They have been evaluated in randomised trials and shown to have a large, positive effect on students’ learning outcomes.Explore "Be smart about your health"
Includes 10 lessons
There are 10 classroom lessons designed to be taught in 40 minute sessions, focusing on one or more of the IHC Key Concepts.Go to lesson overview
Blackboard lesson plans
“Blackboard lesson plans” are optimised for teachers’ use with a smart phone. They are created specifically to accommodate low-tech settings, with low file sizes and offline accessibility.Go to blackboard lesson plans
Projector lesson plans
For classrooms with access to a projector, “Projector lesson plans” include Google Slides presentations. These can be accessed directly online, or downloaded beforehand. Downloaded presentations can be easily modified by the teacher.Go to projector lesson plans
The Teachers’ guide includes everything teachers need to know about using the lessons plans, including introduction and overview, tips and in-depth descriptions, as well as links to other relevant resources.Go to teachers' guide
Printouts are optional resources for teachers and students. They include Teacher summaries, Posters, and Student handouts for each lesson, as well as the Quizzes in lessons 5 and 10.Go to printouts
Teacher training materials
A comprehensive set of presentations for a teachers’ training workshop, covering in-depth introductions to the content and practical guidance for teaching the lessons.Go to teacher training materials
Anyone can use these resources for free.
We created them be easy to use in any setting. The learning goals are based on explicit, transparent principles for assessing health claims and thinking critically about choices (a set of IHC Key Concepts), and can therefore be mapped onto existing curricula. We’ve embedded examples of conditions and treatments that are relevant for young people in general, and added an Example collection so teachers can easily find other examples.
All IHC resources are free to adapt for non-commercial use under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
Contact us if you want to produce an adaptation or translation.
We evaluated the effect of the resources in randomised trials in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda in 2022, and analysed the combined results from these three trials. The research shows that these resources demonstrated a clear effect on students ability to assess claims and use that knowledge to make informed choices.
Follow-up studies will explore students’ knowledge and experience after one year. We are also exploring transfer of learning, potential for adverse effects, and issues related to implementation and scaling up in process evaluations (manuscripts under development).
We developed these secondary school resources between 2019 and 2022, using a human-centred design approach with several cycles of prototyping, pilot testing and feedback from students, teachers, curriculum developers and other stakeholders in Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
See video about how we work when developing resources.
The following 9 Key Concepts formed the basis of the Be Smart About Your Health resources for secondary schools:
Concepts about claims:
- Messages that ignore harms
- Messages that exaggerate effects
- Trust in personal experiences
- Belief that commonly-used means effective
- Belief that new is better
- Messages with no comparison
Concepts about evidence:
- Similar comparison groups
- Small studies
Concepts about choices:
- Benefits and harms
We chose these by first identifying which Key Concepts were likely relevant and teachable to secondary school students (see: Prioritization of concepts for secondary school), then selecting a set that could be taught in a school term.