De Bono Hats & the Sugar Tax

For Health, I used the coloured De Bono Hats to promote critical thinking around the proposed Sugar Tax in New Zealand.

I did this by initially showing the students some NZ Herald Articles about the sugar tax and also some clips on how sugar affects the brain. I was very neutral with my delivery and explanations so that I did not influence their opinion and be biased in anyway.

Using the De Bono Thinking Hats allowed students to think from multiple perspectives. I also think that it is important particularly around issues of eating/diet/body image because these can be sensitive and personal subjects. These are quite complex things to be discussing so, the hats were a useful tools for students to discover information for themselves but also, to reflect on their own attitudes and knowledge.

The outcome of the learning for this that the students were beginning to think critically and apply a socio-ecological perspective to different social issues. As a summary task, the students needed to write a paragraph explaining their opinion and why they had it. A lot of the students gave very thoughtful answers and considered the issue from a range of perspectives.

sugar tax

Also, I shared this lesson with the other teachers in my Department. I emailed them the link and told them where to find the resources for the lesson. This shows my leadership in contributing to effective teaching and learning .Alongside this, I have begun collating different resources for Health in Pearltrees. Again, I shared this with the other teachers in the department who are benefiting from recent and engaging teaching resources.


“Wellbeing Walk”

For my Yr 11 Health class, we are doing a Unit on ‘Managing Change.’ A component of this is how Hauora/wellbeing is affected by change. I was considering how to teach this in a creative and physical way. In order to do this I decided to deliberately change the students’ environment and then evaluate how this affected their wellbeing.

I told the students that they were going on a ‘Wellbeing Walk’. They were given 5 minutes to spend outside on the fields anyway they liked. I asked that they talk to someone that they do not usually correspond with in class, notice three new things and share three things that they were grateful.

The responses to this activity were varied. Some students lay in the sun, others shot hoops, some wandered around on the grass, some listened to music while, others chose to sat by themselves. In the debrief I draw on these different reactions and responses. I asked questions to unpack what as positive/negative and how the different dimensions of their wellbeing were affected. The students’ answers were thought-provoking and considerate and made effective connections to the dimensions of wellbeing. With this prompting and questions the students were able to more authentically and really see how ‘change’ impacts wellbeing.

I had 10 minutes remaining in the lesson and the students were very relaxed and enjoying being outside. I used this as a springboard to further our discussion. I asked them; “If we had to return to class, how would this negatively or positively affect your wellbeing?” The students were very quick to explain how it would be negative for each dimension. Even though, the students thought that they were defending the opportunity to stay outside, the students were actually making very meaningful connections to the learning and were showing me very knowledge.

I think that this activity demonstrates creativity and management of the learning setting and successful strategies to engage and motivate students . Also, it shows support for students to engage with and apply learning in a different context .