1. Introduce this lesson by giving students some background on heart-related issues, statistics on heart disease in women and men, and efforts to increase awareness of these issues. If possible, invite a guest speaker to the classroom (a doctor, science or health educator) to teach the students about the cardiovascular system.
2. If unable to have a guest speaker, use the models and diagrams of the human heart to introduce heart anatomy and function to your students. Use computers and the websites provided to reinforce the anatomy and function. It might be best to allow each student to do this alone, but if necessary due to equipment limitations, group students.
3. Review the basic anatomy of the heart and its function with your students as a class. It may be best to use a transparency and overhead projector to lead students through the path a drop of blood would take through the heart from beginning to end.
4. Now that your students understand basic heart anatomy, divide the class into five groups, and, using the websites listed below, assign each group the task of researching one of the following:
- What is heart disease and other related conditions?
- What are some tests for heart disease?
- What are some shortcomings of these tests for women?
- What is a Heart-Healthy lifestyle?
- What is the Red Dress Project and how does it seek to prevent heart disease in women?
5. Students can either write a report or prepare a PowerPoint slide presentation on their research, thus making their research available to the entire class.
6. Evaluation of this lesson is based on the following:
- Contribution to discussion
- Completeness of research
- Design and execution of report or PowerPoint
- Class Presentation
First Ladies' Red Dress Collection
First Lady's Remarks at Red Dress Unveiling
Red Dress Project
Virtual Guide to the Human Heart
Heart Disease Statistics
What are Heart Diseases and Other Related Conditions?
Tests Used to Diagnose Heart Disease
Tests Miss Heart Disease in Women
Heart Disease Still Killing Millions of Women
Heart Healthy Lifestyle
This lesson was developed by Marian Maxfield, Kent State University with the assistance of Tadd Maxfield