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Running head: UNIT RATIONALE

Unit Rationale
May Smith
Fontbonne University


When planning out curriculum for a lesson plan, it is vital that the content be relevant to
the audience. Not only should the lesson be based on current educational standards, but it also
needs to account for current trends affecting your audience and be supported by current
literature. In order to choose a topic that would be both relevant and interesting to my audience
of the high school senior students at Timberland High School, I tried to take all three of these
factors into account. With a classroom of mixed genders, the topic needed to be relevant to the
changes both sexes are facing in their current life stage. I chose the six dimensions of wellness, a
topic that focuses on helping people develop strong meaning and purpose.
In the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education (2008), the
Nutrition and Wellness standards set out a competency that asks for students to be able to
explain physical, emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual components of individual and
family wellness. The six dimensions of wellness cover all of these requirements while helping
the students to develop their own self-directed wellness.
In a 2001 study exploring the roles of ethnic identity, acculturation, and mattering
in adolescents, results showed strong relations between well-developed wellness and a sense of
mattering (Rayle & Myers). The study included the discussion of the implication of these
findings, concluding that School counselors would do well to integrate knowledge, awareness,
and skills related to adolescentsoverall wellness into their comprehensive counseling
programs(Rayle & Mayers, 2001).
Modern social trends also recognize the need for teens to learn self-efficacy in
developing a rounded sense of wellness. In American society, the year of graduating from high
school is often seen as a social rite of passage from childhood into adulthood. However, the
many changes, responsibilities, and unknowns of the future can often overwhelm even the


brightest and optimistic student. Many teenagers suffer depression and anxiety in the face of all
of these changes. Making teens aware of the different ranges of wellness can be key in helping
them develop coping skills that allow them to handle the stresses of these changes in a healthy
manner. With the current social recognition of the importance of wellness, you can easily find
programs that revolve around teaching wellness to teens. This has become such a generally
socially accepted trend that the idea has even commercialized. A quick good search gives us the
example of Adolescent Wellness, Inc which has a goal of teaching teens how to balance the
weight of lifes worries with the relief of skills and knowledge through practical act ivies to build
resilience. (n.d.).
With the combination of these three factors, I chose the six dimensions of wellness for
my audience because I believed it addresses a need that I believe is often underdeveloped in
public institutes. Throughout primary education, learning is often leaning towards the completion
of tests and the recitation of vast stores of knowledge without regards towards the individual
students reaction to that goal. While teachers try their best to recognize each student for the
person that they are, many students are so overwhelmed by the burden of work that school puts
on them. This leaves them little time for the self-exploration and development that is crucial at
this time of their life. Including lessons on the six dimensions of wellness should be seen as
important to the health of high schools students as their academic scores. These topics could be
included in other classes that explore the topic of self-discovery in uncomfortable topics, such
as sexual health. At this age, students may be prompted by their peers to laugh or joke about the
topic in a public situation, but privately they are being armed with the knowledge they need to
begin their own self-development, leading to a stronger, happier, and healthier life both now and
beyond their high school career.



Adolescent Wellness, Inc. (n.d.). Teen/iGROW. Retrieved from
National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences. (2014).
Nutrition and wellness. National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences
Education. Retrieved from
Rayle, A. D. & Myers, J. E. (2004). Counseling adolescents towards wellness: The roles of
ethnic identity, acculturation, and mattering. Professional School Counseling, 8(1), 8190.