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January 7, 2015

21st Century Interdisciplinary Theme

Health Literacy

According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, schools should not only focus on mastery of core subjects, but also promote understanding of academic content at much higher levels by weaving 21st century interdisciplinary themes into core subjects. One of these themes is health literacy, which includes understanding preventive physical health measures, such as proper diet, nutrition and exercise, as well as using available information to make appropriate health-related decisions.

Energize to Learn

Discovery Education, Sanford Health and WebMD teamed up to create a new program for elementary educators and students called fit 4 the classroom, which brings the four pillars of the fit initiative—mood, move, food and recharge—into the classroom.

The fit initiative presents a suite of free resources designed to empower children and parents to make healthful lifestyle choices. On the site, you will find a series of free lesson plans with engaging activities and videos that demonstrate the importance of a balanced daily life and easily tie into math, science or other classroom instruction.

Plus, you may win a healthy helping of prizes for you and your school in the second annual fit 4 the classroom sweepstakes! The sweepstakes ends at 5:00 p.m. (ET) on April 30, 2015.

Nourish with Knowledge

Developed by The Cooper Institute of Dallas more than 30 years ago, FitnessGram is an assessment of fitness related to health, not athletics. The tests typically are taken at the beginning and end of every school year to measure progress. FitnessGram tests for five components of fitness: aerobic capacity, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition. In turn, it teaches students about those key ingredients to living a fit life. The program has evolved over time and now includes mobile applications dedicated to the fitness-testing program for both teachers and students.

In response to the childhood obesity epidemic, The Cooper Institute—in partnership with NFL Play 60, the National Football League’s children’s fitness program—combined FitnessGram and its sister tests, ActivityGram (a three-day activity program) and NutriGram, into FitnessGram 10. FitnessGram 10 includes the new apps, aligns FitnessGram standards with Centers for Disease Control values for BMI (body mass index) and includes improved technology that simply involves information technology staff installing software programs.


The Quest to Lava Mountain (QTLM) is The Cooper Institute’s free online nutritional learning video game that is fun, open to all levels and teaches nutrition and more. Children use metacognitive skills when playing and even learn math, science, language arts and social studies as they go.

In this web-based adventure game, students explore, solve puzzles, collect items and food, and battle against a bevy of bugs! During gameplay, students gain abilities from hats with special powers: they tame bees with the Beekeeper Hat, break rocks with the Miner Hat and catch fish while wearing a Fishing Hat!

Players gain Health and Strength from eating certain foods collected in the game. They must eat healthful foods to excel and avoid junk foods that weaken performance. To unlock the full potential of these nutritious power-ups, students need to teach their avatar to cook. They must learn recipes and cook even more healthful foods to maximize their abilities!

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