Improving Health Information Literacy in Middle School Children
Library and Information Science | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health
This health information literacy (HIL) curriculum is designed for sixth grade students. It was developed by librarian and faculty from MCPHS University in collaboration with a local public library, art museum, local department of public health and local public elementary schools. It is designed around a major environmental health problem in the U.S., childhood lead poisoning.
The curriculum is designed to: 1) improve the health information literacy skills, and 2) increase knowledge of lead poisoning. A secondary goal of the project is to encourage 6th grade students to include attending college as one of their aspirations.
The curriculum is highly interactive and designed to be utilized over three to five sessions. A detailed description of the program components can be found in the following paper: Bond I, Friel C, Lahoz M. Spearheading Health Information Literacy in the Community: The Libraries as Leaders, IFLA Congress, June 04, 2011. Available at: http://conference.ifla.org/past/ifla77/114-bond-en.pdf.
Materials in this curriculum packet include: a pre and post-test to evaluate the effectiveness of the program, laboratory “experiments” to be conducted in the classroom or college laboratory, worksheets to guide students as they evaluate health information websites, non-fiction stories to read to students about lead poisoning cases, and a poster template for students to use to design a capstone poster. The curriculum also includes fictional Medical Mystery cases that contain artwork specific to the Worcester Art Museum. These cases could be adapted to include works of art from any partnering art museum.
This curriculum can be modified and used by librarians, teachers, public health workers, museum staff and anyone interested in conducting an HIL outreach project. The project was funded by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine-New England Region.
health information literacy, curriculum, lead poisoning, middle school
Bond I, Friel C, Lahoz M. “Health Information Literacy Outreach: A Curriculum for Improving Health Information Literacy of 6th Grade Children”, Massachusetts Library System Guides, updated: September 23, 2013. http://guides.masslibsystem.org/index
National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region (NNLM NER) Repository
Bond, Irena; Friel, Carolyn; and Lahoz, Monina, "Health Information Literacy Outreach: A Curriculum for Improving Health Information Literacy of 6th Grade Children" (2013). National Network of Libraries of Medicine New England Region (NNLM NER) Repository. 26.
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