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Healthy sun habits (ages 8-10)

Time: 45 min


Students will be able to:

  • Explain at least two ways to protect themselves from the sun

  • Learn the importance of daily sun protection



  1. At the end of the Introduction to New material, ask for questions to assess whether students understand what they learned.

  2. During Guided Practice, check on students’ crossword puzzles to assess whether they grasped the material. 

  3. During Closing, go over crossword puzzle and see how students answered. 


8 minutes

Begin discussion by asking:

  • Ask have they ever been told to put on sunscreen by their parents? If students are unresponsive, say that your mom used to tell you to wear sunscreen. 

  • Ask why they think parents always tell their kids to wear sunscreen? If students are unresponsive, ask students what happens when they sit in the sun for a really long time with no sunscreen. (They get sunburn). 

  • Explain that today they are going to learn healthy sun protection habits.  

Introduction to new material

15-20 minutes

  • Ask students why they go to school. Students may say something along the lines of “to learn.” If students are unresponsive, ask students why school is important.

  • Explain that they are right; school is for learning.

  • Explain that this is what we call, “doing something for the long run.” We do something now to help or affect us in the future.

  • Explain it’s the same thing with sun protection. We put on sunscreen and have healthy sun habits to protect our skin from the sun and prevent sunburns. We also use sunscreen and have healthy sun habits so that we don’t get skin cancer later in life. 

  • Explain that there are five important ways to protect yourself from the sun and asks if they know any of them. Provide hints. Some helpful hints are written below under the answers.

    • Seek shade: The sun is hottest during the day from 10AM to 2PM. Here’s a cool trick: if your shadow is shorter than you, you should hang-out in the shade because the sun is really strong. You can find this under a tree or umbrella.

    • Cover up: Sunglasses and hats are fun to wear and help protect your eyes and face from the sun. Long-sleeved shirts and pants are good too for protecting you from the sun. You can wear light shirts or pants in the summer when it’s hot! Hint: You can use these at baseball games or your parents might wear these in the summer when it’s sunny out.

    • Sunscreen: Sunscreen comes in different SPFs, which stands for Sun Protection Factor. SPF 15 is the lowest you can have to help prevent skin cancer, but it is recommended to go with SPF 30 or higher. Your parents can help you pick one out. You should wear sunscreen every day! You can put it on after you brush your teeth or after you shower. It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or cloudy—the sun’s rays are strong and can get through those clouds! Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your face too! Hint: this is something we just talked about. We put it all over our bodies.      

    • Be careful around water, sand, and snow: Of course you can’t ignore the water and sand when you go to the beach or the snow if you go skiing, but you should make sure to put on extra protection. The sun’s rays can reflect off the water, sand, and snow and increase your chance of sunburn. So slather on that sunscreen! Hint: When you are at the beach you are around these things.

    • Stay away from tanning beds: Hopefully you aren’t already using tanning beds. They have the same kind of rays the sun does and can damage your skin, making it look older over time, putting you at a higher risk for skin cancer. It’s not worth it! These are things people use when they can’t go to the beach to get darker skin. There are whole stores for these, but they can be dangerous. 

  • Go over the five ways to protect yourself from the sun and has the students repeat after him/her:

    • Seek shade

    • Cover up

    • Sunscreen

    • Be careful around water, sand, and snow

    • Stay away from tanning bed 

  • Check for questions.  

Independent practice

10-15 minutes

Materials: Sun Crossword Puzzle (enough for class), pencils

  • Explain to students they are going to do a crossword puzzle in pairs.

  • Distribute Sun Crossword Puzzle worksheet.

  • Explain that there are clues below next to a number. The clues are divided into “Across” and “Down.” Let’s say you read a clue that is under “Across” and has the number 4 on it. You look for number 4 on the crossword, and know that the word is going to be written across. Find the word bank in the box on the bottom. The words are the answers to the clues. You have to choose which one you think is the right one for the clue and fill in the boxes on the crossword.

  • Read through all the clues to make sure the students understand them. Check for questions.

  • As students work on crossword puzzle, walk around to check on student work or to see if any students need help. 


5-7 minutes

  • Go over answers to crossword puzzle with students by asking for volunteers to read clues and give answers.

  • Before students leave, ask enthusiastically, “Remember! We should wear sunscreen every day! When should we wear sunscreen?” Students should respond, “Every day!”