As educators, we want to encourage active participation among the diverse and busy families we work with in ways that consider their various structures, needs, lifestyles, and schedules. We teach children about health, wellness, nutrition, and safety in school; however, we want to offer families support for continuing this education in the home. Thematic backpacks, which are sent home with children for a week throughout the year, either on a rotating schedule or a sign-out system, is one idea for how to engage families at home. Thematic backpacks include materials, parent information, games, manipulatives, and other resources all centered on a teacher-created thematic plan to explore the contents in a fun and engaging way at home with the family. Children love these, and family members can be involved in learning at home when it is convenient for them.
Create a plan for the development of a health, wellness, nutrition, and safety unit backpack that you can send home with your families. For this assignment, only the written plan is required; however, you are encouraged to create this resource as you develop the plan. The purpose of the backpack is to encourage families to explore the areas of health, wellness, nutrition, and safety at home.
The requirements for your written plan are as follows:
- Introduction letter (no longer than one page):
- Explain the purpose of the backpack. This should be written in a family-friendly form and be visually appealing. You may wish to use colored font, graphics, or pictures to set the tone for a fun and engaging experience.
- Describe one idea, activity, or game centered on an important health concept for families to explore. For example, you may include a sorting game that has pictures or text of sick/hurt children. Families can sort into two piles: “Okay to go to school” or “Stay home.” Example pictures/text could include runny nose, fever, scraped knee, sneezing, band-aid, etc. Try to think about creative fun ideas that allow families to explore the topic and materials.
- Describe one idea, activity, or game centered on an important wellness concept for families to explore. For example, you may include ideas for a family exercise night or an outdoor scavenger hunt.
- Describe one idea, activity, or game centered on an important nutrition concept for families to explore. For example, you may include a healthy recipe book, a recipe to make a healthy snack together, or a grocery store game.
- Describe one idea, activity, or game centered on an important safety concept for families to explore. For example, you might include a composition notebook in the backpack and encourage children and families to draw a picture of something that they do safely or draw a picture of a safety practice they follow at home.
- Reference page:
- One APA citation for a children’s book that you can include in the backpack for families to read together. In addition to the citation, please include a summary of the story.
- One APA citation for a resource that will support families to learn more about one of the areas. In addition to the citation, please include a summary of the resource.
Your written assignment should include a page for each of the following: introduction including your name, health activity, wellness activity, nutrition activity, safety activity, and resources (for a total of six pages). You may wish to include a picture of your backpack if you choose to create one. Because this assignment is meant to be useful for your future role, you do not need to submit a title page or a resources page; however, you will need to include references to any materials that you use.
Carefully review the Grading Rubric (Links to an external site.) for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.