Grade Level:

3-6 grades


This lesson incorporates visual materials from the Against the Odds exhibition to engage visual learners and to encourage students to apply a successful public health program to their own lives. Students learn about Brazilian students who adopt an active, healthy lifestyle through the Agita São Paulo program. Students connect with students in Brazil through their photos and drawings promoting various physical activities. Students also develop their own ideas on how to adopt an active, healthy lifestyle for themselves. Finally, students create materials to inform others about and persuade them to improve their health with 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
Time Needed: Two 30-minute periods

Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Locate the continent of South America and the country of Brazil on a map of the world.
  • Identify at least three different physical activities they can do for 30 minutes a day.
  • Write and/or illustrate a message that promotes the importance of 30 minutes of daily physical activity

Background Information:

Against the Odds exhibition provides brief background information on Brazil's Agita São Paulo public health program.


Lesson 1 Procedures:

Think-Pair-Share warm up

  1. Write down the following two questions on the board or flip chart to assess students' knowledge and assumptions about the relationship between physical activities and health:
    1. List three things you do that help you stay healthy.
    2. How do these things keep you healthy?
  2. Have students work in pairs to answer the two questions on the board or flip chart
  3. Ask pairs to share their answers and record student responses—e.g., healthy eating habits, exercising, playing outside, walking, resting, sleeping, etc.
  4. Connection to Brazil

  5. Tell students that many students in Brazil share similar ideas about staying healthy. Circle or highlight physical activities on the board/flip chart, and mention that these are similar activities that Brazilian students do to get 30 minutes of physical activity a day.
  6. Ask students to find the South American continent on the world map, then Brazil. Point out Brasília (the capital of Brazil), São Paulo, and the Amazon River.
  7. The Agita São Paulo program

  8. Show or pass around the photos, physical activity pyramid drawings, Agita's clock mascot image, and physical activity poster (see Materials).
  9. Engage students in a brief discussion using Notes for Teachers for the Visual Materials from the Agita program.
  10. Tell students that these posters and drawings are done by and for students in Brazil. Inform them that they will learn about what these images are for through a story called "Agita: Dance Your Way to Health story". [If appropriate, have students work in pairs again to read the story and answer questions noted below the story.]
  11. After finishing the story, have students share their responses to the questions noted at the bottom of the story. Record student responses on the board or flip chart along with the questions.
  12. Connection to students

  13. Transition from the Agita story to the students' own lives using the questions on Agita in Your Life in class discussion. Record student responses and ideas on the Agita in Your Life transparency and keep the transparency for lesson 2.
  14. Activity summation

  15. Ask each student to write and turn in a paragraph with at least five sentences summarizing one of the most important lessons he or she learned from the Agita story and three ways that he or she can stay healthy.

Lesson 2 Procedures:


  • Place the Agita São Paulo visual materials in front of the class so that the class can see them.

Review warm up

  1. Return students' writings (lesson 1, step 11). Allow students to review and share different ways to stay healthy and important lessons from the Agita story.
  2. Using the transparency from the previous class (lesson 1, step 10), review students' own ideas about different physical activities that help them stay healthy (questions 2) and how to help others do the same (questions 3).
  3. Group work

  4. Tell students that they will follow up with their own ideas about how to help themselves and others stay healthy with 30 minutes of daily physical activity.
  5. Have students work in groups of 3-4 students to create an advertisement or a poster promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. Refer to the Agita São Paulo visual materials and review key elements that each advertisement or poster should include: main message and four different physical activities that support the message.
  6. While students are working in small groups, walk around and provide feedback and correct any misconceptions.
  7. Individual writing work

  8. Have each student write a paragraph to be placed next to his or her group's advertisement or poster. Inform students that the paragraph should consist of 5-7 sentences that include the following elements:
    1. Provide one or more reasons for everyone to be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
    2. Suggest two or more ways to stay active and healthy.

    Gallery walk

  9. Display groups' advertisements/posters with students' writings around the classroom or hallway and have students walk around to view and discuss students' works.

Optional Lesson: If doing this lesson in conjunction with a physical education class or if you want to involve physical activities in this lesson, below is an optional lesson that actually gets students doing what Agita promotes, as well as showing them the actual program that the Brazilian students participate in.

  1. Create stations (for example six stations that are each five minutes long = 30 minutes) where there is a different activity at each station.
  2. Have the students get into as many groups as there are stations—e.g., six groups if doing six different stations-and place each group at a different station.
  3. Stations could include: hopscotch, leapfrog, catch, jump rope, kicking a soccer ball around, hula hoop, or dancing (with a radio on). [This can be done inside a gym or outside on a playground.]
  4. Put on some music, so that the students have an idea that exercising can be fun and not boring.
  5. Have the groups rotate through each station, changing every five minutes.
  6. This exercise/lesson gives students an idea of the variety of activities they can choose from in order to exercise 30 minutes a day. This will also show them a connection that they share with students from Brazil and from around the world.


Lesson 1: Students' writings at the end of the lesson 1 can be used to evaluate students' understanding of the Agita's main message and the relationship between physical activity and health.

Lesson 2: Students' posters and writings can be used to evaluate how well students are able to apply the Agita's message to promote health for themselves and others.

National Education Standards:

English Language Arts:

Communication Strategies

  • Communicate effectively to a variety of audiences by adjusting their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., style, vocabulary, conventions).

Applying Knowledge

  • Apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions, media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and non-print texts.

Participating in Society

  • Participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.

Applying Language Skills

  • Use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).


The World in Spatial Terms

  • Understand how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.

Health Education:

  • Understand concepts related to health promotion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and the ability to reduce health risks.
  • Analyze the influence of culture and media on health.
  • Demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.

School Library Media Learner:

  • Have the ability to interpret information to generate new understandings.
  • Communicate findings by producing materials.

Social Studies:


  • Compare and contrast similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies and cultures meet human needs and concerns.

Global Connections

  • Analyze examples of cooperation among groups, societies, and nations.
  • Identify and describe the roles of international and multinational organizations.

Individual Development and Identity

  • Describe personal connection to a place—as associated with community, nation, and the world.
  • Relate personal changes to social, cultural, and historical contexts.
  • Describe personal changes over time, such as those related to physical development and personal interests.