Since children spend a large portion of the day at school it is essential to not only provide education about the importance of sun safety but also to consider how the school can provide a sun safe environment for children when they are outdoors. During the school day it is important that children be active and get fresh air, but the health concern of over exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) needs to be addressed. One in seven children born today will develop skin cancer in the future. The health risks associated with excessive sunlight (UV) are largely preventable!
- Sun Protection: A Primary Teaching Resource – Suggested for Grade 1 to 8. This international resource can be used as a starting point for incorporating sun protection into the elementary curriculum and school activities. The resource contains background information, teaching activities, learning outcomes, and student worksheets which can be used without much extra time or preparation (World Health Organization).
- Sun Smart Resources for Schools – At this Australian website you will find a variety of classroom resources, including free lesson plans, downloadable activities, posters, songs, and videos, which can be used to support teaching students about sun safety.
Sun Safety Interactive Quiz
– Suggested for Grades 6 to 8. Have students test their knowledge about sun safety using this online ‘true and false’ quiz.
Below is an introduction and a selection of K-4 Sun Safety lesson plans developed by Ottawa Public Health which are available in both English and French. Please note that some of the statistics mentioned in the background information of the plans are specific to the Ottawa region and that some of the resources listed may not be available from your local health unit:
The health unit offers a variety of programs and services for elementary schools (PDF), covering a wide range of health-related topics.
“Be Sun Safe” Poster
(PDF) – Print and hang this downloadable poster in your classroom to remind students about ways to be sun safe when playing outdoors.
Sun and Ultraviolet Radiation
– The Canadian Cancer Society’s website contains credible background information on sun safety topics such as indoor tanning, the UV index, preventing skin cancer, vitamin D supplements and more.
Interested in taking sun-safety beyond your classroom? Check out these school wide initiatives.
Also, be sure to visit the sun safety section of the health unit’s website for more information related to health effects of sun exposure, ultraviolet radiation, sun protection, tanning, skin cancer, and more.
Staff at the health unit are currently reviewing recommended lesson plans and curriculum supports for educators to align with Ontario’s 2015 Health and Physical Education Curriculum. Please use your discretion in determining which lesson plans and curriculum supports to use in your classroom. Updated and new resources will be posted online as available.