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Lesson Plans

Use this Lesson Plan with the following health topics or with other relevant content from the textbook:
  • Personal Health
  • Risk Behaviors
  • Self-Identity

Reading Skills Lesson Plan: Using an Outline to Understand Exposition
Student Resource: "Body Decorating and the Risks"
Media Type: Article


After completing this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain types of infection that can occur when the body's skin is pierced with an unclean needle.
  • Identify low-risk, healthful ways of expressing their self-identity as modern teens.
  • Apply the reading skills of using an outline to understand exposition in an article on body piercing and tattooing.

Introducing the Lesson

Download or bring to class photographs of celebrities and models who have body piercings and/or tattoos. Arrange these on the board rail in a sort of gallery, and allow time for students to browse through the gallery.

Once they have taken their seats, ask students to answer in writing: What do these individuals have in common? Have volunteers share what they wrote. It is likely that at least some answers will include the observation that all of these individuals are famous. Conclude with a show of hands of students who identified these celebrities' body adornments-piercings and/or tattoos-as the common bond among them. Ask students to consider what this reveals about these adornments. (They have become so commonplace, they almost escape notice.)

Teaching Strategies

Reveal that students are about to read a selection on "body modification," as the process of adorning in this fashion has come to be called. Note that the selection will be expository in nature. That is, the selection will give information about or explain a topic. Reveal that when reading a piece of exposition, one way of remembering all the important points covered is by making an outline.

Direct students to the URL containing the reading passage, or distribute copies to individual students. Ask all students to read the title and the first section (two paragraphs). Then show them how to create an outline summarizing key points of each section. (e.g., Tattoos and piercings are body adornments that carry a health risk). As they proceed through the selection, students should add a Roman numeral for each major section heading and may include subdivisions for each heading, adding any details that belong under a heading. Show an example on the chalkboard:

Body Decorating and the Risks

I. Tattoos and piercings are body adornments that carry a health risk.
II. (student summary for the section under "Custom of the Country")
  A. (Origins of body adornments)
    1. (more details)
  B. (Modern practices)

After students have completed the reading, you may either use the following as class discussion questions or assign them as individual or group work.

Follow Up

  1. Analyzing. Identify what you wrote next to Roman numeral II. What information did you add under that numeral?
  2. Synthesizing. In what section of your outline do you discuss the health risks associated with piercings and tattoos? What are some of the specific health risks you identified within that section? Which risk is the most serious? Explain your answer.
  3. Making Inferences. Throughout the article, reference is made to permanent tattoos. What is your understanding of this term and of the way in which such tattoos are applied? What support from the article can you give for your answer?
  4. Critical Thinking. Many people who choose to have their body pierced are seeking to affirm their self-identity. The article ends with one recommendation for affirming your self-identity in a way that carries no health risks. Think of other recommendations and list them.
  5. Extending. If you were to summarize the bottom-line advice you think this article contains, what would that advice be? To what specific audience would it be directed? Explain your answers.

Using an Outline in Your Writing

Plan an essay on a health topic of interest to you. Begin the writing process by outlining your ideas, as you did during the reading of the article. Add details under each outline entry. Create a rough draft using your outline. Review your rough draft and make any necessary changes before completing your final essay.

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