Health Education Gets a Boost from Hip-Hop

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Innovative DVD Helps Get Kids Moving and Learning

Hip-Hop Health: Learning Concepts through Physical Activity

Health education provides many benefits for children, but getting kids interested in health concepts challenges both parents and educators. Now, two innovative educators have developed a DVD for other educators and parents that combines kids' interests in music with health concepts.

"Hip-Hop Health: Learning Concepts through Physical Activity" (Human Kinetics, August 2009) incorporates rap with lessons about basic anatomy, healthy lifestyles and fitness. Co-creator Christopher Wells says he first created the raps and songs in Hip-Hop Health as a way to engage students in his own classroom. "I just did this for fun one day, but once I saw the effect it had on my kids, I knew I had to expand it."

The creators made Hip-Hop Health into an element that can be easily incorporated into any health unit. It offers six five-minute health raps in a format that allows teachers to use each segment of physical activity as a short activity break, or all the segments together as a full 30-minute workout without the worry of instruction time or equipment. The incorporated health raps teach children about muscles, bones, nutrition, flexibility, and stretching.

View a sample clip on YouTube: or on TeacherTube:

The DVD is designed for K-5th grade, and Wells says that even kindergarteners have shown their ability to retain the facts shared in the songs. "When a kindergartener told us he 'bumped his cranium' we all thought it was great," shared Wells. "Music is a powerful tool for learning, and should not be overlooked."

Hip-Hop Health offers instructions for teachers, tips on using the DVD, the lyrics to the raps, and suggestions for various uses of the DVD to help educators make the most of the clips. These resources are available in PDF format and can be printed and shared with other educators. For more information on the Hip-Hop Health DVD, visit or call (800) 747-4457.

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Patty Lehn
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