What To Do If…



Civics Objective #28 Health- Health Care Nutrition – Access the heath care system and be able to interact with the providers.

Language and Literacy Objectives:

            28 -21 List basic first aid procedures

                    -14 Discuss and/or recognize basic first aid for adults and children

                    (-1 List local health care agencies and facilities in the community

       -4 Describe symptoms of an illness using body part identification nouns and

          descriptive adjectives

                       -10 Explain medicine labels and medical warning labels

                      -11 Make emergency phone calls)



Scott Sparks, campsparks@gmail.com

Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles, Oregon

ESOL Level 3/4 of 4 levels



Objective:  This activity shows students how to find and use healthcare information on the Internet. They have to pick a first aid/emergency topic that is meaningful to them and explain why. For example, their child had a severe allergic reaction to a medicine or they once had a second degree burn. Students have to research this topic and rephrase the most important ideas of how to recognize, treat, and prevent such emergencies and explain when it is necessary to seek medical attention. There are strict guidelines of write-up and presentation. They cannot read their presentation; therefore, they must practice at home in order to stay within the five minute time line. The presentation is interactive in that they have to prepare three comprehension questions for their classmates.



Crossroads Café Episode # 14: Life Goes On -  Interpret medicine labels;  Take responsibility for assuring work quality, safety, and results;  Clarify or request clarification;  and Identify appropriate health care services.

English in Action 3, Unit 6:  A Healthy Lifestyle - describing health conditions and problems.


Activity:  After a class discussion of heath care emergencies and students’ own experiences, students do an Internet search of first aid/emergency topics and share the information with their classmates. This activity, though, will eventually be narrowed down to one particular website:



                                    -First aid and Safety

                                                -What To Do If…

Each student picks from the one-page topics under the What To Do If section. Be sure the students pick their topics under this heading only: What To Do If (one page topics).

Each of these topics is of common healthcare problems, symptoms, and prevention, for example, black widow spider bite, burns, dehydration, broken bones, allergic reaction. Students go to the website and pick and print a page. No repeats of topics. They pick a topic of particular interest. Each student gives a 5-7 minute presentation and turns in a one page write-up of:


I.                    Description of problem

II.                 4-5 of the most important ideas

III.               4-5 new vocabulary words and simple definitions

IV.              A concluding statement

V.                 3 comprehension questions for your classmates about your presentation


Presentation must be in own words - cannot read from paper. May use note cards, board, Elmo, or Computer screen.


Presentation Grading Rubric:


I.                    Clarity: speaking volume and clear pronunciation

II.                 Preparation: orally and written

III.               Grammar: obvious errors, for example, errors with the verb To Be


Each section scores a      1: could do better,         2: good,           or a 3: fabulous!!!!



Student Response and Follow Up Notes:  Students picked topics of particular interest and the meaning really came across in their presentations. Some students even started off by telling us a story about why they chose this topic and when this problem happened to their own children. They were nervous about the fact that they couldn’t read their own write-up for the five minute presentation I told them how note cards and that practice can reduce nervousness. I think the limited time and straight forward format also took their mind off their nervousness. After the five minute presentation, they asked their comprehension questions to the class; it promoted great classroom discussion and personal stories! We were also able to work on question format on the board. Because the class knew they had to answer questions from the others’ presentations, they paid close attention and took notes and even began to anticipate what questions would be asked. The topics were very interesting and useful, for example, do not put cold water on a burn. There was vocabulary repetition in the presentations, for example, mild and severe reactions, intravenous injection, bumps.


Casas Competencies:

3.1.1 Describe symptoms of illness, including identifying parts of the body; interpret doctor's directions
3.1.2 Identify information necessary to make or keep medical and dental appointments
3.1.3 Identify and utilize appropriate health care services and facilities, including interacting with providers                                                                                                                                         3.3.1 Identify and use necessary medications
3.3.2 Interpret medicine labels
3.3.3 Identify the difference between prescription, over-the-counter, and generic   medications
3.4 Understand basic health and safety procedures
3.4.1 Interpret product label directions and safety warnings
3.4.2 Identify safety measures that can prevent accidents and injuries
3.4.3 Interpret procedures for simple first-aid
0.1.6 Clarify or request clarification                                                                                             0.1.4 Identify or use appropriate language in general social situations                                        0.2.1 Respond appropriately to common personal information questions