What is our risk of developing a disease?


Author: Celena LeClair and Trina Howard

AreaLife Sciences

Grade Level: 6-


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths. People with diabetes are much more likely to develop CVD due to a variety of risk factors, including high blood pressure, lipid disorders, smoking, obesity and lack of physical activity. Ethnically diverse populations such as Hispanics and Native Americans have some of the highest prevalence rates of Diabetes and CVD.  Type II Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is the most common form of diabetes, where either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin. Because it acts as the transporter for the main "fuel" of the cell, glucose, insulin is necessary to the overall physiology of the body. Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause harm to the kidneys, eyes, nerves and heart.

Dyslipidemia, which is defined as the disruption in the amount of lipids in the blood, can contribute significantly to CVD development in T2DM patients. Most dyslipidemias are hyperlipidemias, which is an elevation of "bad" cholesterol, consisting of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides (TG). This also tends to cause a decrease in the "good" cholesterol which are high density lipoproteins (HDL). Studies have also shown that prolonged elevation of insulin levels can lead to dyslipidemia.


The proposed lesson plan addresses the physical science strands and is intended for 6-8th grade.

Arizona Grade 6-8          Strand 1:  Health Standards                   

Concept 1:  Students understand concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention.

1CH-E1. Explain the relationship between positive health behaviors and health care and the prevention of injury, illness, disease, disability and premature death 

PO 1.  Illustrate how positive health behaviors can prevent common injuries, diseases and conditions. 

1CH-E3. Explain how health, growth and development are influenced by the interaction of body systems, genetics, environment and lifestyle        

PO 1. Develop a plan for a healthy environment and lifestyle and apply it to health, growth and development 

1CH-E5. Explain how environmental health and personal health are interrelated

PO 1. Compare healthy environments and healthy people with unhealthy environments and unhealthy people

1CH-E6. Describe ways to reduce risks related to adolescent health problems 

PO 1. Identify personal health behaviors that reduce health problems                                    

PO 2. Illustrate the harmful effects of use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs 

1CH-E7. Describe how lifestyle and family history are related to the cause and prevention of disease and other health problems 

PO 1. Describe how living a healthy lifestyle and knowing family health history can help a person live a more healthy life 

Science Standards (Grade 6):

Strand 1: Inquiry Process

Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses 

PO 1. Differentiate among a question, hypothesis, and prediction.

PO 2. Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis.

Strand 3: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

Concept 2: Science and Technology in Society

PO 1. Propose viable methods of responding to an identified need or problem.

PO 2. Compare possible solutions to best address an identified need or problem                       

PO 3. Design and construct a solution to an identified need or problem using simple classroom materials



Grades 5-8:

Content Standard C: Life Science - Reproduction and Heredity

A new individual receives genetic information from its mother and its father.

Hereditary information is contained in genes. An inherited trait of an individual can be determined by one or by many genes.

Some traits are inherited and others result from interactions with the environment.  

Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives - Risks and Benefits

Risk analysis considers the type of hazard and estimates the number of people that might be exposed and the number likely to suffer consequences. The results are used to determine the options for reducing or eliminating risks.




Keywords: Genetics, heredity, risk, diabetes, heart disease

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Lesson Plan (


 Overview (


Genetics lesson plan.doc54.5 KB
Overview.doc53.5 KB