6 Creative Ideas for World Health Day Lesson Plan

Written By Sally Forsyth

6 Ideas for World Health Day Lesson Plans


World Health Day is a special day celebrated every year on the 7th of April, with the objective of raising global awareness on current health issues around the world. Sponsored by the World Health Organization, one of the main objectives this year is to increase health coverage around the globe. Millions of people still do not have access to proper health care and although gradual improvement can be seen, there are still thousands who have to choose between paying for health care and paying for necessities like food and electricity. World Health Day is a great opportunity to educate our students on a variety of health-related issues.


 Here are some ideas for interesting World Health Day lesson plans that will engage students!


  1.  Class Discussion: What do you know about global healthcare? Discuss the following facts with your students and ask them for their response.


Did you know?


  • Half of the world’s population do not have complete coverage of basic health services.
  • More than 100 million people are still being forced into abject poverty due to paying for healthcare.
  • About 12% of the world’s population will spend at least 10% of their budgets to pay for health care.
  • All UN Member States have the goal of achieving universal health coverage by 2030, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.


2. World Health Day Themes.

First of all, have your class look at this short video about World Health Day Themes from 2010-2018.


Divide the class into small groups or pairs. Each group should take one of the themes from past years and create a visual infographic poster about their topic to display in the classroom or around the school.


2018: Health for All.

2017: Depression: Let’s Talk.

2016: Diabetes.

2015 Food Safety.

2014: Vector-Borne Diseases.

2013: Healthy Heart.

2012: Good Health Adds Life to Years.

2011: Antimicrobial Resistance.

2010:  Urbanization and Health.

3. 2019 Theme: Universal Health Coverage


 This year’s theme for World Health Day is universal health coverage. In the region of the Americas, this campaign focuses on looking at the obstacles and barriers in accessing health and health services This has the aim of improving the understanding of universal health and encouraging actions that can help make it a reality.


In class watch these two videos about   universal health coverage 1  and  universal health coverage 2 which explains the concept in more detailed practical terms.


Activity: Healthcare around the world.

 Students should research and gather main facts about health care systems and health care coverage in five countries in different parts of the world.

  •  They can then either create a presentation for the class or a short video.
  •  They need to include information about developed and developing countries to show a range of healthcare systems.
  •  They should aim to include one country from each continent.
  • Below are three websites which may be useful and have lots of facts and statistics.


 World Health Day Campaigns 2019


 Pan American Health  Universal Health Coverage Everyone Everywhere


Americas Universal Health Everyone Everywhere


4 Create a World Health Day Campaign.


In class, have students brainstorm ideas as to how they can raise awareness about health issues in their school or local community. The most obvious idea might be to focus on healthy eating and diet but I am sure they will have other great ideas too!


 Here are some possible ideas!

  •  A campaign for reducing daily sugar consumption.
  •  A campaign to increase daily water intake.
  • A campaign to petition the school for healthier eating options in the school cafeteria.
  • An educational campaign about the impact of fast food consumption in young people’s diet.
  • Create a student questionnaire asking questions about their lifestyle and diet.


5 World Health Day Activities for English Language Learners.


 Talking about illnesses

  When you are learning a language and you don't feel well it can be sometimes challenging and frustrating to explain your symptoms. Have students practice this by writing out dialogues about common illnesses and practicing these conversations with their partner. Each partner can take the role of patient and doctor respectively.  


Give students a copy of this list of keywords to help create their dialogue and add any more you think may be suitable!




Sore throat

Runny nose


Panic attack


Allergic reaction

Aches and pains aft

Sharp pain

Irritated eyes

Phlegm and mucus


Health-related Idioms for English language learners.


 Do your ESL students struggle with English idioms? World Health Day is a good opportunity to teach some health-related idioms! Idioms are always challenging when you are learning another language. Here are some idioms that students may find useful.  First of all, you will have to explain their meaning. Then you can have them practice using them in conversation.


  1. As pale as a ghost
  2. As fit as a fiddle
  3. Clean bill of health
  4. Fill a prescription
  5. The picture of health
  6. Take a turn for the worse
  7. A taste of one's own medicine
  8. Go under the knife
  9. Feel like death warmed up.
  10. I have a splitting headache.


6. Short Story Competition with a focus on Health and Disease.


Create a short story competition inspired by World Health Day.


  • Using the themes mentioned above create a unique story of about 1500-2000 words to illustrate the plight of an individual, group or community and how it has affected their lives.
  • They should choose a unique setting for their story and use this guide to the narrative arc to plan out the structure.
  • After students submit their story decided on a panel of possible judges which could be either students or teachers or a combination to judge which story is awarded first place.


Take advantage of all these great ideas to raise student’s awareness about our current global health issues and inspire them to take action if they can!











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About the author

Sally Forsyth is a High school English teacher and an educational coach. She has worked in national and internatonal schools in different countries and different school systems, She is also the founder of CoachMyFuture, a coaching organization focusing on coaching teachers and educators in the educational sector.

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