School Reentry Considerations

In-School Instruction With Physical Distancing

Health Education - Instructional Strategies

A skills-based approach is a best practice for delivering high-quality health education. The seven key health skills are:

  • Analyzing influences
  • Accessing valid and reliable information, products, and services
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Decision-making
  • Goal setting
  • Self-management
  • Advocacy for self and others

All seven key health education skills are important, but teachers should consider focusing on certain skills and content that are more relevant during the COVID-19 pandemic. The table below includes examples of key health education skills along with example lessons, activities, and content that can be used to teach that particular health skill.

The health skills are not in order of importance, and health educators can choose any content to teach a particular skill. Additionally, educators can combine skills. For example, students can analyze the influences (NHES Standard 2) of a person’s decision and use interpersonal communication (NHES Standard 4) to write a response. Students can use interpersonal communication to advocate after analyzing influences of a decision. It is important to note that when combining skills, the teacher should conduct assessments only on the current skill being taught.

Key Health Education Skill Example Lessons/Activities by Skill Content Suggestions
Specific to COVID-19
Analyzing influences
(NHES Standard 2)
• Mental/emotional health, suicide prevention, social justice
Accessing valid and reliable information, products, and services
(NHES Standard 3)
• Disease prevention, finding accurate and valid information
Interpersonal communication
NHES Standard 4)
• Substance abuse, self-care, conflict resolution
(NHES Standard 7)
• Nutrition, self-care, health-promoting habits, stress management

Suggested citation: SHAPE America. (2020). School reentry considerations: K-12 physical education, health education, and physical activity. Reston, VA: Author.

The recommendations and strategies provided herein are obtained based on guidance for schools provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national recommendations for physical education, health education, recess, and classroom-based physical activity. The COVID-19 outbreak is an ongoing, rapidly developing situation. Educators are encouraged to monitor publicly available information and to always follow federal, state and local health organization guidance and government mandates. This information may vary and will be updated as necessary.