Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Melanoma is an important topic to discuss with children and adolescents. Over the next few blog posts, I will be posting about different melanoma resources I've used in my middle school classroom. When detected early, the survival rates of melanoma are quite high; when not detected early melanoma can become deadly. Many teenagers are not aware of the dangers of melanoma!
The Melanoma Education Foundation is a local nonprofit organization here in Massachusetts "devoted to saving lives from melanoma." The M.E.F. provides classroom materials to teachers, maintains an easy to navigate website that is loaded with information, and also conducts speaking engagements for local businesses. The M.E.F. has helped provide resources to schools all across the country in all fifty states, and is a must-see resource for any health educator.
One benefit of the information provided by the M.E.F. is that it can be taught in one or two classes (depending on how long the classes at your school are), and therefore can be implemented as needed into any health education curriculum. Focusing in early detection and prevention, the classroom materials involve many formats: class discussion, brief videos, Power Point presentations, take home quizzes, etc. The bookmarks are quick and helpful resources, and if you don't use them (contact the M.E.F. and they will send you some) a bookmark is a great project idea for the students.
The M.E.F. website also serves as a nice introduction to those who may not be familiar with melanoma, and it could even be used as a web quest. I'm a big fan of the graphics on the M.E.F. website, and have used them to supplement my own lessons on melanoma in eighth grade health education. The animation on mole "evolution" (scroll down here) has been helpful for students to realize that the mole is growing deeper into the skin in addition to the visible growth.
The Melanoma Education Foundation is doing a fantastic job in accomplishing its mission statements. You may visit their online store to scan some of their products, although we have received free bookmarks in the mail from them in the past. In working towards their goal of "saving lives through education," the Melanoma Education Foundation helps fill a vital knowledge gap in the lives of teenagers all across the country.
NOTE: I am in no way affiliated with the Melanoma Education Foundation, although I do use some of their resources in my classroom.