In this lesson, students will learn about the role of the kidneys and how they filter waste from our bloodstream. They will imagine the analogy of kidneys being ‘bombarded’ by too much sugar and how kidney-related disease may occur. To show their understanding and promote health, students will create a poster for younger students about kidneys and keep them healthy. They will reflect on the lesson by writing a pledge to take care of their kidneys.
- understand the role of the kidneys
- name the parts of the kidneys responsible for filtering blood
- recognise the importance of maintaining healthy kidneys
- recognise the links between dental health, heart health, healthy kidneys, and lifestyle choices.
- identify where the nephrons are located in the kidneys
- explain ways to reduce the likelihood of diabetes or kidney disease.
Lesson guides and printables
Australian curriculum content descriptions:
Years 5 and 6 HPE:
- Investigate the role of preventive health in promoting and maintaining health, safety and wellbeing for individuals and their communities (ACPPS058)
- Plan and practise strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing (ACPPS054)
Year 5 English:
- Use comprehension strategies to analyse information, integrating and linking ideas from a variety of print and digital sources (ACELY1703)
Year 6 English:
- Use comprehension strategies to interpret and analyse information and ideas, comparing content from a variety of textual sources including media and digital texts (ACELY1713)
Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 achievement standards:
They describe their own and others’ contributions to health, physical activity, safety and wellbeing. They describe the key features of health-related fitness and the significance of physical activity participation to health and wellbeing. They examine how physical activity, celebrating diversity and connecting to the environment support community wellbeing and cultural understanding.
Students access and interpret health information and apply decision-making and problem-solving skills to enhance their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing.
This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Sugar By Half
Time required: 60 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – prepare videos, facilitate discussions to allow understanding.
- A device capable of playing the video ‘How do your kidneys work?’
- An empty jar and enough marbles to fill at least half the jar
- A funnel
- Art materials and paper
- Student Worksheet — one per student
This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:
These lessons were developed in partnership with SugarByHalf and Filter Your Future. Filter Your Future guides children towards positive lifestyle choices to reduce the impact of preventable chronic diseases in future generations. Not many people know that type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure account for half the chronic kidney disease cases in Australia. When children learn about the function of the kidneys to clean the blood, how it balances water and salts, and remove waste from the body, they develop an understanding which motivates them to follow a healthier lifestyle.
Filter Your Future's vision is that young students are provided with evidence about the global health epidemic of weight-related chronic diseases and are empowered to make better lifestyle choices for a healthier future.
People who carry the burden of chronic disease all share the same vision for the future. They want their children and grandchildren to have a healthier future than themselves. By providing children with early awareness, prevention and health promotion, we provide pivotal education about wise choices to prevent chronic disease before poor lifestyle choices become unhealthy habits. Members of the Dialysis and Transplant Association of Victoria, Inc. (D.A.T.A.) and FILTER YOUR FUTURE® believe that this project will benefit our future generations and our nation.
SugarByHalf promotes action to reduce sugar-related diseases so that we can live better, stronger and healthier lives.
Their message is simple: to reduce added sugar consumption by half. Eating too much added sugar is a key driver of serious health problems including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, dementia and mental health conditions. A poor diet also puts children behind their peers, affecting brain development, sleep and ability to learn. Poor diet choices ultimately mean that this generation of children could be the first in modern history to live shorter lives than their parents.
Much of the added sugar in our diet comes from the processed foods and drinks we consume. On average, we consume 14-16 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Teenagers consume more than 20 teaspoons per day. The World Health Organisation says we should limit our daily added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons for good health. To put that in perspective, there are 4 grams of sugar in one teaspoon. If something has 20 grams of sugar, that's 5 teaspoons of sugar.
This English lesson focuses on developing the skills and knowledge students need to critically consider messages about food and drink they are exposed to, thereby equipping them to be able to make healthy choices.
Talking about Health:
- Be mindful of students who may experience weight stigma. Some students may be sensitive to conversations around weight, body size or shape. Terms including obesity, weight issues, weight-problem and fat can be stigmatising for some people because they assign blame. It is important to note individual preferences around language vary. Research has shown using the terms ‘weight’, ‘weight gain’, ‘healthy weight’, ‘unhealthy weight’, and ‘high BMI’ are preferred as better alternatives.
- Be mindful about how you use the word ‘diet’. We recommend focussing students on the positive impacts of healthy nutrition and healthy lifestyles which help us to have stronger bodies and minds, feel good and sleep well.
- Steer students away from any focus on appearances by communicating that appearance does not determine your worth. We recommend the fact sheets from the Butterfly Foundation on body image tips.
- Avoid using labels such as obese or diabetic. Refer to people living with diabetes, people living with cancer, people with high BMI etc.