Subject: Science

Lesson Length: 45 minutes - 1 hour

Topic: Managing Diabetes

Grade Level: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Use this to lesson to introduce students to diabetes and strategies for maintaining good health.

Know Before You Start: Given the prevalence of diabetes, this lesson should be implemented with sensitivity.


  • Ask the whole class the following questions:
    • Do you know someone with diabetes?
    • What is diabetes?
    • How does it affect this person?
  • Explain that diabetes is a group of metabolic disorders affecting 34.2 million Americans, including children and adolescents. The condition affects how one’s body processes food into energy.


  • Working in groups, have students research different aspects of diabetes including the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the characteristics of each type, the risks associated with Type 2 diabetes, symptoms, and things that can be done to maintain good health.
  • Ask each group to share their findings with the class.
  • Have students create a three-panel comic demonstrating their understanding of the everyday choices they can make to help keep their blood sugar at normal levels.
    • How does exercise help them?
    • What foods are part of their plan?
    • How can they recognize low blood sugar?


  • Set up a gallery walk so that students can view and discuss the comics.
  • Point out that eating right and regular exercise are important for everyone, but especially for people managing diabetes.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Allow students to create a comic based on a specific aspect of diabetes such as symptoms or the differences between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.