Activity 1D: Elementary School Version - Insulin, Our Hero!

This two day lesson provides opportunities for students to observe the body as a system and how it utilizes glucose, identify warning symptoms of pre-diabetes or diabetes, identify two types of diabetes and practice good choices in living with or preventing diabetes. The unit begins with the melodrama, “Insulin, Our Hero,” a play in which students enter the office of Dr. Langerhans and Nurse Beta Cell, take on, in the office of Dr. Langerhans and Nurse Beta Cell, take on the roles of diabetic patients in the pursuit of a diagnosis of their symptoms.
The play introduces basic concepts related to the body and the nature of diabetes along with the warning signs, treatment and preventative practices of the disease. The play distinguishes between Insulin Dependent Diabetes (IDDM, Type 1) and Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes (NIDDM, Type 2).
Through a melodrama all students can the students will engage in exaggerated emotions and interact through oral response cards. In addition to making sound effects for the melodrama, students can prepare costumes, props, and create cue cards for each sound effect.
  • Identify vocabulary associated with diabetes
  • Classify characteristics or behaviors as either warning signs or not
  • Warning signs associated with the diagnosis of diabetes
  • Compare and contrast type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • Categorize healthy living choices that may prevent or treat diabetes 



Diabetes, pre-diabetes, glucose, insulin, Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes


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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
Bittersweet: Diabetes
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 1: Play - Desperately Seeking Insulin