Health Literacy in Adult Basic Education: Designing Lessons, Units, and Evaluation Plans for an Integrated Curriculum

This guide is designed to help adult educators to integrate health literacy skills into their current adult education instruction. 

Lisa Soricone, Ed.D
Rima Rudd, Sc.
D., Maricel Santos, Ed.D.
Ben Capistrant
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Health and Adult Literacy and Learning Initiative, Harvard School of Public Health, and the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Number of Pages

This guide is designed to help adult educators to integrate health literacy skills into their current adult education instruction. The approach emphasizes literacy, numeracy and communication skills, and draws on the existing strengths of adult educators. It provides tools to conduct needs assessments and develop health literacy curricula, lessons, and evaluation plans. It includes an overview of skills to address, planning templates, and links to sample lessons from the Study Circle+ Guides.

Required Training

Adult basic education or ESQL Teaching

What the experts say

This resource has great potential to be of value in the field of ABE, and the materials are easy and ready to use. Overall, this is an excellent lesson planning tool that is written in a clear, intelligible way and takes into account the entire program planning cycle from needs assessment to evaluation. It is inclusive of adult educators working in adult basic education, ESOL, and family literacy and clearly describes the value of including health literacy topics in adult education classes. I particularly like the use of photographs as tools in needs assessment, and that the lessons created by individuals using this tool can be tailored to different levels of students. The varied worksheets and planning tools made available in the document are clear and useful. Another valuable feature is the access made available to sample lessons.

The authors of this guide are known in the field of health literacy to produce thorough, thoughtful and high quality products, and this is certainly one of them.

In order to compliment the concept of learning transfer discussed in this guide, it may be helpful for readers to see Chapter 10 of Caffarella, R. S. (2002). Planning programs for adult learners: A practical guide for educators, trainers and staff developers. San Franciso: Jossey-Bass.

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