Key stage 23
Make fingerprints using ink pads and absorbent paper, then look at each individuals' prints in terms of its loops, arches and whirls, and compare them with others in the class. This can develop into work on individuality and will improve observational skills, too.
Consider the different types of sweat glands. Those in the armpits and pubic area have cells that break down completely and the debris becomes a source of food for bacteria whose action produces the smells of body odour.
Other sweat glands secrete a solution of water and salt, so they don't create the same smell. These facts can be used to emphasise the importance of good hygiene.
KS3:Ask pupils to prepare oral presentations in which they explore the causes of skin complaints such as acne, eczema and birthmarks and the psychological and social impact they have on suffers. Research via the internet will quickly provide material about the complaints and how suffers can cope with them. This data would easily transfer to a PowerPoint format for presentation.
KS34: Collect examples of cosmetic advertising, and newspaper and magazine articles about cosmetic surgery and Botox treatments that go wrong. For subscribers to the archive service of Times Online (www.timesonline.co.uk) see "Drop dead gorgeous: how women are dying for their looks" (Times 2, pages 4-5, July 7, 2003) and "Worry lines as face-lifts hit the high street" (The Times, May 24, 2002). There is also a full lesson pack on body image, which is available by visiting www.learn.co.uktopical.
For further information visit www.adiosbarbie.com and www.about-face.org.