Eighth Grade Details

SEXUAL HARASSMENT:  In this unit we define sexual harassment, distinguish between sexual harassment and flirting, talk about the effects of sexual harassment, consider the contributing factors, and explore the various options for dealing with sexual harassment.  

Tips for Parents:  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy850

SUICIDE PREVENTION: Lifelines: A Suicide Prevention Program is used to teach students how to identify warning signs of suicide, how to initially respond to those warning signs, and how to rapidly obtain help.

SEXUALITY EDUCATION: Nurse Kristin and I co-teach the Best Practices sexuality education unit.  Resources and/or activities for parents may occasionally be sent home. The specific learning outcomes of each lesson are listed below. 



Lesson 1- Talking about Sexual Health

The first lesson sets the stage for building a safe, trusting environment for students to learn about sexual health. After an icebreaker and setting group agreements, the students define sexual terms and play an interactive trivia game that introduces them to the topics addressed in the program. The lesson concludes with an introduction to the anonymous question box.


Lesson 2- Achieving Your Goals

Students begin the lesson by reflecting on their future goals and discussing the various messages they receive around sex. Through an optional activity (using either a mini-lecture or video), students learn how the developing brain may impact sexual risk taking and decision making. They then take the information they have learned and apply it to the scenario Maria and Joe’s Dilemma, completing a reflection in which they apply the lesson to their own lives.


Lesson 3- Effective Communication

This lesson builds communication skills in order to stick with one’s personal boundaries. After identifying the characteristics of passive, aggressive and assertive communication styles, students listen to three versions of a role play and discuss which one was most effective at communicating sexual boundaries with a partner. Finally, students work in pairs to write responses to pressure lines that may challenge their boundaries.


Lesson 4- Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Students participate in an activity that demonstrates how easily an STD can spread and how abstinence and barrier methods, like condoms and dental dams, can lower the risk of transmission. By watching a video and taking a quiz, students clarify STD myths and facts.


Lesson 5- What’s the Risk?

Through a role-play story, students explore their responsibility for communicating about and preventing STDs and the importance of getting regular testing. Students identify and categorize the sexual behaviors and attitudes that put a person at risk for STDs along a risk continuum. Finally, students reflect on how an STD may impact their own lives and identify local resources available for testing and treatment.


Lesson 6—Barriers

This lesson builds comfort and skills in the proper use of male and female condoms and dental dams. Students learn the proper steps to correct condom use as well as how to make a dental dam out of a male condom. After analyzing reasons why people may not use condoms, students identify strategies to make barrier methods easier to use. Finally, students practice effective communication skills as they respond

to common condom use refusals.


Lesson 7—Pregnancy Prevention

Students examine their attitudes and perceptions of responsibility in using contraception. Students review the process of fertilization and conception in order to understand how a pregnancy happens. They then research and report out on the range and variety of birth control methods commonly used by teens, including abstinence and withdrawal. Finally, students learn about accessing confidential, low-cost family planning services.


Lesson 8—Impacts of STDs & Pregnancy

Students watch Two Seconds, a movie written and directed by Maine teens depicting three inter-related scenarios about teen pregnancy, STD transmission and an abusive relationship. Students analyze the impact of these situations on the film’s characters and reflect on what the characters may have done differently. Likewise, students identify sources for help if they find themselves in similar situations. Finally, students compare the positive and negative impact of parenting on relationships, education and

career, social life and finances.


Lesson 9—Making a Plan

Students identify red flags in various scenarios that may lead to unprotected sex and offer strategies to get out of risky situations. They then review how the brain may influence their decision making and how pausing can help a person make healthy decisions. Applying what they have learned from Best Practices, students offer advice to fictional characters about making healthy sexual decisions. Finally, each student personalizes strategies they will use to stick to their boundaries by writing a letter or an email to their future self.

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