Education Standards

The Contraception Conversation, 9-12 Lesson 5

The Contraception Conversation, 9-12 Lesson 5


The lesson introduces students to various contraceptive methods used for pregnancy prevention. The lesson ends with a critical thinking exercise that asks students to figure out the best type of contraception for various teens in different situations.

The Contraception Conversation: Let's Talk About Birth Control, 9-12 Lesson 5

Lesson Description

Lesson Title

Let’s Talk about Birth Control

Lesson Summary/Overview

The lesson introduces students to various contraceptive methods used for pregnancy prevention. The lesson ends with a critical thinking exercise that asks students to figure out the best type of contraception for various teens in different situations.

Grade Level


Suggested Time

1 hour

License Type


Author of Lesson

Caden DeLoach & Adaline Padlina, Linn County Public Health

Submitted By

Caden DeLoach & Adaline Padlina, Linn County Public Health


By the end of this lesson, students will:

  •  Compare and contrast various methods of contraception.
  • Understand how they work to prevent pregnancy.
  •  Find credible information on birth control options.

Aligned Standards, Performance Indicators, and Essential Questions

☐ Oregon Health Standards Color Coded by Topic Category - Chart Version

☐ Oregon Health & Sexuality Education Topic Categories and Essential Questions

☐ National Sexuality Education Standards (Second Edition)

Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.

Standard 2: Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.

Standard 3. Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health.

Standard 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health

Performance Indicators Covered

HE.1.12.4 Justify ways to reduce or prevent injuries and health problems.

HE.1.12.14 Define contraceptive methods including emergency contraception and describe their mechanism of action.

HE.1.12.32 Explain Oregon laws relating to minors’ rights around contraception pregnancy, adoption, abortion and parenting.  

HE.1.12.38 Recognize that many teens successfully use condoms.

HE.1.12.41 Explain the ovulation cycle and its relationship to fertilization and pregnancy.

HE.2.12.15 Analyze factors that may influence condom use and other safer sex decisions.

HE.3.12.1 Use a variety of valid and reliable resources to research health information.

HE.3.12.12 Access medically-accurate information and resources about contraceptive methods, including abstinence, emergency contraception, and condoms.

HE.4.12.7 Demonstrate the use of effective communication about the use of contraception including abstinence, condoms, and other safer sex practices.

HE.5.12.8 Apply a decision-making process to make choices about contraception, including abstinence and condoms.

HE.5.12.9 Model a decision making process to make healthy choices around sexual health.

Essential Question(s) Covered

  • Where are the places in my community that I can go to for health services?
  • How do you identify an accurate source of sexual health information?
  • What information do you need to make a decision that is best for you?
  • What are the values and beliefs that guide your decisions about becoming sexually active?
  • What are my rights when it comes to my sexual and reproductive health?
  • What matters most to you, as it pertains to your sexual health?
  • What information do you need to make a decision that is best for you?
  • What are the values and beliefs that guide your decisions about becoming sexually active? Where are these values and beliefs from?
  • Where do you find accurate information about your sexual health?
  • What barriers exist for accessing health care?

Information & Resources for Educators

Information for Educators

Unless otherwise noted, all information for this lesson came from All Birth Control Options | Types Of Birth Control, by Bedsider. They have an incredible amount of information on various contraceptive methods should you, caregivers, or students want more information.

This lesson was planned with the idea that facilitators would have a ‘contraception kit’ with physical examples of each type of birth control that could be passed around to students. These can often be gotten at a local health department or Planned Parenthood, or can be purchased online at Contraceptive Education Kit $199 - $249.

Resource Materials

Presentation Slides

Pregnancy Steps Activity

Which Birth Control is Best

Resources Handout

Lesson Overview

Before the Lesson

  • Make sure parents/caregivers know you’ll be teaching sexuality education so that they can opt their child out of the lessons if they feel it necessary.
  • Make sure you have let students know that you will be covering sexuality education ahead of the lessons, and give them an option to email or speak to you privately if they don’t feel like they can join. Make a plan with them for an alternative lesson/place to be..
  • Make and share with students a clear plan of where they can go if they become triggered during a lesson, and how they can let you know without drawing attention to themselves. Some options might include a school counselor’s office, the library, etc. Provide students with a resource list that includes a text/call hotline for those who have witnessed or experienced child, domestic or sexual abuse. Most counties have local lines, or you can use some of the supplemental resources from the above section.
  • Prepare a clearly labeled “anonymous questions” box that can be placed near the exit of the classroom.
  • Hand out blank pieces of paper or index cards for anonymous questions
  • Prepare answers to the previous class period’s anonymous questions
  • Prepare ‘Pregnancy Steps’ Activity
  • Prepare ‘Which Birth Control is Best’ worksheets for students to use (either virtual, in class or as homework)
  • Acquire ‘Contraception Kit’ (see Educator Materials for more information).

During the Lesson

Step 1: Introduction:  Review of Ground Rules & Anonymous Questions, slides 1-3

Slide 1 (Title Slide) Welcome back! Today is Day 5 of our sexuality education lessons, and we’ll be covering contraception, or methods to avoid pregnancy. Slide 2 Before we get started on today’s lesson, I want to remind everyone of the ground rules we have come up with so far as a class (review list, either by hanging up the sheet the class made previously or by asking them to review them as a group. If virtual, share the document where you had previously written them. Does anyone have any rules to add to the list? Add any additional rules.

Slide 3 I want to thank you all for your feedback and questions that you put in the anonymous question box. Here are the questions from the last class. (Read the anonymous questions and answer them. If possible, answer all of them. However, if there won’t be time to answer them all, you can save some that will be covered in later lessons. Just remember to read the question and say ‘we’re going to cover this question during a later lesson when we learn about ___________’).  If virtual, allow students to send anonymous questions and feedback via an online platform. and are two platforms that offer free anonymous feedback options. 

You’ll notice that there is another index card on your desk today. Just like before, this is going to be your ‘exit ticket’ from the classroom. If you have a question you don’t want to ask in front of the class, write it down on the index card and drop it in our anonymous question box on your way out, and we’ll answer it during our next session. If you don’t have any questions, give me some feedback: what did you like about today’s lesson? What didn’t you like? What would you like to learn in the future?

I’d also like to remind everyone that if any of what we learn is triggering and you feel like you need to take a break during our lesson, you can <insert predetermined plan for how and where students can go here>. We will talk about [insert topics or overview of lesson here], and I want you all to be prepared.

Are there any questions before we get started? Answer any questions.

Step 2: Pregnancy Steps Activity

During our last class, we went through the many steps that it takes for someone to get pregnant: all the way from intercourse to the birth of the baby. There are a lot of steps that have to happen exactly at the right time, so we’re going to play a game to see if you all can remember the steps and put them in order. Ask for 8 volunteers. Have them stand next to each other in a line, facing the class. Give each student a piece of paper that will say one aspect of the reproductive cycle. Once they’re all handed out, have the rest of the class tell them what order to get into.  Make sure they are in random order when handed out. They students should end up in the following order:

An egg is released by the ovary, and the lining of the uterus becomes thick and spongy. This is called ovulation.

Egg and sperm meet in the cervix, uterus, or fallopian tubes up to six days after vaginal sex. This is called fertilization.

The fertilized ball of cells moves towards the uterus, and floats around for up to a week before attaching to the lining of the uterus. This is called implantation.

Pregnancy begins, and the body starts making pregnancy hormones that thicken the lining of the uterus (so no more periods).

The 1st trimester (week 1-12). The fetus can grow up to 1oz, and the pregnant person may experience symptoms like nausea, feeling tired, cravings, and needing to pee a lot.

The 2nd trimester (week 13-26). A medical professional should be able to tell the sex of the fetus. The pregnant person usually starts to develop a ‘baby bump’, and can experience weight gain and other symptoms. By the end of this trimester pregnant person can usually feel the fetus move.

The 3rd trimester (week 27-40). The fetus begins gaining weight and growing rapidly, which may cause discomfort as the pregnant person’s uterus expands.

During labor, the uterus contracts to push the baby through the cervix, down the vaginal canal, and out the vaginal opening. If a vaginal birth is not the best option, a doctor can do a C-section. Welcome to the world, baby!

If practicing physical distancing, the facilitator can tape the reproductive cycle on the board, and have the class tell them the correct order. If virtual, they can be copied and pasted on ‘post it notes’ on a Google jam board and have students tell the facilitator which order to put them in. 

Step 3: Contraception, slides 3-15

Now that we’ve been refreshed on how pregnancy occurs, we want to recognize that not everyone wants to get pregnant or get someone else pregnant. What are some reasons that someone might want to avoid pregnancy? Allow students to answer.

Facilitator note: this may bring up some stigma around teen pregnancy/parenting. If a student says something along the lines of ‘because we’re teens and getting pregnant will ruin our lives’,  counter with a positive message that supports all parenting people, like ‘some people might feel that they are too young to become a parent, or that they don’t have enough support or resources as a teenager, while others might not feel that way’.

If someone wants to avoid pregnancy but wants to be sexually active, then they could potentially use contraception. Contraception, sometimes called birth control or safe sex, are methods used to prevent pregnancy. Like most of what we’ve learned in sex ed so far, I want to acknowledge that this lesson might not apply to you right now. Maybe you’re not having sex, or you’re in a relationship where pregnancy can’t happen, or because you don’t have the ability to get pregnant, etc. However, I’m going to ask you to still pay attention. It may be useful information for you in the future. Also, as an educator, I know that often before a student comes to me or another adult about potentially difficult subjects like sex they’re going to turn to their friends and peers. So even if you’re not directly affected, you’ll be prepared if someone comes to you with questions.

The reason that we reviewed pregnancy earlier is because all of the methods we’re going to talk about work by removing or changing one or more of the main elements that are typically part of pregnancy: an egg, sperm, or the uterus.

Go through Slides 2-15, using the notes at the bottom of each slide for additional information.

Step 4: Which birth control is best? Activity & Closing

Pass out ‘Which birth control is best?’ worksheet and have students complete it individually during the remainder of the class. They can use the slideshow for reference, the side-by-side comparison on the website,  Compare Birth Control Options | Benefits, Side Effects, Cost, Effort, Sti Prevention, or take the  Which Contraception is right for me? quiz. This activity was adapted from Advocates for Youth 3Rs curriculum: Know Your Options lesson plan.

Thank you all for your participation today!  As always, if today’s lesson brought up any questions you can write them down on your index card and drop it in the anonymous question box on your way out of the classroom. If you don’t have any questions, you can provide some feedback on today’s lesson. How could the lesson be made better? What do you think should have been included?  I look forward to covering our next topic with you, which will be an introduction to Sexually Transmitted Infections. Give students a few minutes to complete their anonymous questions/feedback before they leave.

After the Lesson

  • Check in with students who missed the lesson to see if there are any questions
  • If you are short on time and the class has a strong grasp of ovulation, fertilization, implantation, and pregnancy, the Pregnancy Steps Activity can be skipped.
  • If preferred, the ‘Which birth Control is best?’ activity can be done as a large group activity (go through each scenario together), small group activity (each group gets one scenario), individually, or given as homework.