Education Standards

Accessing Sexual Health Information (Part 1), 9-12 Lesson 1

Accessing Sexual Health Information (Part 1), 9-12 Lesson 1

Overview

This lesson is designed to help students learn to access health care on their own.

Accessing Sexual Health Information (Part 1) - Grade 9, Lesson 1

Information & Resources for Educators

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS SECTION - Please provide information and links that support your lesson and those that can guide educators, families and students to essential and supplemental resources.

Information for Educators

Information for virtual adaptation:

 

This lesson was written to be delivered in an in-person environment. If it is used in a virtual learning environment, we recommend delivering it synchronously to promote discussion and interaction between students. For the Barriers Discussion, we recommend using a virtual flip-chart like program such as Google Jamboard or Ideaboardz.

 

More information and resources for students:

 

Direct students to these reliable resources to get any further questions answered:

 

Direct students these reliable websites for further learning:

 

  • The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Education website offers some helpful insight into sexuality, consent, going to the doctor, and relationship. This is a great place to start if you’re looking for a website that offers answers to your general questions about sexuality!
  • Bedsider is an online birth control support network for young people operated by Power to Decide, the campaign to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Bedsider publishes articles and provides information on where to access birth control, working to ensure that every young person has the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant.
  • Sex, Etc. is a website, magazine, and newsletter produced for teens by teens. Writers take on different angles of preventing pregnancy, disease transmission, getting and giving consent, and healthy relationships.
  • Scarleteen describes itself as sex education for the real world. They’ve been providing information regarding sexuality, sexual health, and relationships since 1998 through blog posts, messaging boards, and text/chat services. If you’re looking for in-depth information regarding a specific topic, Scarleteen probably has an article about it!
  • That’s Not Cool is a national public education initiative that partners with young people to help raise awareness and bring educational and organizing tools to communities to address dating violence, unhealthy relationships, and digital abuse. Visit their website to get more information about what constitutes dating violence and to get involved!
  • Love is Respect is a project of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the ultimate resource to empower youth to prevent and end dating abuse. Their purpose is to engage, educate, and empower young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. They offer support, information, and advocacy opportunities to young people looking to get involved. They also have free and confidential phone, live chat, and texting services available.
  • RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline in partnership with local sexual assault service providers across the country. They also have programs available to prevent sexual violence, protect survivor healing, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
  • The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+ young people under 25 years old. They offer crisis interventions, suicide prevention training and resources, and community services.

A note on classroom discussion

 

For discussion questions, we recommend prompting students to take 30 seconds-2 minutes to discuss the question with the person/people sitting next to them before asking a couple of students/groups to share. The “answers” to the discussion questions are formatted in italics; this content should be covered at some point, whether by students or by educators adding on to student contributions and filling in the gaps.

 

This lesson is designed to be interactive, and ideally students should be actively engaging in discussion and activities. However, we recognize that this content can be difficult, especially for students who may have personal experience with relationship abuse, familial abuse, or sexual violence. For this reason, educators should avoid cold-calling students unless you hear them making good points and speaking comfortably during discussion with their peers. We also recommend relaxing policies for leaving the classroom to allow students to take a break and return if they are feeling triggered without having to ask permission/explain themselves.

 

Resource Type - Links & Materials

Website Links

Educator Materials

  • Slideshow 
  • Flipchart paper/white board
  • Markers
  • Anonymous question paper- 1/student
  • Anonymous question box

Student Materials

  • Printed scenarios - 1/group
  • Printed “Accessing Reliable Sexual Health Information” worksheets - 1/student (Located at the end of the lesson plan)
  • Writing utensils
  • Internet-capable device- 1/group
  • Printed resource list- 1/student

 

 

Lesson Overview

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS SECTION: The following is the core of the lesson plan.  If possible, please break it into Before, During, and After sections. NOTE: If entering a pre-existing lesson, please place link to lesson or the entire text into the “During the Lesson” section.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN “BEFORE THE LESSON”: Prior assessments; Prior or pre-learning; Connections to core subjects; Connections to students’ cultural and personal funds of knowledge;  Trauma informed climate setting;  Group agreements, etc.

Before the Lesson

Before the lesson, the instructor should:

 

  1. Set Group Agreements:

Group Agreements are a foundational element to all Comprehensive Sexuality Education programs and classes. These are agreements created and agreed upon by students to foster comfortable and safer spaces for learning and growth. We encourage instructors to begin all sexual health sections by setting Group Agreements with their students. We highly recommend doing this in a synchronous setting if possible. Once completed, these agreements can be posted publicly for future reference and accountability during lessons.  

 

  1. Group Agreements may vary from class to class and may look different depending on the age of students. All agreements should reflect the needs of the students in the classroom. Some Group Agreements we recommend for high school students are:
    1. ​​Respect. It is normal and valid for students to have different values, beliefs, and life experiences related to sexuality. Encourage respect between students in regard to these topics. Allow students to decide what respect looks like and sounds like in their classroom.
    2. Confidentiality. Sexual health is a deeply personal subject. Ensure all students agree not to share any personal information learned in discussions with people outside of the classroom. Instructors should also explain their role as Mandatory Reporters if applicable.
    3. Ask Questions. Encourage questions! Please refer to the “Prepare for Questions” section below for more details.
    4. Be Open to Learning. Encourage students to keep an open mind and be willing to learn from their peers.
  2. Prepare for Questions:  Answering questions is a crucial aspect of comprehensive sexuality education facilitation and can also be one of the most challenging. For more information on how to answer questions, please read through The FLASH Curriculum Guide to Answering Student’s Questions. We recommend ending each class with an opportunity for students to submit questions anonymously. See instructions below for in-person or virtual facilitation.
    1. In person: Instructor should hand out identical pieces of paper to each student at the end of the lesson then say, “Please take five minutes to write down any questions you have from our lesson today. This will be anonymous and I will answer these questions aloud in our next class.” We recommend asking all students to write something on the paper regardless of if they have questions to increase anonymity. The instructor can ask students who do not have questions to draw a picture or answer another prepared question such as: “What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?”
    2. Virtual. If teaching virtually we recommend facilitating this portion using a Google Form in lieu of a question box.
  3. Assess prior learning: Students should already have a foundational understanding of sexuality prior to this lesson. Performance Indicators that should be addressed prior to this lesson include:
    1. HE.1.12.34 Explain that sexuality includes a multitude of sexual expressions and behaviors that are a normal part of being human.  
    2. HE.2.12.12 Analyze how personal values and beliefs influence individual health practices and behaviors.  
    3. HE.2.12.20 Analyze how our values impact our sexual health-related decisions.  
    4. The instructor can assess this learning using the following discussion questions:
      1. What comes to mind when you hear the word “sexuality”?
      2. Where do our ideas about sexuality come from?
      3. How does a person’s identity- race, gender, sexual orientation, beliefs, etc.- impact how they experience their sexuality?
  4.  Prepare lesson-specific materials:
    1. Print out scenarios and worksheets for students. Webpages in the scenarios may be printed if students do not have access to the internet.
  5. Provide content warning: Content warning and welcome for students to step out as needed, acknowledge that many people have experienced trauma related to this content and while this lesson tries to avoid particularly triggering descriptions of violence, some students may be unable to participate in some sections and that is totally fine.
  6.  Remind students of your obligation to report: Sexuality and sexual health topics may lead to student disclosures that could require mandatory reporting. In order to hold a trauma-informed space and promote student autonomy and agency, we recommend reminding students of your role as a mandatory reporter before any sexual health-related lesson. This disclosure could sound like:
    1. “Our content today may bring up experiences for some of you that may be difficult or challenging. I want to remind each of you that while I want this to be a space where we can have open and honest discussions, I do have limitations on my ability to keep your information private and confidential. I am a mandatory reporter which means that if anyone shares with me that they now or ever have hurt themselves or someone else, or that someone has hurt them, I may not be able to keep that private. It is my job to keep all of you safe, and so it is important that you understand that. What questions do you all have about that?”

 

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN “DURING THE LESSON”: Step-by-step instructions for educators and/or students and families;  Multi-modal activities and processing questions;  Integrated Vocabulary (to establish tags and searchable content);  Student practice examples;  How to check for understanding (formative assessments, supported question of student understanding and progress).

During the Lesson

Step 1: Introduction |  5 minutes

 

Slide 1: Explain to students that the topic of the day is accessing information about sexuality. Ask students if someone can provide a definition of sexuality, then ask, “what does sexuality encompass?” After hearing from one or two students, provide the following definition to the class: According to the World Health Organization, “sexuality is a central aspect of being human throughout life encompasses sex, gender identities and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, practices, roles and relationships. While sexuality can include all of these dimensions, not all of them are always experienced or expressed. Sexuality is influenced by the interaction of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors.” (WHO, 2006a)

 

Have students turn to a partner and discuss the question, “what surprises you about this definition?” Ask to hear a few thoughts after returning to the larger group.

 

Slide 2:  Explain the objectives and enduring understanding for this lesson.

 

Slide 3: Group Agreements: Explain that this can be a sensitive subject and that there are many different thoughts and feelings about this topic, so it’s important that everyone feel safe and comfortable in the class. Therefore, we need to all agree to the group agreements provided in the “Before this Lesson” section above. Allow students to voice any additional needs/agreements they would like to be included.

 

Part 1: Understanding Qualities of Reliable Information | 15 minutes

Slide 4: Ask students, “where do teens go to get information about sexuality and sexual health?” Solicit answers from the group. If students are hesitant to speak up, the instructor can utilize a think-pair-share model to encourage thoughtful responses. Make sure the following locations are discussed:

  1. Family
  2. Peers/friends
  3. Medical providers
  4. School/ teachers
  5. Media
  6. Internet

Next, ask students to raise their hands if they think the majority of information that teens receive about sexuality is accurate. Solicit some thoughts from the group. Regardless of the outcome, ask “how can someone know if the information is accurate?” Then solicit responses.

 

Slides 5-9: Qualities of reliable sexual health information. Discuss the qualities listed on the slide:

  • F- Free of bias: Reliable information does not encourage one specific personal value and instead promotes agency and autonomy in decision-making. Information is inclusive of diverse identities and experiences.
  • A- Accurate: Reliable sexual health information is research/evidence-based. Information is cited and comes from medical or academic sources.
  • C- Comprehensive: Reliable sexual health information covers all options and promotes informed consent. For example, information about birth control includes all possible options and does not promote one method as better than any other.
  • T- Timely: Reliable sexual health information is relevant and up to date.

 

Slide 10-11: Explain that there are questions a person can ask themselves to assess each of the components of the FACT model. Next, share slide 11 and read the questions listed. After each letter ask the large group if there is anything else that may help someone to assess information in regard to that letter in the model.

  • F- Free of bias: Does this information represent all identities and experiences? Is it promoting one idea or behavior? Ask- “What else might a person want to look for when trying to decide if information is biased?”
  • A- Accurate: Where does this information come from? Are all sources cited?  Ask- “What else might a person want to look for when trying to decide if information is accurate?”
  • C- Comprehensive: Does this information present a variety of options?  Ask- “What else might a person want to look for when trying to decide if information is comprehensive?”
  • T- Timely: When was this information written or published? Has it been longer than ten years since this information was updated? How has the world changed since this information was published?  Ask- “What else might a person want to look for when trying to decide if information is timely?”

 

Slide 7: Write: “Barriers to accessing information about sexuality and sexual health” on a white board, flip chart paper, or other public display tool.

Ask students to think about the qualities of reliable information discussed. Then, have each student turn to a person sitting next to them and create a list of five barriers teens face in accessing reliable information about sexuality and sexual health. Bring groups back together and groups to share their ideas one by one as you create a large list on the board/flip chart/public display tool. Some barriers discussed may include:

  • Privacy
  • Language
  • Fear
  • Culture- values
  • Parents
  • Time

Slide 8: Either aloud to the entire group or in smaller groups, ask students the following discussion questions to assess current learning:

  • Based on the qualities of reliable sexual health information, where do you think the most reliable information about sexual health can be found?
  • What factors- both individual and systemic- exist that might impact a person’s ability to access information? Think about location of information, language, technology, etc.

If students discuss in small groups, ask for a couple of groups to share their responses in the larger group.

 

 

Part 2: Using Reliable Information  |  25 minutes

 

Explain to students that they will now use a reliable website to explore a scenario in small groups. Say “I am going to divide you into small groups. In your small groups you will each receive a worksheet, and your group will get one scenario. Begin by reading your scenario together, then navigate to the website included on your scenario to answer the questions on your worksheet. When you are finished, choose one person to be the spokesperson from your group to share your responses.”

 

Divide students into groups of 3-4 students and hand out the “Accessing Reliable Sexuality Information'' worksheet to each student. Then, provide each group with one scenario from the list included in this lesson. Give students 15 minutes to complete their worksheets.

 

After 15 minutes, bring students’ attention back to the larger group. Ask for each group to read their scenario and whether or not their website was reliable and how they knew.

Part 3: Anonymous Questions & Reflection |  5 minutes

Have students return to their seats and hand each student an anonymous question form. Give students five minutes to write down any questions that they have about the lesson topic and one new thing they learned from the lesson. Collect responses.

 

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN “AFTER THE LESSON”: Summative Assessments;  Plans for following-up with absent students and those needing additional support (ELL, 504, IEP, chronic absenteeism, social/emotional, mobile students, etc.);  Extension of learning opportunities (recommended lesson plan for extension and follow-up);  Lesson revisions, re-mixes, and reiterations.

After the Lesson

Anonymous Questions:

After the lesson the instructor should read through the anonymous questions and prepare answers for their students. These questions should be read and answered aloud to the entire group at the next class meeting.

 

Summative Assessment:

Possible assessment questions for this lesson include:

  1. What are the four qualities of reliable information?
  2. What are five barriers teens face in accessing reliable information?

 

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Accessing Reliable Sexuality Information Lesson Hand-out

 

Website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

 

Jane has been exploring her sexual orientation, and realizes that she emotionally connects to girls, but wants to date people of all genders. She wants to learn more about identity and sexuality, but isn’t sure where to go for information.

 

Using the information learned in this lesson and the website provided, answer the following questions regarding your scenario:

 

1.  What information is the person in your scenario seeking?

 

 

 

2.  List all of the places you think this person can go to get that information.

 

 

 

3.  What barriers might this person face in getting access to the information they are looking for?

 

 

 

4.  Is this website free of bias? How do you know?

 

 

 

5.  Is this website accurate? How do you know?

 

 

 

6.  Is this website comprehensive? How do you know?

 

 

 

7.  Is this website timely? How do you know?

 

 

 

8.  Would you recommend this website to the person in your scenario? Why or why not?

 

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Accessing Reliable Sexuality Information Lesson Hand-out

 

Website: www.Loveisrespect.org

 

Joshua has been texting a boy he likes from school. They have sent silly selfies to one another, but recently this boy asked Joshua to send a nude photo. Joshua really likes this person, but does not feel comfortable sending pictures of his body and is especially worried about online safety. He wants to communicate his digital boundaries but isn’t sure how.

 

Using the information learned in this lesson and the website provided, answer the following questions regarding your scenario:

 

1.  What information is the person in your scenario seeking?

 

 

 

2.  List all of the places you think this person can go to get that information.

 

 

 

3.  What barriers might this person face in getting access to the information they are looking for?

 

 

 

4.  Is this website free of bias? How do you know?

 

 

 

5.  Is this website accurate? How do you know?

 

 

 

6.  Is this website comprehensive? How do you know?

 

 

 

7.  Is this website timely? How do you know?

 

 

 

8.  Would you recommend this website to the person in your scenario? Why or why not?

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Accessing Reliable Sexuality Information Lesson Hand-out

 

Website: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/safer-sex

 

Trey and their partner have decided to start having sex. They are excited to begin exploring different types of sexual activities together, but want to make sure they know how to protect themselves from STIs.

 

Using the information learned in this lesson and the website provided, answer the following questions regarding your scenario:

 

1.  What information is the person in your scenario seeking?

 

 

 

2.  List all of the places you think this person can go to get that information.

 

 

 

3.  What barriers might this person face in getting access to the information they are looking for?

 

 

 

4.  Is this website free of bias? How do you know?

 

 

 

5.  Is this website accurate? How do you know?

 

 

 

6.  Is this website comprehensive? How do you know?

 

 

 

7.  Is this website timely? How do you know?

 

 

 

8.  Would you recommend this website to the person in your scenario? Why or why not?

 

 

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Accessing Reliable Sexuality Information Lesson Hand-out

 

Website:  www.RAINN.org

 

Nona is giving a presentation on bystander intervention. They know that sexual violence is a big problem at their school, and they want to give their peers information on how to intervene if they ever notice that someone might be at risk of sexual violence at a party.

 

 

Using the information learned in this lesson and the website provided, answer the following questions regarding your scenario:

 

1.  What information is the person in your scenario seeking?

 

 

 

2.  List all of the places you think this person can go to get that information.

 

 

 

3.  What barriers might this person face in getting access to the information they are looking for?

 

 

 

4.  Is this website free of bias? How do you know?

 

 

 

5.  Is this website accurate? How do you know?

 

 

 

6.  Is this website comprehensive? How do you know?

 

 

 

7.  Is this website timely? How do you know?

 

 

 

8.  Would you recommend this website to the person in your scenario? Why or why not?

 

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Accessing Reliable Sexuality Information Lesson Hand-out

 

Website: https://www.bedsider.org/methods

 

Felix and their partner have decided to start having sex. They are excited to begin exploring different types of sexual activity together, but want to make sure they know how to protect themselves from pregnancy.

Using the information learned in this lesson and the website provided, answer the following questions regarding your scenario:

 

1.  What information is the person in your scenario seeking?

 

 

 

2.  List all of the places you think this person can go to get that information.

 

 

 

3.  What barriers might this person face in getting access to the information they are looking for?

 

 

 

4.  Is this website free of bias? How do you know?

 

 

 

5.  Is this website accurate? How do you know?

 

 

 

6.  Is this website comprehensive? How do you know?

 

 

 

7.  Is this website timely? How do you know?

 

 

 

8.  Would you recommend this website to the person in your scenario? Why or why not?