5th Grade Human Growth and Development Lessons
**Boys and girls will be split for lessons indicated with a **.
May 10th- Day 1- Introductory Activity- helps introduce the unit, helps students feel
comfortable with class material. Use milk in a bowl. Students ask appropriate questions
they may have about growing up. After they ask a question, they are allowed to drop
some food coloring into the bowl. At the end of the lesson the bowl is a mess, and I as a
teacher drop in soap which clears up the mess. This represents their fears/questions about
this subject in school and that as a teacher/staff we will try give them the right answers or
direct them to someone who can help and hopefully clear up their confusion and fears.
May 11th-Day 2- Families- roles and behaviors. Balloon activity- in groups of 4 or 5,
students are given jobs as a part of the body (head, hands or feet.) They are then given a
balloon and asked to blow it up, tie it and pop it using only those body parts-working
together. Following the lesson we focus discussion on how this game was like a family.
We assign a worksheet and try to complete it together in class.
May 14th-Day 3- Values- auction type activity to demonstrate the importance of certain
items in society and to demonstrate the importance of values when growing up.
Envelopes decorated in different ways to “auction” off. Students are given a list of
sample values and play money to bargain with. Following auction students who have
“won” an envelope read what the message is inside the envelope. Messages represent
relationships with other people and how they may treat others. The lesson is supposed to
show what the students are willing to give up in o rder to have or buy something (values).
May 15th and May 16th- Day 4,5- Media and it’s influences on us as we grow up. In
groups of 4 or 5, students review media examples (internet sites: www.bam.gov,
www.pbskids.org, TV commercials recorded from TV, and magazine ads ). In their
groups the students are to fill out a worksheet answering questions about the messages
and techniques that advertisers use to send us messages about their products and how it
may affect our decisions when growing up.
May 17th- Day 6- Story of me- Students will be introduced to reproduction and human
development in the context of a self-esteem building activity. The lesson begins with the
students’ own development from conception. Introducing the concepts of fertilization
and reproduction as their “beginning” story eases students into information contained in
later lessons when they will be split up. Students are asked to bring in 2 pictures of
themselves, one baby picture and one as recent as possible (wallet size). We complete a
worksheet in class using their pictures to show how much they have changed already.
We then put them up in the classroom as a display for a few days.
May 18th- Day 7- Hygiene/Future Story of Me- Encourages the students to begin using
“best practices” for hygiene as they begin this new phase in their lives. Worksheet used
for the students to take home and post in the bathroom or their bedroom to “chart” their
course for 2 weeks or so. Also continue with the creating of a picture of what students
think they may look like when they are older and how they might change from today to
their future self.
**May 21st- Day 8- “For Real”- Puberty Myths- (boys and girls split) This lesson
builds upon the “Future Story of me” lesson. As students start to lea rn about puberty,
myths begin to surface that often confuse and/or complicate the students’ perception of
adolescence. This lesson is designed to dispel several myths as well as to generate a
discussion and decision- making among peers. Students will view a video titled, “We’re
Growing Up!”- a 12 minute video that explains some of the puberty myths..
**May 22nd- Day 9- Puberty and Menstruation-(boys and girls split) Using the video
series, “Always Changing, Always Growing”, students view the video that helps teach
anatomy, growth and development, menstruation and hygiene. Students will label parts
on a chart of the physical changes that will occur during puberty.
May 23rd- Day 10- “My body does what?- (reproductive organs) Students will view a
video from National Geographic explaining the reproductive system parts. Students will
also label the parts of the male and female on a chart. Students are expected to know
which parts belong to a male and which parts belong to a female.
May 24th- Day 11- Gender Roles-This is a sensitive subject with the students and will
be handled as such when teaching it. The students begin the lesson identifying magazine
ads as either being “Masculine” or “feminine”. They must pick one or the other. Ads
are chosen specifically to force the students to realize that gender roles do not have to be
one or the other- they can be flexible (example- a picture of Danica Patrick/race car
driver). The students then define the terms: stereotype, gender, gender identity, and
gender role. We will define them as: Stereotype- a fixed idea that does not allow for
individual differences. Gender- our biological make- up (male parts or female parts).
Gender Identity- your inner sense of male or female (feelings). Gender role- way people
behave. We discuss these ideas as needed with questions from the students. We then
view a clip from the movie “Big” (Tom Hanks). It is the clip of where he makes his wish
to be “big” and he wakes up the next morning and he is “big”. Students will be asked to
complete a worksheet for homework. Students will be asked to pretend that they woke
up in the morning and they were an adult. The questions on the worksheet will help
students think about their roles as a person.
May 25th- Day 12- Sexual Identity/Orientation- Another very sensitive subject, tough
to teach, yet very important. Students will begin by discussing their homework from the
previous lesson and what they learned. We then define the term sexual orientation-
describes the direction of a person’s feelings of sexual attraction and desire. It basically
is who we like. A discussion follows. We discuss ideas like, what if we don’t really like
anyone yet- what does that mean? We try to focus on: as we grow up many kids are
confused and have many questions. If you have no feelings for the opposite sex- its
okay- growing up takes time and you do not have to rush things. We then continue with
defining the terms gay, lesbian and straight on the board. Gay- homosexual, male
attracted to male. Lesbian- female attracted to female. Straight- heterosexual- male
attracted to female. We discuss that we are not here to determine how to live, just to
understand what you may be hearing about and how to use these terms correctly if you
do. We focus on the fact that no one really knows how sexual orientation develops- but
that it is important to know that sexual orientation is just one part of who we are as a
person. We then finish class by reading a story about an 11 year old girl named
“Miranda” whose brother is gay and how she handles the situation. We mention that the
story deals with a term called “homophobia”- a fear of someone who is homosexual.
That fear is usually based on ignorance, misunderstanding, or believing stereotypes.
Some people who are knowledgeable about the facts still disagree with a homosexual
lifestyle due to moral and religious beliefs. They are not homophobic or fearful, they
simply believe that the lifestyle is wrong. Whether someone disagrees with the lifestyle
or not, it is not acceptable or legal to harm another person because of their sexual
orientation. We pause during the story a few times to write in our journal about things
like- how she can help, what can she do, how do you think she felt, what kind of support
can she offer her brother, etc..
May 29th- Day 13- Review game.
May 30th - Test day
May 31st- Make ups/Fun Day
If you feel you need to look over any materials used in class, feel free to contact me and
set up a time.
Health/PE Teacher, M.A.