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Lessons > Middle School > HIV, STI & Pregnancy Prevention
HIV, STI & Pregnancy Prevention

17 Lessons


Students begin this lesson by establishing agreements or guidelines for classroom discussion about sexuality and sexual health. After briefly reviewing the different aspects of sexuality, students focus on how the choices people make about sex can affect their sexual health. They define and explore the potential risks and negative consequences of sexual activity, and contrast these with the benefits of sexual abstinence. They compare their perceptions to actual norms around sexual activity among ninth graders to reinforce that most students their age are not currently sexually active. Then they work in pairs to write answers to questions in an advice column about sexual abstinence, sexual activity and sexual health.


In this lesson, students learn about sexual identity and the problems with sexual stereotyping. After reading about different types of sexual attractions and gender identities, they examine common sexual stereotypes. They discuss ways to challenge these stereotypes and then practice responding to a variety of situations in which stereotyping is occurring.


This lesson begins with an activity in which students practice listening and communicating in verbal and nonverbal ways. They review and discuss a definition of Affirmative Consent. Then they work in teams to apply the things they have learned by analyzing scenarios where consent may or may not be present. The full class reviews and discusses the scenarios.


In this lesson, students learn about healthy romantic relationships. They list words that describe a good relationship in their lives, then learn about and discuss qualities of healthy and unhealthy relationships. They practice identifying healthy and unhealthy qualities in some relationship scenarios. Then they complete an activity sheet to identify qualities of healthy and unhealthy relationships, and explain how these qualities might look in a romantic relationship.


This lesson reviews facts about reproduction and pregnancy. After reading about how fertilization occurs, students take part in an activity that helps them understand the risk of pregnancy as a result of unprotected sex. They list consequences that would occur if they became teen parents, and use what they’ve learned about advocacy to work in pairs to create posters of the top 3 reasons not to become a teen parent. They take home a family sheet to help them discuss the challenges of being a parent with a parent or guardian.


In this lesson, students study facts about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They define STI and learn how STIs are transmitted. After reading more about STIs, they work in small groups to review the facts, including symptoms, which STIs can and cannot be cured, and the physical, social and emotional consequences of STIs.


In this lesson, students learn facts about HIV. After learning the definition of HIV, they take part in an activity designed to illustrate the risks of HIV transmission. They discuss how HIV is transmitted and then discuss the activity results to understand ways to help prevent it. The teacher clarifies that HIV can’t be transmitted by everyday activities or day-to-day contact, and then explains the symptoms and long-term health consequences of untreated HIV.


This lesson reinforces taking care of sexual health by teaching responsible actions around STI prevention. After discussing the responsibilities of a person who has an STI, students read and discuss a story to learn more about the importance of testing and treatment. Then they work in pairs to read scenarios about relationships in which one person has an STI, and answer questions about the responsibilities of each partner.


This lesson focuses on decision-making skills. Students learn decision-making steps and see them modeled for a decision around dating. They work in pairs to read a sample scenario and work through the steps to recommend a healthy and safe decision. Then they consider situations that could affect their own sexual health and follow the decision-making steps to propose a decision that will help protect their sexual health.


This lesson introduces refusal skills. Students work in small groups to suggest lines they might hear if someone is pressuring them to have sex. After learning about effective words and actions for resisting sexual pressure, groups write responses to the pressure lines another group created. Students then work in pairs to practice resisting pressure to have sex using the refusals their groups created. They also practice what to say to show they respect another person’s refusal. They take home a family sheet to help them talk with their parents or another adult family member about responsible sexual behaviors.


In this skills-based lesson, students practice refusal skills using roleplays. After watching a demonstration roleplay that uses effective refusal skills, students complete a half-scripted roleplay by writing responses to pressure lines. They practice their roleplays in pairs and receive feedback on their refusal skills.


This lesson teaches about practicing safer sex by using latex or polyurethane condoms. Students learn how condoms help prevent pregnancy and STIs. They watch as the teacher demonstrates condom use, and then do an activity to review the correct sequence of steps for proper condom use. They discuss where in their community teens can get condoms and how to overcome potential embarrassment about obtaining and using condoms.


In this skills-based lesson, students learn strategies for planning ahead and negotiating condom use. After discussing steps in planning ahead, they work in pairs to help negotiate condom use with a partner. They review the steps for resisting sexual pressure and discuss how to apply these steps to refusing to have sex without a condom. Then they write responses that can be used to counter pressure to have unprotected sex.


In this lesson, students learn about some commonly used birth control methods. Students brainstorm a list of contraceptive methods they may have heard about. They learn about how different types of methods work and their effectiveness, including which methods protect from pregnancy only and which help protect from HIV and other STIs as well as pregnancy.


This optional lesson is for use by schools in states that have mandated instruction on potential outcomes and options for a pregnancy. Students consider the thoughts and feelings a young person who is experiencing a pregnancy might have, then learn about pregnancy options through a mini-lecture that covers continuing the pregnancy to parenting, continuing the pregnancy and creating an adoption plan, continuing the pregnancy to safe surrender, and electively ending the pregnancy through abortion. They learn about the importance of prenatal care when a person decides to continue a pregnancy, and brainstorm healthy actions someone can take to help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Then they complete an activity sheet to summarize what they have learned.


This culminating activity assesses student learning for the unit through a written exam.


In this culminating activity, students view a popular movie or TV show featuring teen relationships and analyze the depiction of relationships and sexual health issues. They draw conclusions about whether the movie or TV show portrayed healthy or unhealthy relationships, provided accurate information about sexual health and the consequences of sexual activity, and supported a sexual abstinence or safer sex message.