Grade 9

Grade 9

Unit: Freshmen Wellness - Sexuality Education

Sexuality will be taught within the context of a larger unit called freshmen health. This unit begins by explaining the process of adolescent brain development. The brain continues to grow and develop into the early 20's. It is the frontal lobe that is responsible for reasoning, problem-solving, and ultimately responsible decision-making that develop last. The frontal lobe also helps in the ability to control emotions and impulses. This course is therefore, designed to help teens understand that they are at risk for impulsive decision-making and provides skills and strategies for good responsible decision-making in relation to alcohol, drugs, sex, tobacco, and depression.

The lessons being piloted in the proposed sexuality education curriculum, therefore, will address the importance of responsible decision making and the consequences of unhealthy choices in relation to sexual behaviors. Students will be encouraged to consider the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual benefits of delaying sexual behaviors.

Essential Questions

How will having a better understanding of my brain and brain development improve my ability to make good decisions that will impact my life in the future?

Why should I/How do I develop a strategy for making good decisions?

How do I maintain my goals for personal health and well being with the pressure of a variety of cultural and social settings?


1. Identify the areas of the brain and describe the effect drugs and alcohol have on decision making and healthy relationships

2. Learn to pause between the stimulus (urge to do something) and the response (decision to act or not)

3. Identify the role of exercise in brain development in fostering resiliency

4. Identify the various supports, influences, and values in connection with healthy and unhealthy relationships

5. Identify the components that contribute to the likelihood of addiction through the acronym F.A.C.T.S. (Family History, Age, Cravings, Tolerance, Surroundings)

6. Identify the signs of depression and understand the role of acknowledging, caring and telling (A.C.T)

Lesson 1: Sex, Sexuality and Sexual Health

Develop Agreements and Expectations for Creating a Safe and Comfortable Class Climate
Identify a Parent/Guardian or Other Trusted Adult from Whom Students can Obtain Information About Sex and Sexuality
Understand the Meaning of the Terms Sex, Sexuality and Sexual Health
Identify the Different Sources Where Teens Get Information About Sex and Sexuality
Assess the Reliability of Different Sources of Information About Sex and Sexuality
Analyze the Difference Between Adult Readiness for Sexual Behavior and Teen Readiness
Talk with a parent/guardian or other trusted adult about dating rules

Lesson 2: Reproductive Anatomy, Conception, Pregnancy and Birth

Explain the Structure and Function of the Male and Female Reproduction Systems
Review Proper Vocabulary for the Male and Female Reproductive Systems
Review the Process of Human Reproduction from Conception to Birth

Lesson 3: The Teenage Brain and Making Responsible Decisions About Sex

Review What We Know About the Teenage Brain
Review the Decision-Making Model
Discuss the Role that Values play in Supporting Good Decision-making
Understand How Emotions Can Interfere with Responsible Decision-Making
Talk to a Parent/guardian or Other Trusted Adult about One's Family's Values

Lesson 4: Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

Identify Characteristics of a Healthy and an Unhealthy Relationship
Assess Whether Behaviors Between Two Dating Partners are Healthy or Unhealthy
Identify Risks of Dating a Significantly Older Partner
Assess Behaviors as Being Either Acceptable or Unacceptable in a Relationship
Talk with a Parent/guardian or Other Trusted Adult About Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships

Lesson 5: Shared Responsibility

Assess One's Attitudes and Beliefs about Gender norms in Relationships
Talk with Peers about their Attitudes and Beliefs about Gender Norms in Relationships
Explain Why Both Males and Females are Responsible for the Possible Consequences of Sexual Behavior and Unprotected Sex
Identify Ways that Both Partners (Same Sex and Opposite Sex) Can Take Responsibility for their Own Sexual Health Within a Relationship
Identify Ways that Both Partners Can Support the Sexual Health of their Partner Within a Relationship

Lesson 6: STIs and HIV: Consequences of Decisions Not Thought Through

Identify STIs and How They are transmitted and Prevented
Learn Names of STIís and Whether the are Curable or Treatable
Reflect on Oneís Feelings about Learning about STIs
Understand the Importance of Being Totally Honest with the Doctor When S/He asks Questions about Sexual Behavior

Lesson 7: Reasons and Methods for Preventing Pregnancy

Identify Important Future Goals
Understand How an Unplanned Pregnancy Will Alter All Future Plans and Goals
Name and Describe Popular Methods for Pregnancy Prevention
Understand that Abstinence is the Only Way to Prevent Pregnancy and STIs/HIV
Understand that a Condom Will Protect Against Protect Against Pregnancy & STIs Most of the Time (A condom is not 100% Guaranteed)
Observe a Teacher Demonstration on the Correct Steps for Condum use
Identify all the Steps of Correct Condum Use

Lesson 8: Sexual Risks and Low-Risk Intimacy

Identify Risky Situation
Identify Ways to Lower the Risk Level of Sexual Intimacy
Make Responsible Decisions in Sexual Relationships
Communicate Assertively in Sexual Relationships

Lesson 9: Negotiating Postponement and Protection

Practice Effective Assertive Communication and Refusal Skills
Identify Ways to Negotiate Postponement and Protection within Relationships
Identify and Maintain Boundaries

Other Topics Covered in Grade 9 Freshmen Health

A. Factors associated with addiction
B. Identify the components that contribute to the likelihood of addiction through the acronym F.A.C.T.S. (Family History, Age, Cravings, Tolerance, Surroundings)
C. F.A.C.T.S Tobacco Video
D. Alcohol EDU

A. Identify the signs of depression and understand the role of acknowledging, caring and telling (A.C.T)
B. Signs of suicide and depression
C. Stress/Depression Slides 13-15 (Stress/Anxiety) 16-18 (Depression)
D. Exercise and the Brain
E. Signs of Suicide Video (S.O.S. Video)

Loss Program Workshop
Needham Youth Commission

Loss is a topic youth will be dealing with more often as they get older. Because of this it is critical to become familiar with discussing the dynamics and impact of loss as well as how to access professional assistance and other avenues of support. A loss can impact academic, physical, social, and emotional well-being, and those who have experienced a loss are at significantly greater risk of engaging in harmful behaviors. Youth cannot avoid life’s difficulties, but by approaching the issue of loss in a preventative manner, they can address loss in a more productive and healthy manner. This Loss Program is recognition that death, divorce, major change, and the loss of any important relational, personal, or property matter is a significant experience. The Loss Program is designed for ninth grade students to have the opportunity to learn about loss prior to a crisis.

Better understand the feelings related to a loss
Gain insight into the grieving process
Learn ways to cope more appropriately with a loss
Teen Dating Violence Seminar
Needham Youth Commission

The Teen Dating Violence workshop provides all 9th grade students a forum to raise awareness and to discuss the many issues surrounding teen dating violence. The Teen Dating Violence Seminar is a 90-minute interactive workshop, which investigates:
How history, the media, and our own families impact how gender stereotypes are developed and how they contribute to abusive relationships
How and why domestic/teen dating violence is a huge problem in our society
Why people stay in abusive relationships and learn obstacles for leaving
Warning signs of abusive relationships

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