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It was a good day. You know, that day when you asked that person to hang out and they actually said yes. You went to the mall; got something to eat, saw a movie … things were going well. Your parents were out of town; you had the house to yourself; might they want to come back to your place? So far you’ve spent $45 on the date. Question is, what could tonight really cost you?
STDs are one of the greatest health challenges facing youth today. Students are becoming increasingly sexually active and some diseases are spreading like wildfire. While some STDs are easily treatable, others can have life-altering consequences. Not to mention the mental and emotional impact that comes with the knowledge that you have been infected. Through this project you will investigate the consequences of a careless night and produce materials that will help educate those a bit younger than you.
Thus begins this unit. Two years ago I designed a course titled Disease and Society. The aim of the course is a holistic understanding of Public Health issues. This unit is an exploration of sexual health through the lens of STDs.
Sex ed is an obviously difficult topic. Rather than focus on dicey and sensitive lectures, students discover relevant information through exploration of daily questions related to sexual health and its impact on society. Because responsibility for learning is placed in the hands of the student, I've found that the information is very deeply internalized. On my yearly end of course survey students consistently rate this project as the one that they have most enjoyed, learned the most from, and most impacted their lives.
This unit could be used for a course in health, biology, epidemiology, public health, maybe even math. Really its uses are only limited by your imagination.
- Pedagogy: Project Based Learning (PBL)
- Driving Question: What is the TRUE cost of one night?
- Students Create: 1 minute PSA about STDs and a supporting infographic
- Student products may be viewed using the following links:
- Unit Plan with vocabulary list
- Daily lesson plan
- Daily .ppt slides for class
- Project documents for students (.docx and .pdf)
- Project grading rubric
- Links to needed resources
- Daily student puzzle warmup