Taking care of your body during puberty

Time to complete Taking care of your body during puberty: 60 min

Year level: 5


Students identify good hygiene and health practices which become increasingly important as they go through puberty.

Learning focus

Changes associated with puberty which vary with individuals: physical, mental, emotional (ACCPS052)

Strategies that promote a safe, healthy lifestyle (ACCPS054)

Preventative health measures that promote and maintain an individuals' health, safety and wellbeing (ACCPS058)

Key understandings

enlightenedThere are a number of things that help us to have a healthy body: good nutrition, regular exercise, enough rest/sleep/relaxation, avoiding alcohol and other drugs, personal hygiene. 

enlightenedPersonal hygiene is keeping the external parts of your body clean and healthy (e.g. hair, nails, skin).

enlightenedLooking after our bodies helps to prevent body odour, infection, illness and the spread of disease.

enlightenedHaving a healthy body and good hygiene also helps us have good mental health, self esteem and confidence. 


  • Mystery feely bag (use non-transparent bags such as library bags, pillow cases, canvas shopping bags tied with string or elastic bands). Mystery feely bags can have 1 item each or a few items in each. Items for bags:
    • towel/face cloth

    • facial cleanser/body wash/soap

    • shampoo and conditioner

    • deodorant/antiperspirant

    • toothbrush and toothpaste

    • mouth wash/dental floss

    • hair brush/comb

    • clean underpants and socks

    • nail clippers

    • sanitary pads and tampons (optional - may choose to cover this in menstruation lessons separately).

    Additional items 

    • fruit/vegetable (to represent good nutrition)

    • water

    • pillow/blanket or picture of a bed (to represent sleep)

    • tennis ball/basketball/hoop (to represent exercise)

    • book (to represent relaxation)

    • picture of alcohol and other drugs.

General capabilities

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Blooms revised taxonomy

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Inquiry learning phase

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Related items

Guides Booklets and Brochures

Before you get started

  • Read Background teacher notes:

    • Personal hygiene

  • Read Essential  information:

    • Protective interrupting - All staff in the room need to know and understand how to use this technique to prevent students from potentially disclosing sensitive information or abuse in front of other students.

    • Dealing with disclosures - All staff in the room must be aware of the school and legal procedures if a student discloses personal issues, particularly disclosures of sexual abuse.

  • Preview the video Taking care of your body during puberty (2min 45sec) to determine suitability for your students.

Learning activities

Group agreement

Time to complete Group agreement: 5 min

yes Teaching tip: group agreement must be established before any RSE program begins to ensure a safe learning environment. Read Essential information: Establishing a group agreement for tips on how to create one and what to include.

  1. Revise the class group agreement.

Mystery feely bag

Time to complete Mystery feely bag: 15 min

  1. Hand out the 'mystery feely bags' to groups of students.

  2. laugh​ Explain:

"By only feeling the items within the bag, I would like you to guess what you think that item is."

  1. Invite each group to offer their guesses as to what the items might be and have them open the bags and display their items. 

  2. Once all of the items are revealed, invite students to guess what all of the items have in common. 

What is hygiene?

Time to complete What is hygiene?: 5 min

  1. If students have not yet come up with the word 'hygiene', hints can be given by writing the first letter (H) on the board, then the second letter (y), etc until they have guessed the word 'hygiene' or can read the whole word. 

  2. Ask students:

❓  What does the word 'hygiene' mean?

(Hygiene is what we do to keep the external parts of our body clean and healthy to prevent odour, illness, infection and the spread of disease.)

Video - Taking care of your body during puberty

Time to complete Video - Taking care of your body during puberty: 5 min

  1. Watch the video: Taking care of your body during puberty (2min 45sec) (external link)

  1. Answer any questions the students have about the video.

Class display - how to look after your body during puberty

Time to complete Class display - how to look after your body during puberty: 15 min

  1. Students use the information in the video to write labels for how their 'mystery feely bag item' can be used to help maintain good hygiene. 

  2. Each group presents their information to the class and adds their item to the class display

  3. Ensure students have covered all of the following key messages:

  • wash body with soap/body wash regularly

  • use deodorant/anti-perspirant

  • brush your teeth with toothpaste/toothbrush twice a day

  • floss teeth regularly 

  • visit a dentist regularly

  • avoid sugary drinks and sweets

  • wash your hair with shampoo/conditioner regularly

  • wear clean clothes, underwear and socks each day

  • keep toe nails short and clean

  • wash feet at least once a day and make sure they are dried properly.

  1. Give groups the additional items (fruit/vegetables, pillow, book etc) to prompt discussion and addition to the the class display on the following points:
  • get enough sleep (at least 8 hours per night)

  • drink plenty of water 

  • eat healthy food (2 serves fruit, 5 serves of vegetables a day)

  • have time to rest/relax

  • no alcohol or other drugs.

Reflection - dice questions

Time to complete Reflection - dice questions: 10 min

  1. Display the following sentence stems on the board:
  • 1: A  health snack I can bring to school is....

  • 2: A way to get active is...

  • 3: A way to practice good hygiene is...

  • 4: A way to keep my body healthy is...

  • 5: Growing up means to me...

  • 6: A way I like to relax is....

  1. Ask for volunteers to roll a dice (or use a ball with 6 numbers written on it) and complete the sentence stem relating to the number thrown. 

Question box

Time to complete Question box: 5 min

yes Teaching tip: Establishing a question box when starting any RSE program is useful to allow students to ask questions anonymously and have them answered in a safe environment. Read Essential information: Question box guide for how to set up the system and how to answer tricky questions. 

  1. Provide students with time to write questions for the question box. 
  1. If the question box is already set up, you may like to choose some questions related to the lesson to answer.