6. Public vs private body parts

Time to complete 6. Public vs private body parts: 30 minutes

Year level: Pre-Primary


Students develop their understanding of the differences between public body parts and private body parts.

Learning focus

The different parts of the body and where they are located. (AC9HPFP05)

Protective behaviours to keep safe and healthy: saying 'no', moving away, telling and adult, asking for help (ACPPS003)

Key understandings

enlightenedEach body part has a name.

enlightenedEverybody has body parts that are the same.

enlightenedSome parts of male and female bodies are different.

enlightenedSome body parts are public and some are private.

enlightenedEach person is in charge of their own body.


  • Book: Everyone's Got a Bottom by Tess Rowley
  • Pictures from Everyone's Got a Bottom online reading 2min 20sec OR anatomically correct dolls

  • Blank A3 paper - 1 per student

  • Student activity sheet: Child body outline - public vs private (A3 copy)

  • Student activity sheet: Speech bubble - 1 per student

General capabilities

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Health and physical education(P)

Personal, social and community health

This strand will develop students' knowledge, understanding and skills to support a positive sense of self, to effectively respond to life events and transitions and to engage in their learning. Effective communication, decision-making and goal-setting skills are integral to this strand as they help to establish and maintain relationships in family, school, peer group and community settings, support healthy and safer behaviours, and enable advocacy. Students will source and examine a range of health information, products, services and policies, and evaluate their impact on individual and community health and safety.

Relationships and sexuality


Blooms revised taxonomy

No Blooms values have been selected.

Inquiry learning phase

No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.

Related items

Teaching resource (download)

Before you get started

  • This activity extends the students' knowledge from the Pre-primary Learning activities: My body inside and out and Bodies - similarities and differences. 

  • Children need to know the correct names for the parts of their body. Using the correct terminology helps them to speak without embarrassment so that they have the language to ask questions, seek help and explain any changes of concern accurately. This is particularly important for protecting children against sexual abuse. 

  • The correct names of the private parts are vulva, vagina, breasts, penis, testicles, anus and buttocks (or bottom). 

  • People often use the word 'vagina' when they mean 'vulva'. The vagina is the inside tube leading up to the uterus (womb). The vulva is the outside part made up of the clitoris and the labia (inner and outer lips). 

  • 'Public' body parts depend on cultural contexts. Some cultures consider hair, face, arms, stomach, etc 'private' body parts in the sense that they are covered up in public. However, for the purpose of protective behaviours, 'private' body parts refers to the sexual body parts.

  • Body diversity - approximately 1.7% of the population are born with intersex variations. It is possible that there will be children in the class that have intersex variations - some may be aware of this and others may not. It is important to acknowledge this diversity when facilitating lessons on physical sex characteristics. For more information read the Background teacher note: Intersex variations.

  • Gender diversity - it is estimated that between 1.2% and 4% of Australian young people are gender diverse or transgender. This is when someone's sense of being male or female is different from the se they were assigned at birth. When teaching lessons about physical sex characteristics, it is important to understand and acknowledge this diversity. It is possible that children in the class may be gender diverse and may disclose this information in discussions. For more information read the Background teacher note: Gender diversity.

Learning activities

Book: Everyone's got a bottom

Whole Class

  1. Conduct a shared reading of a picture book that explains public and private body parts such as Everyone's Got a Bottom.

Private parts

  1. Revise the external body parts from Learning activity: My body inside and out

  2. laugh Ask:

     ❓ Are there any parts of the body in this story that we did not add to our pictures from our last lesson? (Learning activity: My body inside and out)

(Genitals - penis, testicles, vulva, vagina, breasts, nipples, etc).

  1.  Students may have different names that they use for these body parts. Acknowledge the name the student has used and explain the correct term.

  2. laugh Explain:

       "There are some names for these body parts that may be considered 'rude words' or 'swear words'. Let's agree to use the correct terms."

       "Sometimes we giggle or laugh when we feel embarrassed, especially when we are talking about things like private parts. It is ok to a laugh but also important to be able to learn about our bodies."

yes Teaching tip: If you have not set up a group agreement, this can be a good way to start building one. Add 'using correct terms' and 'it's ok to laugh' to the start of your group agreement. 

  1. As the names of the genitals are listed, use the pictures from Everyone's got a bottom (online reading 2min 20sec) or anatomically correct dolls to point to each part - vulva, vagina, breasts, penis, testicles, anus and buttocks (or bottom).

  2. laugh Explain:

       "These body parts are 'private' body parts. These are the parts that are covered by underwear or bathers. The other parts of the body (that we can usually see) are 'public' body parts."

      "Male and female bodies have many parts that are the same and some that are different. The private body parts are different for male and female bodies."


Independent or Small Group

  1. laugh Explain:

      "We are in charge of our own bodies. 'From my head to my toes, I can say what goes.' These are rules to help keep us safe. '

  1. Have students recite the saying, "From my head to my toes, I can say what goes".

Optional activity: Student activity sheet: speech bubble - trace around the words and decorate the speech bubble.