Public vs private body parts

Time to complete Public vs private body parts: 45 minutes

Year level: Pre-Primary


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

Learning focus

Male and female bodies are different. Some body parts are public, while others are private.

Key understandings

  • Each body part has a name.

  • Everybody has body parts that are the same.

  • Male and female bodies have different parts.

  • Some body parts are public and some are private.

  • Though there are some parts we keep private, there is nothing bad about them, they are just private.

  • Each person is in charge of his or her own body.


  • Book: Everyone's Got a Bottom by Tess Rowley
  • Blank A3 paper [one per student]
  • Student Activity Sheet: Body outline - public vs private [A3 copy]
  • Student Activity Sheet: Speech bubble [one 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

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Inquiry learning phase

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Related items

Teaching resource (download) Guides

Before you get started

  • Approximately 1.7% of the population are born with natural variations in physical sex characteristics which do not fit the stereotypical and medical definitions for female and male bodies. 'Intersex' is the umbrella term for many forms of intersex that exist. 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 faciliating lessons on physical sex characteristics. For more information read the background teacher note: Intersex variations.

  • It is estimated that between 1.2% and 4% of Austraian young people are gender divers 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 acknolwedge 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

Whole Class

This activity extends the students' knowledge from the Pre-primary Learning Activity: Different Bodies by introducing the concepts of private and public body parts.

  1. Ask students to locate and name as many body parts as they can using the Student Activity Sheet: Body outline - public vs private or a model of the human body.

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

  • Ask students to identify similarities and differences between male and female bodies.

    • If students do not know the difference, introduce the correct terminology for penis, testicles, vulva and vagina, as each body part is discussed.

    • Explain that there are lots of different names for these body parts and it is important to know the correct names.

  • Identify private body parts as being parts that belong to you and are covered by underwear or bathers.

  • Reinforce that boys and girls have most parts the same and some that are different.

Optional activity:

Play the game Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Discuss that we all have body parts that are 'public' such as our head and shoulders, knees and toes and some parts that are 'private', i.e. anything that bathers cover.

Independent or Small Group

This activity develops students' understanding of a key protective behaviours message as highlighted in the book Everyone's Got a Bottom.

  1. Have students draw a self-portrait on A3 paper.

  2. Include a quote from the text, "From my head to my toes, I can say what goes" using the Student Activity Sheet: Speech bubble.


Recite the message from the text as individuals and as a whole class and review its meaning, citing examples from the book.