Reproductive systems

Year level: 5


Students develop an understanding of the parts and functions of the male and female reproductive systems.

Learning Focus

Male and female reproductive systems.                                                    

Key Understandings

  • The changes associated with puberty happen to different people at different times.

  • Puberty involves physical, social and emotional changes.

  • There are changes associated with puberty that affect both males and females.

  • Certain changes associated with puberty affect only males or females.

  • Maturity means different things to different cultures.

  • Many of the physical changes associated with puberty allow people to reproduce, however, they may not be emotionally or socially ready.


  • 'Goodie bag' made up of assorted objects to create a reproductive systems model, e.g. glue, sticky tape, plastic cup, blu tack, balloons, plastic spoon, straws, pop sticks [one per group]
  • Teaching Resource: Unlabelled male and female reproductive systems [A3 or larger]; or purchase/hire Magno-mate reproductive kit from Sexual & Reproductive Health WA
  • Teaching Resource: Anatomy labels
  • Optional: ‘Girls and Puberty' and ‘Boys and Puberty' booklets; or internet access
  • Optional: 'Relationships, Sex and Other Stuff' booklet
  • Optional: A4 blank sheet of paper [one per student]

General Capabilities

No General Capabilities values have been selected.

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) Guides

Teaching and Learning Activities

Before you get started

  • The most common questions students ask during sexuality education classes are often not about sex but about their changing bodies. Even though our bodies are changing all the time, puberty is the time when a child's body begins to acquire characteristics that define it sexually. It is also the time when students begin adolescence, the transitional phase between childhood and adulthood.

  • Students appreciate knowing the range of ages when changes may occur. If they can privately place themselves somewhere on the continuum of growth and development, they feel reassured and less anxious about the stage they are currently at. This contributes to greater empathy and respect for peers. It is comforting for students to learn that almost every other human has a range of feelings about these experiences.

  • The topic of puberty may be an exciting and interesting topic for some. Be mindful that some students may feel embarrassed, uncomfortable or terrified learning how their bodies are going to be changing. Increase the comfort of students through introducing this topic with excitement and fun.

  • Students are likely to have many questions that they feel uncomfortable to ask. Providing a question box for students to place their questions in anonymously will ensure their questions are answered in a safe environment. Refer to the Establishing ground rules and Question box Guides for further information.

  • The WA Department of Health has developed a free resource for parents: Talk Soon. Talk Often. A Guide for Parents Talking to their Kids About SexIt is recommended that teachers communicate to parents and explain the topics that will be covered such as healthy relationships, puberty, hygiene, emotions, resilience, etc. and that you are not teaching their child to have 'sex'.

  • Provide students with a copy of the booklets Girls and Puberty, Boys and Puberty and Relationships, Sex and Other Stuff to take home and read.

  • Puberty kits: The use of a puberty kit can be a useful tool in the classroom. Check with your school's public health nurse to see if there are any kits readily available or that can be made up to use.

  • Many teachers ask the question of whether or not they should separate the boys and the girls for such classes. Research shows that there is no significant difference for either strategy. You may choose to separate your class by gender, keep them all together or mix strategies by separating your class for certain activities. If you do choose to separate the sexes, ensure that both groups receive the same information. It is just as important for students to learn about their changing bodies as it is for them to learn what the other sex is going through in order to promote compassion. All students need to overcome any potential discomfort in order to be able to effectively communicate sexual matters in relationships when they are older.

  • Refer to the Guides: Reproductive and sexual anatomy: FemalesReproductive and sexual anatomy: Males and Puberty for further content information related to this activity. 

Whole Class

This activity introduces students to the reproductive system and provides students with an opportunity to learn the appropriate terminology. Understanding human biology provides students with a sound foundation for learning about puberty, menstruation and conception, which are activities for older students.

  1. Place the unlabelled diagram of the male reproductive system from Teaching Resource: Unlabelled male and female reproductive systems on the board, or use the Magno-mate reproductive kit available from Sexual Health Quarters.

  2. Invite students to label the diagram using cut-out labels from Teaching Resource: Anatomy labels.

    • Ensure all parts are labelled accurately using appropriate terminology (see labelled diagrams of the male reproductive system).

  1. Repeat with the female reproductive system (see labelled diagrams of the female reproductive system).

  2. Discuss the functions of the body parts. Refer to the booklets Girls and Puberty and Boys and Puberty for a brief description of the body parts. 

Independent or Small Group

This practical and enjoyable activity enables the students to apply their understanding of the female and male reproductive systems by creating and labelling their own version of the reproductive systems.

  1. Provide each group with an A3 or A2 blank sheet of paper, a 'Goodie bag', and a set of anatomical labels using the Teaching Resource: Anatomy labels (ensure some groups have male and some have female).

  2. Instruct the students to use the items provided to construct their own reproductive system.

    • They do not need to use everything, as long as all the parts in the reproductive system are visible and labelled.

  3. Ask groups to describe the function of their nominated part of the reproductive system.

Optional activity:

  1. Provide students with hard copies of Girls and PubertyBoys and Puberty and Relationships, Sex and Other Stuff, or use the internet to access online versions of the booklets.

  2. Encourage students to read the information carefully. This could be provided as a home activity or completed over several lessons.

  3. Once they have completed reading the booklet they can undertake a PNI teaching strategy about the information provided by folding an A4 page into thirds and recording three Positive, Negative or Interesting ideas under each corresponding heading.

  4. Invite students to share comments they have made on their individual pages or ask questions using a question box.


  1. Stress that the changes in puberty happen to different people at different times, and can begin as early as eight, often at 10 or 11, and continue until 18. Asking parents and older siblings can give them a clue as to when it might start for them.

  2. Stress that each person has a body clock that is right for them. You can’t decide when you want to go through puberty and you can’t stop it happening. Everyone is different.

  3. Students display their finished models and share their observations and comments.

  4. Discuss concepts that the students raise and what they can do to build on their knowledge or obtain more reliable information.

  5. Encourage students to read their puberty books with their parents.