Reproductive systems - Reproductive systems
Year level: 5
Students develop an understanding of the parts and functions of the reproductive systems. This provides foundation knowledge for learning about about puberty, menstruation, conception and pregnancy.
Being healthy, safe and active (ACCPS052)
Changes associated with puberty which vary with individuals: physical; mental; and emotional.
The reproductive system consists of the body parts that are needed to create a baby.
There are ways that men's and women's bodies are the same and there are ways that they are different.
Both men's and women's bodies play an important role in reproduction.
Bodies grow and change over time.
Everyone body is unique and varies in size, shape, function.
- 'Goodie bag' made up of assorted craft and/or reusable objects e.g. glue, sticky tape, plastic cup, blu tack, balloons, plastic spoon, straws, pop sticks, bottle tops, etc (one per group)
- Large pieces of poster paper or butcher's paper (1 per group)
- Room preparation: space for small groups to work with large poster paper (e.g. desks pushed to the side for clear floor space)
- Teaching resource: male or female reproductive system labelled diagrams (one per group - electronic or hard copy)
- Optional: Girls and Puberty/Boys and Puberty booklets; or internet access
- Optional: Magno-mate kit from SHQ
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Health and physical education(P)
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
No Inquiry Learning phase values have been selected.
Teaching and Learning Activities
Before you get started
Read Background teacher notes:
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.
This lesson requires space for students to work in groups - either on the floor or at desks. Desks can be pushed to the sides of the classroom or a music room/hall/art room/etc can be used.
NB: Ensure the chosen room has sufficient privacy. Students may feel self conscious and disengage if other students or teachers are able to see inside the room or enter the room unexpectedly.
Teaching tip: A 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.
- Revise the class group agreement.
Energiser: Birthday line up
Teaching Tip: Relationships and sexuality may be an exciting and interesting topic for some students; for others it may be embarrassing, uncomfortable or scary. Introducing each lesson with fun energisers that promote safe touch and group collaboration can help students to feel more comfortable.
- Birthday line up (external link): Challenge students to line up in the order of their birthdays without talking. Easier version - line up by day and month only. Harder version - line up by day, month and year. Avoid giving further instructions as part of the challenge is for students to determine which order the line is going in and different ways of communicating their birthday without talking.
- Once the students have lined themselves in order have them call out their birthdays as you move down the line to see if they ordered themselves correctly.
- Briefly discuss the various methods of communication used. What methods worked well? What methods did not work so well?
- Divide the line into groups of 4-6 for the next activity.
'Goodie bag' models
What are some ways that men's and women's bodies are the same? (Both usually have legs, arms, eyes, nipples, toes, hair, etc. Both can usually talk, dance, eat, etc).
Teaching Tip: This is a good opportunity to remind students of the diversity of bodies. Some people have disabilities, injuries or illnesses that mean their bodies may look or function in different ways. Everyone has a unique body that deserves respect.
- What are some of the ways that men's and women's bodies are different? (Men usually have a penis, women usually have a vulva, women may have larger breasts than men, men may have more facial hair than women, women usually have a uterus, men usually have testicles, etc)
Teaching tip: Using inclusive language such as 'usually' and 'may have' is a simple way to help make all people feel more included. Avoid using words like 'normally' and 'always' as it makes any other variation seem abnormal and negative.
"Many of the differences between men's and women's bodies are to do with their reproductive organs/system. (Reproduction means to make more of or to multiply). These are the parts of the body that are needed to create a baby. Both men's and women's bodies play an important role in reproduction. Today we are going to look at the parts of the male and female reproductive system and what they do (their function)."
Provide each group with a large piece of poster paper, a 'goodie bag' and a copy of a male or female reproductive system with labels (Teacher Resource: Male and female reproductive system - labelled). Optional: copies of Girls and Puberty/Boys and Puberty.
Instruct half of the groups to create the 'male reproductive system' and the other half to create the 'female reproductive system' using the items in the bag.
They do not need to use everything in the bag and they can label the parts using coloured markers.
Teaching tip: The focus of this actvitiy should not be on labelling the more complex parts and knowing their detailed medical functions. Whilst it is important that students know the correct names for body parts such as the penis, testicles, vulva, vagina, uterus/womb and clitoris, it is not important for students to know all of the reproductive organ technical terms for every reproductive part. For example, knowing that sperm travels through tubes that run from the testicles to the tip of the penis and out of the body is more important than labelling the epididymis and vas deferens. Understanding that there are glands that add fluid to the semen is more important than being able to spell the names of the different glands. This activity is to help students to understand how the parts are connected and the basic functions to help understand future concepts of puberty, menstruation and conception.
Invite students to do a 'walk around' to see all of the models. Ask volunteers to share a description of their model so far.
Teaching tip: In RSE it is important to avoid calling upon specific students for contributions, always ask for volunteers and remind students of their 'right to pass' as part of the group agreement.
Reflection: Everyone is unique
Use the 'goodie bag' models and relate each part to the magno-mate kit to provide a simple explanation of the male and female reproductive system. This need only be a simple, story-like explanation.
e.g. For female reproductive system:
"The ovaries are where the eggs are made and stored. They also make hormones. Most girls are born with all of the (immature) eggs that they will ever have. These tubes (fallopian tubes) carry the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. The uterus is where a baby grows during pregnancy. The vagina is the passageway from the uterus to the outside of the body. It is where the baby comes out and the penis goes in during sexual intercourse. The vulva is the name for the outside sexual parts - the inner lips, outer lips and the clitoris. The clitoris has lots of nerve endings, like the penis and is very sensitive. The outer lips become overed in hair during puberty. Both the inner and outer lips come in many different shapes, sizes and colours. This is the bladder, where urine collects. This tube (urethra) carries urine out of the body from the bladder. The opening is just in front of the opening of the vagina. This is the anus, where faeces (poo) comes out.
e.g. For male reproductive system
"The scrotum is the sack that holds the testicles. This is where the sperm are made. Millions of sperm are made every day. The testicles also make hormones. This is the penis, it comes in a range of sizes, shapes and colours. It has lots of nerve endings and is very sensitive. The penis has spongey tissue that can fill with blood and make the penis go hard (erection). These are the tubes that carry sperm from each of the testicles to the outside of the body through the tip of the penis. These glands make fluid that make part of the semen (which carries the sperm). This tube (urethra) runs from the bladder to the opening in the tip of the penis. It carries urine (wee) and semen out of the body. The bladder is where urine collects. The fold of skin that covers the head of the penis is called the foreskin. Some people have part or all of this skin removed (often as a baby) - this is called being circumcised. This is the anus, where faeces (poo) comes out."
"Everyone's body is different. Just as people have different height and hair colour, people also have differences in their reproductive organs. Penises, breasts and vulvas all come in different shapes, sizes and colours (despite what we see in the media).
Some people are born with natural variations in reproductive organs (and hormones and chromosomes) that don't fit into the typical definitions for male and female bodies that we have looked at today. This is called intersex.
Our bodies change over time. Puberty is the time when the body changes from a child to an adult. The changes to the reproductive organs are what makes it possible for people to have babies. We will be looking at these changes over the next few lessons."
The most important thing to remember is that everyone has a unique body that deserves respect."
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.
- Provide students with time to write questions for the question box.
- If the question box is already set up, you may like to choose some questions related to the reproductive systems to answer.
Health promoting schools framework
Background teacher note: Health promoting schools framework.
Partnerships with parents
Talk Soon. Talk Often: a guide for parents talking to their kids about sex is a free resource that can be bulk ordered by schools. Send a copy home to parents prior to starting your RSE program. The booklet offers ages and stage related information on puberty (and other topics) so that parents can reinforce the topics covered in class. (How to order hard copies.)
Run a parent workshop and have the parents take part in the 'goodie bag' activity to model the kind of content that will be covered in your RSE program.
Partnerships with school staff
Invite the school nurse to your class to answer some of the question box questions. This serves two purposes - they may be able to answer some of the questions you are unsure of and it introduces the students to the nurse.