Teaching Tool - Making Decisions about Sexual Health

This presentation teaches students how to apply what they have learned about healthy relationships and sexually transmitted infections to decision-making regarding sexual activity to promote sexual health.

Target audience: students in Grades 8
Length of core content presentation: 45 minutes

Criteria Met

Grade Ontario Curriculum Codes
8 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2019) D1.5, D2.3


In delivering this presentation, the teacher will:

  • Create an environment in which students feel comfortable discussing sexual health
  • Provide opportunities for students to think critically about decision-making relating to relationships and sexual activity to promote sexual health


By the end of this presentation, students will:

  • Identify factors shaping decision-making about sexual activity
  • Demonstrate knowledge of various strategies and supports for promoting sexual health
  • Demonstrate the ability to reason critically in making decisions about sexual health

Core Knowledge Content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Learning Activities

  • Pregnancy prevention pop quiz! (essential)
    Time: 45 minutes



    • Cue the PowerPoint presentation
    • Optional: Open with a brief discussion about decision-making using the metaphor of shopping for jeans. If not doing this activity, hide the Jeans slide before beginning the presentation.
      • Ask the students: When you are shopping for a pair of jeans, what are some things you consider/look for before you buy them? Responses may relate to cost, fit, feel, colour, brand, etc.
      • Explain that there are lots of decisions and thought that go into buying a pair of jeans that they may wear for the next 6 to 12 months. They need to put even more thought into decisions that may affect the rest of their life and their partner's life.
    • Cue the pregnancy prevention pop quiz slide
    • Inform the students that they will now be showing what they know about pregnancy and steps they can take to prevent pregnancy
    • Divide the class in to 2 teams
    • Have one student from each team face off to answer a true/false question
    • The first student to buzz in (hands on head or raise hand in air) will have the opportunity to answer the question
      • If the student answers correctly, his or her team earns a point
      • If the student answers incorrectly the other team will get the point (since there are only 2 possible answers)
    • Continue in this manner until all questions have been answered
    • Tally the points and declare a winner
    • Optional: Ask students whether there are any questions that surprised them and what they learned from the activity


    • Prior to beginning the pop quiz, have students complete the Your choice, your consequences activity. If not using this activity, hide the slide prior to beginning the presentation.
    • Rather than dividing the class into teams and keeping score, have students answer individually or in pairs using small white boards (e.g. by sliding a white sheet into a plastic sleeve) or flash cards (e.g. T and F)
    • If desired, consult with the school health nurse to address difficult questions or to arrange a question and answer session for the class with the nurse
  • Your choice, your consequences
    Time: 10 minutes


    Prepare Ahead

    • Cut out the statements and put them into an envelope from which to draw them at random


    • Optional: if doing this activity as a part of the PowerPoint presentation, cue the appropriate slide
    • Inform students that for this exercise we will assume that everyone is sexually active
    • Students will use the month that they were born as their cue
    • Draw a statement and read the month aloud to the students
      • All students with that particular birth month will be asked to stand
      • Read the statement associated with the month
    • Ask the students to remain standing if they are "pregnant" or to be seated if they are not "pregnant"
    • Continue in the same fashion until all the statements have been read. Ask the students what they learned from this activity. Elicit the following points:
      • A person can become pregnant the first time
      • A person can choose to avoid pregnancy
      • Alcohol and other drugs can impair a person's judgement
      • Contraception must be used every time to be effective
      • Contraception must be used correctly to be effective

    Source: Sue Nottingham, Connection health, Adapted from ETR Association "Reducing the Risk"

  • Sexual health trivia
    Time: 30 minutes



    • Divide the class into 4-5 equal teams
    • Cue the slideshow, beginning with the Sexual Health Trivia board slide
      • There are 4 categories and 5 questions under each category
      • Point values range from 10 to 50 points
    • Important: In order for the game to work properly, you must click on the colour when the "hand" shows, not the arrow (around the perimeter of the coloured square)
    • Select and read the first question aloud to the class:
      • Choose the student who raises his or her hand first to attempt to answer the question and earn points for their team. If the student answers correctly, his or her team will be awarded the corresponding points, and that student can choose the next category and point value.
      • If the student answers incorrectly no points are taken off but the next student (from another team) to raise his or her hand will be allowed to answer the question
      • If the second student answers correctly, his or her team will earn the points and the or she will choose the next category and point value
    • Continue in this manner until the question is answered correctly
    • Correct and supplement information, using the Core Knowledge Content as needed


    • To allow each student an opportunity to answer questions, assign each student on the team a number (e.g. if they are teams of 5 students, each team will have a #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5)
      • Have all #1s compete against each other to answer the first question, and rotate to the #2s for the next, and so on through to #5, before asking the #1s again
    • Quick review: This game can be used as a quick review whenever time permits (5-10 minutes)
      • Cue the game as per usual instructions, and have students attempt to earn as many points as possible in the time available
      • Alternatively, print the questions onto cards to be placed in a box or envelope from which they can be drawn at random to be answered whenever time is available. This can be done as a whole class activity or in pairs or small groups as an enrichment activity.
  • It's up to you!
    Time: 20 minutes



    • Divide the class into 4-5 equal teams
    • Open a brief whole class discussion to review healthy relationships and sexual health. Refer to the activities and information in Core Knowledge Content from this and two previous Teaching Tools.
    • Inform students that in this activity they will be exploring some different scenarios and suggesting how those involved should proceed
      • Pretend that you're watching one of these scenarios unfold and that you have the power to decide what happens next. What should the person do?
    • Read a scenario aloud and invite the students to discuss their ideas. Consider using the following prompts for the discussion:
      • What is the problem here?
      • What should the person do?
      • What might the outcomes be? Negative outcomes? Positive outcomes?
      • What are some things the person should consider?
    • Supplement and clarify information, using the Core Knowledge Content as needed
    • Repeat with the remaining scenarios


    • Allow students to discuss the scenarios in small groups
    • Create a gallery walk
      • Place a different scenario at a different station throughout the classroom
      • Divide students into small groups, each beginning at a different station to discuss that station's scenario and their response
      • After several minutes, have groups rotate to the next station and scenario
      • Once groups have visited each station, have a brief whole class discussion in which students reflect on the activity and on the scenarios
      • Optional: Include a blank sheet onto which groups record their responses at each station
    • Quick review: whenever time permits (5-10 minutes), revisit one or two scenarios to discuss decision-making and responding to difficult situations

Consult Your School's Public Health Nurse

Your school's public health nurse can help you prepare for delivering this presentation and can assist you in developing engaging projects and extension activities. To reach your school's public health nurse, contact healthyschools@niagararegion.ca or 905-688-8248 ext. 7379.

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