Taking Charge – 8th Grade Girls

Our Quest: Success! 
8th Grade Girls – 18 weeks or 1 semester

Taking Charge is an 8th grade class of girls, it is designed to be close knit and an open forum where the girls can feel free to ask any question about their body and it’s development. The phrase “taking charge” is a constant theme in regards to their attitude, behavior and choices during and after school. Depending on the student make up of personalities…. the questions and discussions can be graphic at times. Students that have been ‘opted-out’ from health should NOT be in this class.

Units

  • Making Healthy Choices– Group dynamics, Values, Moral dimensions of behavior, goal setting, gender roles, stereotypes, inequity and discrimination.
  • Taking Charge of My Life– Analyze choices, adolescent development, human reproduction, individual worth, and developing a more positive attitude.
    • This portion of our curriculum uses drawings/pictures of body parts. Open and honest discussions occur all the time. Each class is different so I never can predict what questions are going to be asked and where our discussion ends. Some times my ‘puberty/reproductive packet’ lasts a few days….sometimes two weeks. Although it is very important for girls to know their body parts, it is equally important for the girls to be familiar with male genitalia as well. This is a time when no question goes unanswered. Ms Saunders gets a lot of ‘”is it true that…?”
  • Making the Most of Relationships–  Discussing the importance of relationships with family members, adults in general and/or friends. Emphasis on positive communication, and how to resolve conflict.
  • Taking Charge of my Choice and Behaviors– High risk behaviors, role of abstinence, benefits from abstaining from drugs, alcohol and sexual intercourse, practicing saying “no” to behaviors that can change life’s goals.
    • It is during our reproductive system lectures that sexual intercourse is discussed. They learn the 3 about the three types of sex as well as ‘alternatives to intimacy’ It is during this time we also are discussing the consequences of sexual behavior such as diseases/infections. One of our class activities is where the girls are viewing medical web sites and viewing actual pictures of genitalia with sores and blisters. This is one of the class tactics to hopefully  discourage early sexual behavior.
    •  This class has the unique experience of using the RealCare doll, an infant simulator. Yet another tactic to discourage early sexual behavior is experiencing teen parenthood. Many girls think this project is ‘fun and cute’….(haha) FAR FROM IT. Your daughter will be taking this “computer” home for one weekend where it will cry almost all weekend at different intervals where your daughter will have to problem solve if it needs feeding, diapering, burping or rocking. The girls are expected to return back to school grumpy and sleep deprived. THIS IS A TEACHABLE MOMENT!!  Parents should not be taking the girls to school to drop off ‘baby’ and be go back home to sleep all day….OH NO!!
  • Taking Charge of my Vocational Future– Learning about various occupations, discovery of personal interests and school-related habits that relate to vocational training.  Their roles in the community and how to exhibit appropriate behaviors in the workplace.