Reproductive System and Personal Health Lesson Plan: Urban Legends Debunked

Submitted by: Angela Watson

Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6-12, students identify urban legends surrounding the reproductive system, adolescence, and/or personal health. Students then use BrainPOP and other online resources to independently or collaboratively research the urban legends and prove each one as either true or false.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify urban legends surrounding the reproductive system, adolescence, and/or personal health.
  2. Work independently or collaboratively to research the urban legends.
  3. Use facts obtained from their research to prove each urban legend as either true or false.

Materials:

Preparation:

This lesson can be completed by students independently or in pairs/groups. To prepare, make photocopies of the Graphic Organizer and Activity from the Puberty movie. You will also need to plan out the project guidelines you will provide for students.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Pass out the Graphic Organizer and Activity from the Puberty movie.
  2. Play the Puberty Movie once through for the class. Turn on the closed captioning to aid students in comprehension.
  3. Play the movie through a second time, pausing for students to take notes on the graphic organizer.
  4. Provide time afterward for students to finish filling in the graphic organizer and complete the activity.
  5. Have students work independently, in pairs, or in small groups to create a list of 2-3 commonly held beliefs about puberty, adolesence, or the reprodcutive system, or another aspect of personal health. These may be urban legends that students have heard around school or read on the internet.
  6. Tell students they will have the opportunity to prove that these commonly held beliefs are either true or false (similar to the way the Snopes website works.) Their role will be to research each belief and gather evidence to show that it is either a fact or a myth.
  7. Provide time in class or at home for students to conduct their research. They may want to watch the BrainPOP movies in the Body Systems, Genetics, Growth, and Developement, and/or the Personal Health units. They should also use other internet resources. This is a great opportunity to help students identify reliable resources and practice determining what is real on the internet.
  8. After they have conducted their research, challenge students to debunk each myth or prove that it's true. They may want to write Snopes-style articles, or a mock advice column in which fictional students write in to ask questions related to the myths. This could be either a paper-based project or a project that is completed entirely online.
  9. Display students' work and allow students to read and comment on one another's articles.