In this installment of our reporting on, and education of the public on the FLASH curriculum, we cover the High School Curriculum. This information is presented under the Fair Use Doctrine. That is, it covers part of the material exactly as accessible on the King County and Etr.org website. This material is not to be reproduced nor used for nor sold for profit. It’s solely intended to inform and educate. Here is a link to the curriculum website: https://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/locations/family-planning/education/FLASH/middle-school.aspx The FLASH website is: https://www.etr.org/flash/ The materials for teaching can be purchased at: https://www.etr.org/flash/order-now/
There are fifteen (15) lessons (if all are used). The lesson names may or may not accurately depict the content of the lesson(s). To fully understand and appreciate each lesson one needs to look at the “activities” and “exercises” recommended in each lesson. Given the number of lessons and the support materials this document is 51 pages: FLASH_HS_Lessons_Activities
In the document we share the: (1) The lesson name; (2) The learning objectives and (3) The recommended activities/exercises. To determine “appropriateness” for the age one MUST consider the exercises. School districts are allowed to pick and choose lessons and they may alter some portions of any given lesson. However, if they alter then they need to verify that the material is accurate, appropriate and will be approved…thus…the chances of deviations from the provided content would appear small.
What does Washington State require be taught in the “health” area? Three (3) sexual health topics: HIV; STDs and Consent. Nothing else – on sex. Any other content is the sole choice of the school district and Board of Directors.
- Background information for educators on curriculum goals; recommended policy, procedure and practice; partnering with administrators and families; and answering student questions.
- Lesson 1: Climate Setting
- The climate-setting lesson begins by reviewing the FLASH Bill of Rights and collaboratively developing ground rules to insure a climate of safety and respect. Students participate in a 4 Corners exercise to engage in FLASH prevention messages. The teacher leads the class in developing anonymous questions, which will be answered throughout the rest of unit. The lesson concludes with homework expectations, focusing on the role of family homework as an avenue to promote family communication about these topics.
- Lesson 2: Reproductive System
- Using visuals, the teacher describes the external and internal reproductive organs, while students follow on their worksheets. The teacher also describes the main components of the sexual response system. The class concludes by identifying organs and structures with similar roles.
- Lesson 3: Pregnancy
- The teacher uses visuals to describe the main processes related to pregnancy. The class brainstorms the early signs of pregnancy and discusses local pregnancy testing resources. The lesson concludes with a game to review content.
- Lesson 4: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Students differentiate between biological sex, sexual orientation, sexual behavior and gender identity by matching definition strips to terms on papers hung around the room. Next, they view a short video that illustrates the ways society places expectations on people to be heterosexual. The teacher leads a class discussion to follow up, covering the ways that these expectations and pressures can be harmful to all people. Finally, students analyze a fictional advice column and apply the content they have covered in class by analyzing the response and offering their own advice.
- Lesson 5: Undoing Gender Stereotypes
- Students begin by defining what a stereotype is, and then complete a “gender box” activity in which they identify stereotypes and expectations placed on people because of their gender. Afterward, students analyze the pressures placed on people to conform to these expectations, including the role of harassment and homophobia. Students complete a scenario activity to identify ways these stereotypes and expectations influence people’s real-life behaviors. They conclude by challenging the stereotypes and identifying healthier options. After the lesson, the teacher administers a Sexual Attitudes Survey, the results of which will be shared during Lesson 7: Coercion and Consent.
- Lesson 6: Healthy Relationships
- The lesson begins with students identifying how they want to be treated by a girlfriend or boyfriend. They then review the signs of healthy, unhealthy and abusive relationships, and practice identifying these signs in two relationship vignettes. The lesson concludes with student volunteers acting out a communication skills demonstration, while the rest of the class offers advice to the actors, applying the skills learned in the lesson.
- Lesson 7: Coercion and Consent
- Students review the results of the Sexual Attitudes Survey from Lesson 5 in order to set social norms that do not support sexual violence. The teacher then leads a class discussion to generate definitions of sexual assault, coercion and consent, followed by a discussion about the potential problems caused by power imbalances and age differences. Students conclude by working on scenarios in small groups, determining if consent is or is not present.
- Lesson 8: Online Safety: Sexual Violence Prevention
- Students brainstorm online and digital technology resources used by teens, and what those resources are used for. They evaluate their brainstorm to determine the potentially positive and negative roles of technology and social media. The teacher leads a discussion about sexual violence, specifically as it relates to technology, and then students use a research-based list of “online behaviors to avoid” to identify risky behaviors in a series of scenarios involving online communication.
- Lesson 9: Abstinence
- Students define abstinence and learn the steps to refusing effectively. In small groups, they practice using refusal skills and observe their peers modeling effective refusal skills.
- Lesson 10: Birth Control Methods
- Small groups are assigned different birth control methods to write a commercial for, using Birth Control Fact Sheets for reference. The small groups take turns performing their 2-minute commercial for the class, while observers identify two important points about each method on the Commercial Watchers Worksheet. The class summarizes main points after each commercial. The lesson concludes by having students evaluate the “best method,” justifying their conclusions with accurate medical information.
- Lesson 11: Preventing HIV & Other STDs
- Students complete sentence stems on graffiti sheets to learn key concepts about STDs, including transmission, consequences and prevention. The teacher leads a condom demonstration exercise so students can learn the steps to using a condom correctly. The lesson concludes with students setting personal goals that will help them avoid getting or giving an STD.
- Lesson 12: Condoms to Prevent Pregnancy, HIV and Other STDs
- This lesson begins with a brief overview of HIV and other STDs, focusing on prevention, transmission, symptoms and consequences. Students then brainstorm reasons someone might not use condoms, and solutions to those problems. They also brainstorm a list of the benefits of condoms. The teacher then demonstrates correct condom use to the class, and students have the opportunity to practice correct condom use skills. Finally, students see a brief demonstration of the female condom.
- Lesson 13: Testing for HIV & Other STDs
- In this lesson, students do Internet research to learn about testing for HIV and other STDs in their community. Based on their findings, they write advice to fictional students to help build skill and comfort in getting an STD test.
- Lesson 14: Communication and Decision Making
- Students review communication skills covered in previous lessons, and read a list of gist-based statements about sexual health derived from material covered throughout the FLASH curriculum. Students then work individually, in small groups, and finally as a whole class to use their communication skills and gist-based statements to make and communicate sexual health-related decisions. They express support for their peers’ effective use of communication skills, reinforcing healthy norms and increasing self-efficacy.
- Lesson 15: Improving School Health
- This final lesson asks students to create a social norms campaign in order to impact the larger school environment. Students work in groups to make posters that dispel commonly held misperceptions and replace them with accurate statements. Posters are then displayed in the school, helping to reshape social norms that support healthy behavior.
- Appendix 1: Letter Introducing FLASH
- Letter that can be sent home to introduce the FLASH unit to parents and guardians.
- Appendix 2: Laws Relevant to a Sexual Health Unit
- Review of legal requirements and resources for educators concerning health care for minors; sexual assault laws; safe surrender laws; and LGBT students and parents.
- Appendix 3: Recognizing and Reporting Sexual Abuse and Assault
- Provides guidance for educators on recognizing signs of sexual abuse and what to do if abuse or exploitation is suspected.
Again…to understand how the actual “teaching” occurs one must look at the “activities” before judging whether the lesson name and description tell the full story. FLASH_HS_Lessons_Activities
The next part in the series is: Special Education. It can be seen on the blog site or by clicking this link: https://swweducation.org?p=5072