Grade 4: New 2015 Sex-Ed Curriculum

Here is the link to the Ontario Curriculum doc from which this section was pulled from:


Human Development and Sexual Health

C1.5 describe the physical changes that occur in males and females at puberty (e.g., growth of body hair, breast development, changes in voice and body size, production of body odour, skin changes) and the emotional and social impacts that may result from these changes [PS]

  • Teacher prompt: “During puberty, the male and female bodies undergo many changes. Everyone experiences these changes at different rates and at different times. Increases in weight and body fat are normal. Sometimes it is difficult getting used to the changes that are happening so quickly. Feelings can be much more intense. What are some of the feelings you might have as you start to experience changes with puberty?”
  • Student: “Excitement, happiness, embarrassment, confusion, and fear are some of the feelings I might have. It is sometimes hard to recognize what I am feeling and why things feel different.” • • • • •
  • Teacher prompt: “What can change socially as you start to develop physically?”
  • Student: “Relationships with friends can change, because sometimes people start being interested in different things at different times. Some people start ‘liking’ others. They want to be more than ‘just friends’ and become interested in going out. Sometimes people treat you as if you are older than you actually are because of how you look. Sometimes classmates, friends, or family make comments or tease you about the changes.”
  • Teacher prompt: “Some cultures have traditions associated with puberty that mark the transition from childhood to adulthood. Can you give me some examples of these?”
  • Student: “In Judaism, a bar mitzvah or bat mitzvah is celebrated at age thirteen, when a boy or girl comes of age, according to religious law, and can now participate as an adult in the religious life of the community. Many Aboriginal societies have rites of passage that signal that adolescent boys and girls are ready to take on adult roles in society.”

C2.4 demonstrate an understanding of personal care needs and the application of personal hygienic practices associated with the onset of puberty

  • (e.g., increased importance of regular bathing/showering and regular clothing changes; use of hygiene products; continuing importance of regular hygiene practices, including hand washing, oral health care, and care of prosthetic devices and residual limbs) [PS]
  • Teacher prompt: “Why is it important to shower and change clothes more often as you approach puberty? What other things do you need to think about?”
  • Student: “As our bodies change, we perspire more. We should also be aware of spreading germs, and avoid sharing hats, lip gloss, hairbrushes, drinks, or towels.”

Healthy Eating

C1.1 identify the key nutrients (e.g., fat, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals) provided by foods and beverages, and describe their importance for growth, health, learning, and physical performance

  • Teacher prompt: “Report what you found from your research about nutrients.”
  • Student: “You can get calcium, which is important for healthy bones and teeth, by drinking milk or a fortified soy beverage and eating dairy products like yogurt and cheese.“Grains are a good source of carbohydrates and fibre. Carbohydrates give you energy. Fibre-rich foods help you feel full and satisfied, help your bowels function normally, and help reduce the risk of heart disease later in life. Grain products that are lower in fat, sugar, and salt are best. At least half of the grain products we eat each day should be whole grain, like oatmeal or whole-wheat pasta, because whole grains have more fibre. “All vegetables and fruits have important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Eating dark green and orange vegetables whenever you can is beneficial. Dark green vegetables have lots of folate and orange vegetables have lots of vitamin A. Folate is especially important during times of rapid growth (infancy and pregnancy), and vitamin A plays a key role in vision.”

C2.1 analyse personal food selections through self-monitoring over time, using the criteria in Canada’s Food Guide (e.g., food groups, portion size, serving size), and develop a simple healthy eating goal appropriate to their age and activity level (e.g., eat breakfast every day; include at least one fruit or vegetable at each meal and snack; help with food shopping and meal preparation at home; plan a meal using the First Nation, Inuit, and Métis food guide) [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “When making food choices, how do you know how much food you need?”
  • Student: “Canada’s Food Guide tells us how many servings we need in each food group and how big each serving should be. For example, one serving of grain products could be one slice of bread, half a pita, or half a cup (about a handful) of cooked rice.”
  • Teacher prompt: “When setting your healthy-eating goal, what do you need to do to ensure you accomplish your goal?”
  • Student: “I need to keep track of where I start and how I am doing. I need to have a plan. I can help to accomplish my goal by talking with my family about healthy eating, learning how to cook simple meals, and helping with making my lunch.”
  • Teacher prompt: “Being aware of your eating habits is important. As a Grade 4 student, you don’t always have control over what you eat, but you can do your best to make the best choices from what is available. For example, if you have a choice between pop or milk, you could choose milk. Instead of fries, you could choose a baked potato or brown rice, if they were available. Describe something you have eaten recently and identify a healthier alternative.”
  • Student: “I ate a sandwich with mayonnaise, margarine, mustard, and bologna on white bread. A healthier choice would have been a sandwich on whole wheat bread or a pita wrap, with either mayonnaise, margarine, or mustard instead of all three of these. Adding vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, bean sprouts, or cucumbers to my sandwich and having an unprocessed meat such as chicken breast or a bean/chickpea spread instead of bologna would also be healthier. Another healthier choice might be to eat something completely different, such as rice and fish.”

C3.1 identify ways of promoting healthier food choices in a variety of settings and situations (e.g., school, arena, recreation centre, stores, food courts, special events; when camping, having a snack or meal at a friend’s house, eating on weekends versus weekdays) [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “Our school is a healthy school, and we have a breakfast program and a snack program. How do these programs affect people’s food choices? How can the programs promote healthier food choices?”
  • Student: “The programs give us more healthy foods to choose from. They give all the students a chance to try different kinds of healthy foods that they might not otherwise be able to try.”
  • Teacher: “If you had to go directly to a lesson or practice after school, what could you plan for a snack that would be healthy and give you sustained energy?”
  • Student: “If I planned ahead, I could bring a healthy snack like yogurt or a piece of cheese and fruit or cut-up vegetables. If I buy a snack, I need to think about what would be the healthiest choice from what is available.”
  • Teacher: “What can you do to promote the availability of healthier food choices in community settings?”
  • Student: “I can ask for healthier choices – for veggie dogs at the arena, for example, instead of just regular hot dogs. If people keep asking for healthier choices, businesses might start to sell them.”
  • Teacher: “What kinds of things might you consider before inviting a friend to your home for a meal or a sleepover?”
  • Student: “I would ask if my friend has any food allergies or cannot eat certain foods for religious or cultural reasons and make sure my parents know about these.”

Personal Safety and Injury Prevention

C1.2 identify risks associated with communications technology (e.g., Internet and cell phone use, including participation in gaming and online communities and the use of text messaging), and describe precautions and strategies for using these technologies safely [IS]

  • Teacher prompt: “Advances in technology have greatly increased our ability to get and share information and to communicate and collaborate with each other. But these benefits also come with some risks and potential difficulties, such as a possible loss of privacy, addiction, increased sedentary behaviour, or exposure to people who ask you for sexual pictures or want you to share personal information. What are some things you should do to use this technology safely? How can you get help if you get into trouble?”
  • Student: “I should make sure that an adult knows what I am doing when I’m using the computer, the Internet, or a cell phone, so I have someone who can help if needed. When I can, I should use a computer in a public space like a kitchen, living room, or library, instead of alone in my bedroom. I shouldn’t share my password or personal information. I should be aware that people are not always who they say they are online. I should close and delete pop-ups and spam messages without responding. If there’s a problem, I should stop right away and tell an adult instead of trying to solve the problem online. I should help my friends by reminding them of these tips.”

C1.3 describe various types of bullying and abuse (e.g., social, physical, verbal), including bullying using technology (e.g., via e-mail, text messaging, chat rooms, websites), and identify appropriate ways of responding [IS]

  • Teacher prompt: “What is an example of social bullying? Physical bullying? Verbal bullying?”
  • Student: “Social bullying could include leaving someone out of the group, refusing to be someone’s partner, spreading rumours in person or online, or totally ignoring someone. Physical bullying could include pushing someone, pulling hair, or knocking a person down. Verbal bullying could include name calling, mocking, teasing about appearance, including weight, size, or clothing, and making sexist, racist, or homophobic comments in person or online. Any of these kinds of bullying could cause emotional pain.”
  • Teacher prompt: “Is it common for girls and boys to bully in different ways? Is one type of bullying any more or less hurtful than another?”
  • Student: “It might be more common for boys to bully physically or for girls to bully socially by spreading rumours or leaving people out, but that’s not always true. Social or emotional bullying is more difficult to see but it can be just as hurtful.”
  • Teacher prompt: “In cases of abuse, it is not uncommon for the person being abused to know the person who is abusing them. If a friend told you that she had a secret and that she was being abused, how could you help?”
  • Student: “I would tell my friend to ask an adult that she trusts so that she can get help. I would listen and be there to support my friend.”
  • Teacher prompt: “If you are a bystander and you see bullying online, what can you do?”
  • Student: “I can stand up for the person. I can tell the person being bullied to get offline and try to help them get help. I can tell an adult I trust.”

C2.2 apply a decision-making process (e.g., identify potential dangers and risks, consider ways to stay safe, consider the pros and cons of each option, consider whether they need to check with an adult, choose the safest option, act, reflect on their decision, consider whether there is anything they could improve for next time) to assess risks and make safe decisions in a variety of situations (e.g., when using a wheelchair, cycling, preparing food) [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “What safety considerations do you need to think about when you make a snack after school?”
  • Student: “I need to think about whether food that needs refrigeration has been kept cold and whether my hands, work surfaces, and utensils are clean. I also need to be sure that I know how to use the appliances and utensils safely.”
  • Teacher prompt: “Before riding your bike to school, what do you need to think about and what do you need to do to be safe?”
  • Student: “I should think about what I need to have and how to stay safe. Do I have a helmet that fits right and that’s properly fastened? Do I need to take any precautions because of the weather? What routes can I take, and how much traffic is there on them? How will I carry my books and lunch? Will I be riding with anyone else, and should we ride side by side or in a line? What is my plan if there is a problem, like a crash, or if something breaks on my bike?”

Substance Use, Addictions, and Related Behaviours

C1.4 identify substances (e.g., nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar) found in tobacco products and smoke (e.g., cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff), and describe their effects on health

  • Teacher prompt: “What are the dangers of nicotine? What are the dangers of tar?”
  • Student: “Nicotine is very addictive and is absorbed quickly in your body. The craving for nicotine can make a person very uncomfortable, and that can be stressful. Tar is made up of thousands of chemicals. Many of these chemicals can cause cancer and other illnesses.”

C2.3 demonstrate the ability to make and support healthy, informed choices about smoking, using their understanding of factors that affect decisions about smoking and a variety of personal and interpersonal skills and thinking processes

  • (e.g., applying decision-making, assertiveness, and refusal skills; thinking in advance about values and personal choices; identifying the pros and cons of both making a change and not making a change; being aware of peer pressure; avoiding situations where people will be smoking; using conversational strategies, such as saying no strongly and clearly, giving reasons, changing the topic, making a joke, asking a question) [CT]
  • Teacher prompt: “Although the number of young people smoking is declining, some still choose to smoke. What are some examples of things that might influence someone to smoke or not to smoke?”
  • Student: “Kids might be more likely to try smoking if their friends and family members smoke, or if someone dares them to smoke, or if it is easy for them to get cigarettes. They might be less likely to try smoking if they are not old enough to buy cigarettes legally so cigarettes are harder to get or if they know someone who got cancer or emphysema because of smoking.”
  • Teacher prompt: “How is tobacco used traditionally in First Nation and Métis societies? What is the difference between the spiritual or sacred use of tobacco in First Nation and Métis culture and the commercial use of tobacco?”
  • Student: “Among the First Nations and the Métis, tobacco is often used in small amounts in ceremonies connected to cleansing and communicating with the spirit world. In these cultures tobacco is one of the four sacred medicines (natural tobacco, cedar, sage, and sweetgrass). In its original form, tobacco had a spiritual purpose. The tobacco used in cigarettes and cigars is harmful to our health and not connected to spirituality.”

C3.2 describe the short- and long-term effects of first- and second-hand smoke on smokers and on people around them

  • Teacher prompt: “What are some effects of smoking?”
  • Student: “Some of the short-term effects can include bad breath and bad clothing and hair odours, and possibly some problems with family and friends, like arguments with parents. Young people who smoke are more likely to be less active, hang out with other kids who smoke, try other drugs, and not do as well at school. Longer-term effects can include addiction, yellow teeth, getting out of breath easily, reduced energy and activity levels, respiratory diseases, and lung or oral cancer. Second-hand smoke makes the air unpleasant to breathe and makes clothing smell. Over the long term, exposure to secondhand smoke increases a person’s risk of getting lung cancer or other respiratory diseases.”

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