Grade 6: 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

C1.3 identify factors that affect the development of a person’s self-concept

  • (e.g., environment, evaluations by others who are important to them, stereotypes, awareness of strengths and needs, social competencies, cultural and gender identity, support, body image, mental health and emotional well-being, physical abilities) [PS]
  • Teacher prompt: “A person’s self-concept and emotional health and well-being can be affected by a number of factors. Some of these are external factors – they come from outside ourselves. Others are internal factors – they come from within ourselves. Can you give me examples of external and internal factors that are protective – things that help a person develop a positive self-concept and improve their emotional well-being?”
  • Student: “Protective external factors include having support from family and caring adults, having a safe place to live, and being involved in activities that make you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished. Protective internal factors include having a sense of purpose in life, being able to attain and sustain a clear sense of who you are, feeling that you have the right and are capable of taking steps to make things better, having clear boundaries, being optimistic, having high expectations of yourself, and having the skills you need to solve problems.”

C2.5 describe how they can build confidence and lay a foundation for healthy relationships by acquiring a clearer understanding of the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence

  • (e.g., physical: voice changes, skin changes, body growth; social: changing social relationships, increasing influence of peers; emotional: increased intensity of feelings, new interest in relationships with boys or girls, confusion and questions about changes)
  • [PS] Teacher prompt: “By getting questions answered and understanding that questions and changes are ‘normal’, adolescents will be better equipped to understand themselves, relate to others, respond to challenges and changes in relationships, and build confidence. What are some questions that young people might have as changes happen during puberty and adolescence?”
  • Student: “Is how I am feeling normal? Why is my body different from everybody else’s? How do you tell someone you like them? Who can answer my questions about…?”
  • Teacher prompt: “Things like wet dreams or vaginal lubrication are normal and happen as a result of physical changes with puberty. Exploring one’s body by touching or masturbating is something that many people do and find pleasurable. It is common and is not harmful and is one way of learning about your body.”


C2.6 make informed decisions that demonstrate respect for themselves and others and help to build healthier relationships, using a variety of living skills

  • (e.g., personal and interpersonal skills; critical and creative thinking skills; skills based on First Nation, Métis, and Inuit cultural teachings, such as medicine wheel teachings connected to the four colour or seven grandfather teachings, or other cultural teachings) [IS, CT]
  • Teacher prompt: “In many ways, dating relationships can be similar to other relationships, such as those with friends or family. Relationships we see online or in the media are not always accurate and can send false messages. What are some of the signs of a healthy relationship, and what are some signs of potential trouble?
  • Student: “In a healthy relationship, people show respect and care for each other. They try to communicate well and are honest with each other. Jealousy or behaviour that is too controlling can be signs of trouble.”
  • Teacher: “How does knowing yourself help you to make healthy decisions when you are in a relationship?”
  • Student: “Being clear about your own values, priorities, strengths, and needs can help you separate what is important to you from what is not. Knowing yourself well can help you see what you need to work on to make the relationship better.”
  • Teacher: “What communication skills can help you send information, receive information, and interpret information in an effective way in a relationship?”
  • Student: “Being respectful but clear about your ideas and feelings; listening actively; interpreting body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions; respecting signals of agreement or disagreement and consent or lack of consent; and negotiating – all these are important skills. A clear “yes” is a signal of consent. A response of ”no”, an uncertain response, or silence needs to be understood as no consent.”
  • Teacher: “What social attitudes and behaviours are important in building a healthy relationship?”
  • Student: “It is important to have respect for others, show that you value differences, and be cooperative.”
  • Teacher: “What should you consider when making any decision regarding a relationship?”
  • Student: “My comfort level, my personal and family values, my personal limits, and the limits and comfort of others are some of the things I should consider.”
  • Teacher: “Changing or ending relationships can be difficult. What are some ways to deal positively with changing or ending relationships?”
  • Student: “Talk about how you feel with someone you trust. Think about what you can learn from the situation that you can apply in the future. Remember that although the hurt feelings can be very intense at the beginning, you will start feeling a little better over time. If you are the one ending the relationship, treat the other person with respect and consider how they may be feeling. Try to explain how you feel. Ending a relationship over the phone or online may not be a sensitive approach.

C3.3 assess the effects of stereotypes, including homophobia and assumptions regarding gender roles and expectations, sexual orientation, gender expression, race, ethnicity or culture, mental health, and abilities, on an individual’s self-concept, social inclusion, and relationships with others, and propose appropriate ways of responding to and changing assumptions and stereotypes [PS, CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “Can you give examples of some stereotypes that might have a negative effect on a person’s self-concept and social inclusion? What can we do to change stereotypes and discrimination?”
  • Student: “People who are overweight are sometimes labelled as lazy. That’s not fair. And it’s not fair to make assumptions about what people with disabilities are able to do. We need to base our opinions of people on who they are and what they do and not judge them by their appearance or make assumptions about them. There are also negative stereotypes about people who receive extra help or people who receive good marks in class. These can be hurtful and cause people to avoid getting help when they need it or, sometimes, to hide their abilities. Someone who has a mental illness like depression or an anxiety disorder may be seen as being different. We need to remember that mental illness can affect anyone, and it can be treated. Cultural stereotypes are also common. Sometimes people make assumptions that people from a certain cultural background all like the same things or are all good at the same things. That makes us misjudge them. To change stereotypes, we need to get to know people and respond to them as individuals. We need to challenge stereotypes when we hear them.” • • • • •
  • Teacher prompt: “Assumptions are often made about what is ‘normal’ or expected for males and females – for example, men take out the garbage; nursing is a woman’s job; boys play soccer at recess and girls skip rope or stand around and talk; boys are good at weightlifting and girls are good at dancing. Assumptions like these are usually untrue, and they can be harmful. They can make people who do not fit into the expected norms feel confused or bad about themselves, damaging their self-concept, and they can cause people to discriminate against and exclude those who are seen as ‘different’. Assumptions about different sexual orientations or about people with learning disabilities or mental illness or about people from other cultures are harmful in similar ways. Everyone needs to feel accepted in school and in the community. Why do you think these stereotyped assumptions occur? What can be done to change or challenge them?”
  • Students: “Stereotypes are usually formed when we do not have enough information. We can get rid of a lot of stereotypes just by finding out more about people who seem different. By being open-minded, observing and listening, asking questions, getting more information, and considering different perspectives, we can work to change stereotypes.
    • We can understand people’s sexual orientations better, for example, by reading books that describe various types of families and relationships.
    • Families: Not everyone has a mother and a father – someone might have two mothers or two fathers (or just one parent or a grandparent, a caregiver, or a guardian).
    • Inclusive Language: We need to make sure that we don’t assume that all couples are of the opposite sex, and show this by the words we use. For example, we could use a word like ‘partner’ instead of ‘husband’ or ‘wife’.
    • We need to be inclusive and welcoming.” “If we have newcomers from another country in our class, we can try to find out more about them, their culture, and their interests.”
    • “If we hear things that are sexist, homophobic, or racist, we can show our support for those who are being disrespected.”
    • “If we hear someone using words like ‘crazy’ or ‘nuts’ to describe a person who has a mental illness, we can explain that mental illness is no different from other illnesses, and that we wouldn’t call someone names if they were suffering from any other illness.”

Substance Use, Addictions, and Related Behaviours

C1.1 describe the range of effects associated with using cannabis and other illicit drugs (e.g., crack, cocaine, Ecstasy, crystal methamphetamine) and intoxicating substances (e.g., gas, glue, prescription medications)

  • Teacher prompt: “Different types of drugs can have very different effects on your body, depending on whether they are stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, or psychiatric drugs. Cannabis is a commonly used illicit drug. The effect of cannabis on your body depends on a number of things: how much you use, how often and how long you use it, whether you smoke it or swallow it, your mood, your environment, your age, whether you’ve taken other drugs, and your medical condition. What are some possible effects of using cannabis?”
  • Student: “Cannabis can change the way you see and feel things – distances can seem shorter or longer than they really are, and things that are serious can seem funny. Larger amounts can lead to feelings of losing control, panic, or confusion. Physical effects include red eyes, dry mouth, a higher heart rate, and a feeling of hunger. Using cannabis often and for a longer time can lead to being physically dependent on it. Then, when people stop using cannabis, they can have withdrawal symptoms, which can include feeling irritable, anxious, or nauseated, not having an appetite, or not being able to sleep well.”
  • Teacher: “How can these effects of cannabis affect a person’s life?”
  • Student: “Cannabis can affect your performance at school because it makes it harder to concentrate. It can be dangerous if it’s used with alcohol because it makes the effect of the alcohol stronger and makes you more intoxicated. It can affect your ability to drive safely. It can get you into trouble with the law because it is illegal to grow, possess, or sell cannabis. If you are pregnant, it can affect your baby. But cannabis is also used for some medical purposes, such as relieving nausea and stimulating appetite in patients who have cancer or AIDS.”

C1.2 identify people and community resources (e.g., elders, family members, community agencies, churches, mosques, synagogues, public health units, telephone help lines, recreation facilities) that can provide support when dealing with choices or situations involving substance use and addictive behaviours

  • Teacher prompt: “How can calling a telephone help line provide support?”
  • Student: “Talking with someone about problems can help you look at things from different perspectives. Sometimes you need to get help to deal with stress and to cope.”

C2.4 use decision-making strategies and skills and an understanding of factors influencing drug use (e.g., personal values, peer pressure, media influences, curiosity, legal restrictions, cultural teachings) to make safe personal choices about the use of drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “How can peers influence your decisions about using drugs? How might you respond to those influences?”
  • Student: “Some peers may try to influence you to do drugs by saying it’s cool to do them, or sometimes you may just want to be part of a crowd that’s doing drugs. To avoid this kind of influence, you have to be strong as an individual, think about what you really want and what you value, and make up your own mind about things. Even if someone tells you ‘everyone is doing it’, your decisions are your own, and so are the consequences. But peers can be a positive influence too. Hanging out with friends who don’t use drugs can keep you from using drugs. It also helps to have good role models in your family or community.”

Healthy Eating

C2.1 apply their knowledge of medical, emotional, practical, and societal factors that influence eating habits and food choices

(e.g., allergies and sensitivities, likes and dislikes, dental health, food availability, media influences, cultural influences, influence of family and friends, school food and beverage policies, environmental impact, cost) to develop personal guidelines for healthier eating [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “How can a busy lifestyle lead to poor eating habits and food choices, and what can you do to eat better when you are busy?”
  • Student: “When you’re busy, it is easy to eat whatever is quick and convenient, which is not always healthy. To eat better, you have to fit your healthy eating goals into your lifestyle. If I bring a snack with me, I usually eat healthier food than if I grab something on my way. If I have to pick something up on the way, I try to make the healthiest choice from what is available. In our family, we eat meals together whenever we can. When our family eats together, we eat healthier food and have time to enjoy the food and the company.
  • Teacher prompt: “How do you handle emotional and social factors that could lead to poor eating habits or choices?”
  • Student: “I try to be aware of why I am eating. Sometimes I eat because I’m bored or lonely and have a treat to make me feel better or because the people I am with are eating. Sometimes I eat without thinking because I’m distracted. I make healthier choices when I’m feeling better. If I think about why I want to eat and whether I’m really hungry, I might decide to do something different instead of eating. I make better food choices when I’m with people who are also making healthy choices. Thinking about the situations where it’s easier to make healthy choices is useful for me. I also try to be aware of media messages about eating and know that what I am seeing and hearing may not always match up with healthy eating practices.”

C2.2 apply their recognition of internal hunger and thirst cues and their knowledge of physical factors that influence the desire to eat and drink (e.g., stage of development, growth spurts, level of physical activity, eating larger portions) to develop personal guidelines for healthier eating [PS]

  • Teacher prompt: “How do you feel if you wait until you are very hungry to eat? How does your body feel when you have eaten too much?”
  • Student: “When I’m very hungry, I eat quickly and I don’t really taste my food. Sometimes I keep eating before I realize that I’m full. I end up feeling uncomfortable. I need to be aware of those things and try to eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.”

C3.1 explain how healthy eating and active living work together to improve a person’s general health and well-being (e.g., both provide more energy and contribute to improved self-concept, greater resistance to disease, and better overall health; both help a person to maintain a weight that is healthy for them) and how the benefits of both can be promoted to others [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “Why is healthy eating important for active living? How does active living affect the way we eat and the way our bodies use the food we eat?”
  • Student: “Eating healthy foods gives me the nutrients I need to be energetic and active. Healthy food and physical activity are both necessary to build stronger bones and muscles. Being active also gives me more of an appetite. When I am more active, I need to eat more because I am using more energy and burning more calories.”
  • Teacher prompt: “How can you promote the benefits of healthy eating and active living at school?”
  • Student: “I can lead by example. I can be a role model for younger students at recess by having a healthy snack, like a piece of fruit, and playing an active game, like tag, instead of standing around.”

Personal Safety and Injury Prevention

C2.3 apply personal skills and interpersonal skills (e.g., self-awareness and self-management skills, including anger management; communication skills, including listening skills and assertiveness skills) to promote positive interaction and avoid or manage conflict in social situations (e.g., classroom groups, groups of friends, sports teams, school clubs) [PS, IS]

  • Teacher prompt: “If someone does something that makes you feel very angry, what can you do to manage your anger?”
  • Student: “I can take some deep breaths, walk away, and give myself some time and space to cool down. Doing something outdoors and physical, like running, swimming, playing basketball, or biking, helps me. When I am calmer, I can think about what made me angry and about whether there is anything I can do to prevent the situation from happening again.”
  • Teacher prompt: “When working in groups, what have you found helpful in making your group function well?”
  • Student: “Our group works best when we make sure everyone gets a turn to speak, when we are clear about what everyone is supposed to do, and when we listen to each other and treat each other with respect.”

C3.2 recognize the responsibilities and risks associated with caring for themselves and others (e.g., while babysitting, staying home alone, caring for pets, volunteering in the community, assisting someone with a disability, preparing meals, travelling to and from school and other locations), and demonstrate an understanding of related safety practices and appropriate procedures for responding to dangerous situations (e.g., safe practices for preparing food; responses to allergic reactions, fire, sports injuries, dental emergencies, hypothermia, bullying) [PS, IS]

  • Teacher prompt: “What should you do to protect yourself before volunteering in the community?”
  • Student: “Have a parent or caregiver check to make sure the situation is safe.”
  • Teacher: “What are some ways in which you could help someone who has a physical disability?”
  • Student: “I could ask the person if they would like help and, if so, what kind of help. I could help someone who is blind or partially sighted by walking with them as a guide. I might be able to help a person in a wheelchair transfer to a chair, if I were given instructions about how to help.”
  • Teacher: “If you are preparing a meal for yourself or others, what are some things to be aware of to stay safe?”
  • Student: “Be cautious and handle all equipment carefully when preparing food and using appliances, sharp knives, or utensils. Keep young children away from sharp knives, hot things, and other objects that could cause injury. Wash hands before and after working with food, and keep work surfaces clean.”

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