Grade 8: 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

C2.4 demonstrate an understanding of aspects of sexual health and safety, including contraception and condom use for pregnancy and STI prevention, the concept of consent, and matters they need to consider and skills they need to use in order to make safe and healthy decisions about sexual activity

  • (e.g., self-knowledge; abstinence; delaying first intercourse; establishing, discussing, and respecting boundaries; showing respect; need for additional information and support; safer sex and pleasure; communication, assertiveness, and refusal skills)
  • Teacher prompt: “What do teenagers need to know about contraception and safer sex in order to protect their sexual health and set appropriate personal limits?”
  • Student: “Teenagers need to know about the benefits and risks of different types of contraception.
    • Abstinence: They need to understand that the only 100 per cent sure way of not becoming pregnant or getting an STI, including HIV, is not having sexual contact.
    • Those who choose to be sexually active also need to know which contraceptive methods provide a protective barrier against disease as well as pregnancy. Condoms provide protection against both pregnancy and STIs – but to be effective, they need to be used properly and used every time.
    • Teenagers need to understand how important it is to talk with their partners about sexual health choices, consent, and keeping safe. They have to develop the skills to communicate their thoughts effectively, listen respectfully, and read body cues in these conversations. This takes practice.”

C3.3 analyse the attractions and benefits associated with being in a relationship (e.g., support, understanding, camaraderie, pleasure), as well as the benefits, risks, and drawbacks, for themselves and others, of relationships involving different degrees of sexual intimacy

  • (e.g., hurt when relationships end or trust is broken; in more sexually intimate relationships, risk of STIs and related risk to future fertility, unintended pregnancy, sexual harassment and exploitation; potential for dating violence) [IS, CT]
  • Teacher prompt: “There are pros and cons to being in a relationship, and when you are in a relationship, there are positive things and drawbacks associated with different levels of intimacy. All of them are important to think about.
    • There is a range of intimate behaviours that people can use to show caring and connection in a relationship, and different levels of risk associated with different levels of intimacy.Intimate behaviours can include holding hands, hugging, kissing, touching bodies and genitals, and engaging in sexual intercourse.
    • When considering the level of intimacy that is appropriate for their relationship, what does a couple need to think about?”
  • Student: “Both individuals need to consider their own values and beliefs and treat each other’s choices and limits with respect. If one partner chooses to abstain from a sexual activity – for example, a person might want to kiss but not want to have any genital contact – the other partner needs to respect that decision. Both partners need to have the confidence and comfort level to talk about how they can show their affection while respecting each other’s decisions.”
  • Teacher: “Being intimate with someone includes having a good understanding of the concept of consent. What are some of the important things that we need to understand about consent?”
  • Student: “Consent to one activity doesn’t imply consent to all sexual activity. It is important to ask for consent at every stage. Consent is communicated, not assumed. You can ask your partner simple questions to be sure that they want to continue: ‘Do you want to do this?’ or ‘Do you want to stop?’ A ‘no’ at any stage does not need any further explanation.”
  • Teacher: “How can being in an intimate relationship affect other relationships in your life?”
  • Student: “When you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, sometimes friends treat you differently. You might start hanging out with different people or spending less time with some friends. You might have less time to spend with family. It’s important to be aware of what is happening, so that you can take steps to avoid neglecting other relationships that are important to you.”

Healthy Eating

C1.1 demonstrate an understanding of different types of nutrients (e.g., macronutrients and micronutrients) and their function

  • Teacher prompt: “Different kinds of nutrients are needed to achieve optimal health and prevent disease. Nutrients can be divided into two types – macronutrients and micronutrients. What are these, and why is each kind of nutrient needed for good health?”
  • Student: “Macro means big. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They provide our bodies with energy for growth and activity. Micro means small. Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals in our food. They help regulate body functions such as vision, healing, and muscle movement.”

C3.1 identify strategies for promoting healthy eating within the school, home, and community

(e.g., implementing school healthy food policies, launching healthy-eating campaigns, choosing healthy food items to sell in fundraising campaigns, getting involved in family meal planning, learning food preparation skills, urging local restaurants to highlight healthy food choices) [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “How could you promote healthy eating at home?”
  • Student: “I could help with meal planning, shopping, and preparation, or discuss healthy eating with my family.”
  • Teacher: “Where can you get more information about healthy eating in your community?”
  • Student: “The public health unit, registered dieticians, medical clinics, family health centres, and reputable websites are all good sources of information about healthy eating.”
  • Teacher: “What might you do to promote healthy eating at school?”
  • Student: “I could ask about healthy food policies and join clubs or groups to support healthy eating at school. I could model healthy eating. As a class, we could put together information about healthier food choices to share with younger students. Instead of selling chocolates to raise funds, we could do something healthy like have a dance-a-thon.”

C2.1 evaluate personal food choices on the basis of a variety of criteria, including serving size, nutrient content, energy value, and ingredients (e.g., fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and minerals, calories, additives, allergens), preparation method, and other factors that can affect health and well-being [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “Why is paying attention to nutrients more valuable than counting calories?”
  • Student: “Paying attention to nutrients helps you focus on eating in a balanced way. Calories are only one thing to consider and, by themselves, don’t provide information about nutrition. By following Canada’s Food Guide, I can make sure that I am meeting my energy and nutrient needs. It’s important to get all of the different nutrients that my body needs. By considering nutrient content, I can make sure I get enough vitamins and minerals – for example, I need to eat orange vegetables like carrots and orange peppers to get Vitamin A. And if I make soup with milk instead of water, I’ll get more calcium and Vitamin D.”
  • Teacher: “Serving size is one thing to consider when making food choices. How many servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended for teenagers?”
  • Student: “Canada’s Food Guide recommends that teens eat seven to eight servings of vegetables and fruit per day.”
  • Teacher prompt: “If you do not eat breakfast, how does that affect how you feel during the day?”
  • Student: “I feel sluggish in the morning, and I’m starving by ten o’clock. When I’m so hungry, I’m more likely to eat less nutritious food at break.”

Personal Safety and Injury Prevention

C1.2 identify situations that could lead to injury or death (e.g., head injuries or concussions in contact sports; spinal cord injuries from falls or diving into unknown water; injuries in car accidents; mental, physical, emotional, or social harm resulting from mental health and/or addiction problems), and describe behaviours that can help to reduce risk

(e.g., wearing protective gear, especially helmets; thinking before acting; avoiding conflicts that could lead to violence; avoiding diving into unknown water; being cautious when driving or riding ATVs, tractors, boats, or snowmobiles; being aware of food safety when cooking and preparing food; using self-acceptance, coping, and help-seeking skills)

  • Teacher prompt: “Unintentional injury is a leading cause of death for children and youth in Canada. Adolescents need to be aware of the potential results associated with higher-risk activities. What are some possible consequences of injuries to the spinal cord or head?”
  • Student: “Spinal cord injuries can cause complete or partial paralysis. Severe head injuries can cause brain damage that may result in impairments of movement, sight, hearing, speech, cognitive functioning, or sensation or that may even lead to death.”

C2.2 demonstrate the ability to assess situations for potential dangers

(e.g., getting into a car with a stranger or an impaired, unlicensed, or inexperienced driver; dependencies or coercion in dating relationships; joining gangs; participating in violence; attending a party where alcohol or drugs are being used; using cosmetic procedures or treatments such as piercing, tattooing, crash diets, or tanning that involve potential health risks; exposure to infectious diseases through direct contact, sneezing, or coughing), and apply strategies for avoiding dangerous situations [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “What are some things you could do instead of getting into a car with a driver who has been drinking?”
  • Student: “I could call a family member or friend, stay over where I am, walk home with a friend if there is a safe route, or take a bus or taxi if one is available. I should have a plan and, if I can, carry money or a phone, so that I do not have to depend on someone else to get home safely.”
  • Teacher prompt: “What are some things to be aware of in a relationship to keep yourself and your partner safe?”
  • Student: “Thinking about what makes a relationship healthier is a good start. Things that could lead to danger in relationships include an uneven balance of power in the relationship and situations that involve alcohol or drugs. I can stay safer by defining my own limits, listening to my gut feelings, and letting others know what I am doing and where I am going. If something does not feel good or right, I need to have the confidence to tell the other person to stop immediately. And if someone tells me – verbally or non-verbally – to stop, I need to stop immediately.”

C3.2 analyse the impact of violent behaviours, including aggression, anger, swarming, dating violence, and gender-based or racially based violence, on the person being targeted, the perpetrator, and bystanders, and describe the role of support services in preventing violence

(e.g., help lines, school counsellors, social workers, youth programs, shelters, restorative justice programs, gay-straight student alliances) [CT]

  • Teacher prompt: “Managing emotions in heated situations is an essential skill. Consider this situation: Students are playing basketball on the playground; someone gets pushed aggressively and tempers flare. What is the impact on those playing and those watching?”
  • Student: “This situation could escalate into a fight. Someone could be hurt, and that could lead to suspension or assault charges and damage the relationships between the players on and off the court and in the classroom. It could scare or injure the people watching.”
  • Teacher prompt: “Gender-based violence includes any form of behaviour – psychological, physical, and sexual – that is based on an individual’s gender and is intended to control, humiliate, or harm the individual. When we say ‘gender-based violence’, we are often referring to violence against women and girls. Can you give me some examples?”
  • Student: “It can include physical assault in a relationship, sexual assault, or rape. It can also include things like having your rear end pinched in the hallway, having your top pulled down or lifted up, or being held down and touched.”

Substance Use, Addictions, and Related Behaviours

C1.3 identify and describe the warning signs of substance misuse or abuse, addictions, and related behaviours (e.g., changes in behaviour, gradual withdrawal from social circles, a drop in academic performance) and the consequences that can occur

(e.g., aggressive behaviours related to alcohol use that can lead to gender-based violence, dating violence, or sexual assault; financial problems resulting from online gambling; overdose as a result of misuse of prescription medications, including pain relievers; inability to make good decisions as a result of drug use; binge drinking and alcohol poisoning; injury, death, or legal charges resulting from accidents caused by impaired driving; self-harming behaviours related to mental illnesses such as depression that are exacerbated by substance abuse; fetal alcohol spectrum disorder [FASD] in children as a result of alcohol abuse by the mother during pregnancy)

C2.3 explain how stress affects mental health and emotional well-being, and demonstrate an understanding of how to use a variety of strategies for relieving stress and caring for their mental health (e.g., engaging in physical activity, listening to music, resting, meditating, talking with a trusted individual, practising smudging) [PS]

  • Teacher prompt: “Maintaining mental health and emotional well-being involves balancing the different aspects of life: the physical, intellectual, social, emotional, and spiritual. It involves the ability to think, feel, act, and interact in a way that allows you to enjoy life and cope with challenges that arise. Signs of potential mental health difficulties can include being frequently sad or depressed, anxious, or rebellious; having difficulty paying attention; having problems with eating, sleeping, or getting along at school; or being addicted to substances. Everyone is vulnerable to emotional or mental stresses. What can you do to take care of your mental health?”
  • Student: “Being aware of my feelings and monitoring them can help. So can understanding that anyone can experience mental health difficulties and that getting help makes a big difference.”
  • Teacher prompt: “Stress can be positive and negative. Stress can motivate you to get things done, but it is also connected to things over which you have less control, like illness, death, or divorce, financial concerns, or environmental issues. Identify a situation in which students often feel stressed. How can you manage stress effectively?”
  • Student: “Students often feel stressed when they have too much to do. To cope, you need to plan your time and set priorities. Do the most important things first. Include some time for taking breaks and being active. Check off what you get done as you do it. Plan with a friend, if that helps you. Stress can be managed or relieved in many ways. Some people find that taking some personal time to reflect and think and do quiet things like rest, write, read, meditate, or listen to music works best for them. Others find that being physically active or interacting with others by talking through problems is helpful. Different things work for different people, and you have to find the way that works best for you. Some cultures have special ways of relieving stress. Some First Nation people, for example, use smudging to relieve stress. This is a practice in which people fan smoke from herbs like sage or sweetgrass over their bodies to cleanse them of bad feelings and get rid of negative thoughts and energy. Afterwards, they feel renewed, physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually

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