Human growth and development is a topic that will most likely appear in the curriculum sometime in middle school or high school. Some students might shy away from the topic. Keep the entire class engaged in the subject matter by employing creative teaching techniques to educate and entertain the student body.
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Explore with students the ways in which the family setting affects the students' development and attitude toward certain issues. Hand out a survey to each student with statements such as "Most children prefer to play with children of their same sex when they are in upper elementary school" and "It is the responsibility of children to share in household chores." Students should circle whether they agree, disagree or have no opinion. Another activity option is to ask all of the students ways in which their families celebrate their religious and cultural traditions. They should share this information with the class.
Since pregnancy is the time of essential human development, it is an important part of this topic. Divide students up into groups. Assign each group a different stage of the pregnancy cycle, which they will have to present to the rest of the class. You can also discuss teen pregnancy with them. Have them list the number of ways in which their life would change if they were to become pregnant and have a baby.
Stages of Life
Explain to children how everyone progresses and develops through the stages of life. Divide students into groups, assigning each one a stage of life in Erik Erikson's theory of social development (infant, toddler, preschool/early childhood, school age/play, adolescence, young adulthood, adulthood and old age). The students should create a poster with pictures from magazines and the Internet that demonstrate the positives and negatives of the stage they have been assigned. You could also engage students in a discussion where they talk about the different roles that they have, particular when they are in the transition between two stages of life.
Body systems are what allow for the growth and development of an individual. Visit an online game, such as All Systems Go on Science Net Links. In this game, students need to click and drag the appropriate body parts to an image of the body. Lessons should also be planned that provide lecture material on each of the body systems, whether it is in midst of this actual topic or in conjunction with the student's science class.
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