As Spring comes to an end and the Easter holidays are upon us I have just finished teaching my sixth class pupils the SPHE strand Looking After My Body. The content objectives as taken from the excellent NCCA Planning Tool were:
The child should be enabled to
- identify and discuss the physical and other changes that occur in boys and girls with the onset of puberty and understand that these take place at different rates for everyone
- Female: hormonal changes, changing body shape, development of breasts, appearance of pubic hair, onset of menstruation (periods)
- Male:hormonal changes, physical growth, enlargement of testicles and penis, appearance of pubic, underarm and facial hair, breaking of the voice, beginning of sperm production, onset of nocturnal emissions (wet dreams)
- understand the reproductive system of both male and female adults.
These can be tricky lessons to teach to any class but through the integration of some excellent websites I hope that the pupils within my class learn about their changing bodies.
Prior to going any where near the reproductive system I teach the pupils about the respiratory system and the digestive system and use ICT to help me in achieving the learning objectives.
The Science Museum of Minnesota website has excellent lessons and interactive models of the respiratory system.
Skool.ie has an excellent interactive game which the pupils really enjoy.
CLICK HERE for Bring Fred to Life as my pupils have called the character.
The Children’s University of Manchester has an excellent website on the digestive system and teaches the pupils all of the different parts of the digestive system.
To test the pupils knowledge you can then allow them to play the interactive game on sciencenetlinks.com This is a fun assessment tool!
Finally after teaching the pupils about these I introduce the reproduction system. After teaching the other systems I introduce it as another system within our bodies which we must learn about. The website that I use to enhance the teaching and learning within my classroom is the BBC website on the human body.Within this site there are interactive games on the nervous system, the skeleton, the organs, the muscles and puberty. The male and female bodies are explained clearly. I find this website excellent in teaching puberty and the reproduction system to my students and thought others may too.
I would also like to share with teachers something I have discovered recently about some pupils use of the ViberApp and the WhatsApp. Both these APPs allow users to text groups of friends for free when their mobile devices are connected to WIFI or on their mobile data package. It has come to my attention that some pupils are sending pornographic material via these apps. In my own innocence I never thought that these APPs could be used in this way and just thought that teachers and parents need to be aware that they are and should be vigilant when children are using them.