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The following Projects are an assortment of long-term activities that can be completed individually, in groups or as a class. We have provided starting points for research and development; you and the students can work together to create a more detailed plan of action. Consider the following two recommendations. First, because of the amount of work involved in a Project, students should choose one of great interest to them. Second, to encourage excellence and promote student-student learning, students should present their finished projects to the rest of the class, to the school and to the community, if appropriate.

Project 1: Research Questions and Action Projects

Project 1 differs from the others: it is a list of possible research topics organized according to some key ideas and addressed to students.

In assigning a Research Question or Action Project, we ask that you allow students to choose their topic-either one provided or one of their own. You might also:

  1. Specify length of piece.
  2. Make clear the purpose and the audience.
  3. Suggest sources and ideas for information.
  4. Provide in-class time for compiling information and writing.
  5. Require students to exchange papers and provide written feedback.
  6. Provide a breakdown of due-dates for the following stages: choice of topic, outline, rough draft and final draft.
  7. Permit students to supplement a written report with a skit, a piece of artwork, a piece of music, a dance, a video, or a multimedia presentation.

ASSESS

Provide the students with evaluation criteria that include:

  • accuracy of the content based on guiding questions.
  • clarity of writing.
  • effective organization of main ideas.
  • use of detailed examples or citing evidence to support their conclusions.

Project 1: Teacher Activity Notes - Research Questions

  • Love: A motivator for Great Art. Search out some examples of love in paintings, drawing and sculpture. Pick an artist, learn about his or her life, and talk about the works of art as they relate to the artist's real-life experiences.
  • Sexual Themes As An Advertising Tool. Go though popular magazines and bring in examples of how advertisers use erotic cues to get your attention and elicit a response. Do advertisers more commonly use men or women to get their message across? How do you feel about this use of sexual themes?
  • Tips For Smart Sexual Behavior. Write a brochure for other junior high/middle schools using information you have learned in this unit.
  • Select A Book. Your teacher has a reading list for this unit; select one of the books and prepare a report or project that describes the book, whether you recommend the book, and how the book relates to the concepts presented in this unit.
  • What is Child Abuse? Many abused individuals don't realize what happened to them until years later. The psychological manifestations of abuse are insidious and often latent. Write a brochure for your classmates about child abuse to increase their awareness and provide them with some ideas and resources that might help any individuals in need.
  • Coping with Rape: A Guide for Preventing and Responding to Rape. Write a brochure about rape-what it is, safety tips on how to prevent it, what to do if you are raped, and local telephone numbers for rape crisis hotlines.
  • Sexual Health: A Poster: Design a poster for your school that highlights the causes and symptoms of common STDs. Include in your poster a section that promotes prevention of STDs.
  • AIDS In The News: Keep track of any stories about AIDS in the papers and magazines that you see. What are the headlines? What do you learn from these stories? What image to you get of AIDS, and the people affected, from these stories?
  • AIDS Research. What kind of research is being done on AIDS? What are the different ways science and medicine might be able to combat AIDS?
  • Help Someone with AIDS. Design a class project that supports a local AIDS hospice. Projects might be gathering clothes, food, games or other needed items, or making something, such as a mural to decorate the hospice walls.
  • AIDS Treatments. What kind of treatments are currently available to AIDS patients? What do they do for an AIDS patient?
  • Risk In The News: Collect current news stories that deal with some aspect of risk. With a small group or the whole class, make a chart of the kinds of risks you read about in the paper or hear about on the news-what are the consequences of risk taking that you hear about? How does hearing about other people's risk taking affect your view of risk?

Project 2: Teacher Activity Notes - Multicultural Perspective: Issues of Sexuality

Summary The changes of puberty and the process of reproduction are universal, but the attitudes toward sexual behavior varies dramatically from culture to culture. In this Project students choose a culture and research the ways in which attitudes and behaviors toward this subject of sexuality differ from ours. If you had your students do the multicultural project in the unit on Your Changing Body or Reproduction, you may want them to continue with research on the same country. If this is a new project for you and your class, suggested cultures to study include: Israel, Iran, India, China, and/or Japan, an African nation, or Mexico. Or students could choose a culture from their heritage.

Estimated Time: 3-5 weeks depending on length of time you have available to spend on the unit

Student Materials

Access to the library and, if possible, access to the Internet

Students Develop

  • a portfolio of research on multicultural differences related to issues of sexuality.
  • a display board showcasing what they have found.
  • a presentation to the class summarizing their observations.

IMPLEMENT

Step 1 Ask students to choose a country to research. They may work alone, in pairs, or in small groups at your discretion.

Step 2 Have each group keep a portfolio of the information they gather to save and share at the end. Designate bulletin board space for students to display their work as the unit progresses.

Step 3 As background, have students locate their country on a map, and research some basic facts, such as population, size of country, type of economy (what kind of work do most people do), and any interesting historical or current facts.

Step 4 Assign the specific research questions listed below as you come to the sections in this unit that cover the topic.

Step 5 At the end of the unit ask students to share what they have discovered with other members of the class by doing any or all of the following: create a display on the bulletin board, make an oral presentation, create a comparison chart, submit a written report.

  • Dating Investigate dating customs in other countries. Is dating customary? If so, at what age? Can a boy and girl go out alone together or must they be chaperoned? What are common activities?
  • Love Research the theme of love in your culture. Look at music, art, poetry, How is love expressed and felt? How do people in the culture you research show their love?
  • Marriage At what age do people generally marry? Do couples pick their own partners? What is the attitude toward divorce?
  • Homosexuality How common is homosexuality around the world? In the countries you selected to study? How are homosexuals viewed and treated in these countries? Compare with how they are viewed and treated in this country.
  • Sexual Behavior Research attitudes about sex in your culture. Is physical intimacy of any kind common at a certain age? Is sexual intercourse among teens discouraged? A problem? Are people affectionate in public?
  • STDs Investigate the rates and treatments for various STDs. What type of medical care is available? What is the incidence of AIDS, and what are the attitudes within the culture toward its victims?

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