Human Development & Sexual Health

The classroom is an important source of sexual health information for children and youth. 

Most girls enter puberty between the ages of 8 and 13 years, while most boys begin puberty between the ages of 9 and 14 years. Teaching accurate information about maturation and sexual health helps students to have a healthy understanding of their growth and development, to develop healthy sexual habits and to make responsible decisions.

The following resources can be used by teachers in the classroom or to support school initiatives. For questions, contact our School Health Curriculum Resource Line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4111 or email schoolhealth@wdgpublichealth.ca.

Recommended websites

Action Canada for Sexual Health & Rights

Information about relationships, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for Grades 7 and 8. It also includes an ‘ask the expert’ feature.

Always Changing

The Grade 5-6 resource discusses puberty and issues surrounding growth and development, personal hygiene and self-esteem. The Grade7-8 resource can be used to help students overcome barriers to physical activity participation, while improving body image and self-esteem.

Changes In Me 

This resource includes lesson plans, interactive games and tools to teach students in Grades 4-6 about puberty, relationships and decision-making.

Dove Self-esteem Project

Videos, lesson plans, activity sheets, workshops and more on body image and self-esteem for Grades 5-8.

KidsHealth in the Classroom

Lesson plans about personal health, the human body, relationships, puberty and more for Grades K-12.

Sex? - A Healthy Sexuality Resource

Information about relationships, decision making, STI’s, preventing pregnancy, sexual assault and sexual orientation. Grades 7-12. Find it listed under “Youth 12+: Links for parents” on the Province of Nova Scotia’s website.

Sex and U

Lesson plans on puberty, contraception, STI prevention, relationships and sexual well-being. Includes a list of additional resources and a “Teaching Sexual Health Education Manual”. For Grades 4-8.

Sexual Health Ontario

Information about relationships, STIs and birth control. Includes a live chat to answer questions. For Grades 9-12.

Talk to Me

This resource helps to make teaching sexual health an enjoyable and comfortable experience for Grades 7 and 8. It includes lesson plans on relationships and STIs, and offers a virtual birth control kit.

Teaching Sexual Health

Evidence-based information, strategies and lesson plans for teachers. Also includes a section for parents. For Grades 4-12.

Public library resources

The following resources are available for loan from your local library. These DVDs and kits can be used with lesson plans or for school events.

To book a resource, please visit the online catalogue of one of our participating public libraries: (Note: Library membership required).

Am I Ready? Making Healthy Sexual Decisions (DVD)

This DVD features real teens and health experts discussing the importance of healthy sexual decision-making. Topics include: healthy relationships, forms of contraception, and how to reduce the risks of STIs and unplanned pregnancies. For Grades 7-12. Includes a teacher resource guide.

Before You Hook Up: Dating Rights and Responsibilities (DVD)

This DVD discusses the essentials of a healthy partnership, including the rights every young person has in a relationship. It also delivers a strong message against dating abuse and violence. For Grades 7-12. Includes a teacher resource guide.

Birth Control Kit (Kit)

This kit, for Grades 7-12, includes samples of expired birth control and game instructions to help students learn about different forms of contraception. Note: This resource is only available to UGDSB teachers through the Terry James Resource Centre.

Body Talk: Ages 12-17 (DVD)

This DVD features students and medical professionals challenging the messages society promotes about weight, health and beauty. Topics include: body image, self-esteem and healthy eating. For Grades 7-12.

The Puberty Game (Kit)

An interactive game to help students understand changes experienced during puberty. Topics include: nutrition, exercise, hygiene and physical and reproductive changes. Two versions of this game are available: one for Grades 5 and 6 and the other for Grades 7 and 8.