K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Learning outcomes

Students will:

  • become familiar with common Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • identify resources for accurate information about STDs
  • develop an understanding of their personal responsibility in preventing the spread of STDs

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

90 minutes


  • charts labeled with common STDs
  • markers for each group/chart
  • clock or stopwatch
  • transparency of acronyms
  • transparency or student handout of 5 Things to Know
  • space for groups to move around the room
  • tables spread apart for charts or wall space to post charts around the room

Technology resources

overhead projector and screen


On an overhead or the board, list the following acronyms in any order:

  • HIV
  • HBV
  • STD
  • HPV
  • CDC
  • HSV
  • PID
  • FDA
  • AIDS
  • IDU

Ask the students to identify as many as they can. Write out their meanings. See the Teacher Notes on Acronyms.


Teacher input

For any acronyms that students cannot identify, provide the information and for CDC and FDA, explain their significance. If available, share your local data on the cases of the common STDs in your county and the fact that often there is a high incidence of STD infection among sexually active teens. (2002 data= 1 in 4)

Guided practice

  1. Label charts with the names of the most common STDs: GONORRHEA, HERPES, HIV, SYPHILLIS, CHLAMYDIA, HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS. Divide the class into small groups and provide each group with a different chart. If you have a large class, you may want to prepare additional charts so the groups will be smaller. Instruct the groups to write down whatever they know about that particular STD in the next thirty seconds.
  2. Use a watch or stopwatch, call time, and tell them to pass the chart to another group. Rotate the charts clockwise around the room. Again, tell them to add what they know and time them for thirty seconds. Continue the process until each group has seen the different STD charts. Another option is to post the charts around the room and rotate the groups of students. After completing the rotation, ask students to look at the particular chart in their group. Pose the following questions: Is there enough information on your chart to keep you safe? If not, what is missing? Show the 5 Things to Know as a transparency or provide handouts for each group.
  3. Each chart should contain the answers to these questions:
    • How do you get it?
    • How do you know if you have it?
    • How can you prevent it?
    • Can it be cured? Where can you get tested and treated?
    • What can happen if you don’t get treated?
  4. After students have assessed their charts using the list, ask:
    • What information was missing from your charts?
    • Where can you find the information that is missing?
  5. Lead a discussion on what are accurate, reliable sources of information. How do you determine if a source is credible, particularly if it is on the internet?

Individual practice

Using a local resource guide, phone book, or other sources, identify what resources are available for information to answer the 5 Things to Know. Bring to class the phone numbers, websites, or other reliable sources that young people need to be aware of. These will be shared in class. Be sure you can explain why this source is reliable and accurate.


It is important to know what information is needed to in order to protect yourself and make positive health decisions. Once you figure out what you don’t know, you need skills in identifying good, accurate sources of health information. Identifying and accessing that information is a skill you can use for any health questions you may have.


See the attached true or false quiz to use in assessing student understanding.

Supplemental information


If you find that there is significant information missing for students you may want to invite your school nurse or a health educator to review the information on the various STDs and resources for testing and treatment.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Healthful Living (2010)
      • Grades 9 - 12

        • 9.ICR.3 Create strategies that develop and maintain reproductive and sexual health. 9.ICR.3.1 Contrast the myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes pertaining to sexual assault and sexual abuse with what is known based on law and research. 9.ICR.3.2 Design safe...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Healthful Living Education (2006)

Grade 9–12

  • Goal 3: The learner will develop healthy and effective interpersonal communication and relationship skills.
    • Objective 3.06: Evaluate how a mutually faithful monogamous heterosexual relationship in the context of marriage is the best lifelong means of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
    • Objective 3.08: Analyze causes, consequences, and prevention of major health risks behaviors for own age group, including the transmission of HIV.