Getting young people to develop their own sex education materials….

An absolutely fab blog post was shared with me from @mngreenall which absolutely should be a method adapted for teachers to develop sex education materials with their students (and if any good for use with other students!). Awesomeness.

So I felt the urge to follow on from my monday morning moan about leaflets to be more positive!

Teachers often resort to the “do a poster/make a leaflet etc” lesson in desperation, it’s a cover lesson, haven’t planned the lesson properly, they have a huge urgent pile of marking to do, whatever.  But actually it is an incredibly effective learning tool when done properly,  and I have found it is particularly effective as a homework activity (if you can face the battle to get them in and mark them! 😉 following on from a structured learning session about a topic.

I need to share a valuable lesson I learned when we were looking at HIV campaigns over the years as part of our HIV/AIDS education programme.  We examined the 1980’s tombstone campaign and compared it to more recent advertising (posters, adverts, leaflets etc), and compared the different messages that had evolved as our knowledge and understanding about HIV evolved.  We also discussed whether awareness had dipped (and hence a rise in infections) because there weren’t really any hardhitting campaigns any more.  Anyhow it was a lovely lesson (if I say so myself!) and the kids seemed to enjoy it.  For homework I asked them to “design their own HIV awareness campaign” (via any media they liked-poster, leaflet, cartoon etc.).  Now I have to be honest- I was completely expecting a few rubbish posters and a load of excuses.  For that I feel terrible.  What I got back was absolutely amazing, inspirational and in places made me cry!  Some kids had clearly spent hours on windows movie maker and created absolutely amazing campaigns with hardhitting punchlines. (I would love to be able to share them here but first I will see if I can get permission from the students involved to YouTube them so it may take time)  I was so impressed and from then on in I vowed to not have such low expectations of my students (the low status of PSHE the subject clearly having a negative effect on me-sigh!).

Anyhow lesson learned!  If we are not happy/not sure what to do with our leaflets- let’s critically evaluate them, let’s discuss why they are effective/not effective, lets’ get the young people to redesign them!  Let’s learn windows movie maker, publisher, whatever fancy computer program we need.  Let’s research what other young people want to read about.  Let’s explore the facts and write them in young people friendly language. And hence we have a solution to the problem of “what do we do with a leaflet in a lesson”


Happy Educating.

P.S  I know many of my fave leaflets are already designed working with young people and are fab just how they are but this post is the solution to the problem of having a load of leaflets and not being sure what to do with them!


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