5th Grade Human Growth and Development Overview is March 20
5th Grade Advisory Team
5th Grade Human Growth and Development
Curriculum Overview 
for 5th Grade Parents

Monday, March 20, 9:00 - 9:30 a.m. via Zoom

The goal of the Human Growth and Development curriculum at Bernard Zell is to support students through a safe development physically, socially, and emotionally. Our fact-based curriculum seeks to promote health and self-knowledge, foster curiosity, and limit anxiety. The lessons describe a world in which all children can see themselves reflected, through messages that underline that everyone is different and everyone is normal. 
This unit, focusing on the physical and emotional changes of puberty, will take place during regularly-scheduled science classes. This invites students to approach the material intellectually and respectfully. The mixed-gender environment emphasizes commonalities, ensures that students don’t feel that any information is secretive, gives students a space to practice speaking appropriately about the body, and helps students sympathize with the parallel changes happening in biologically different bodies. 
The following topics are discussed:
  • Hormones and how they jump-start the associated physical changes of puberty
  • Good hygiene and self-care
  • Male and female anatomy, reproductive systems, nocturnal emissions, and menstrual cycle
  • Emotional, social, and cognitive changes of puberty
  • Body autonomy, safe touch, consent
  • Introduction to gender identity and sexual orientation
While scientifically based, the lessons are taught in a values context, including the importance of talking to trusted adults, consent and communication and respect for one’s own body.
Parents and guardians play an essential role in the Human Growth and Development program. Learning about relationships and developing values is a process that continues throughout life. Indeed, the students’ primary education in these areas happens at home through the teachable moments provided by everyday life. We want you to be looped in and involved! Every child is different, every family is different. Some children will come home and want to talk about it; others will wait for you to open the conversation. We do encourage you, even once during the unit, to open the conversation with them. This shows your child that you are a reliable adult and that you are able and available to have these conversations with them.
Regular communication will be sent home to help parents:
  • Be aware of what topics are being discussed, and what language we are using
  • Be aware of recommended resources for followup or further reading
  • Be ready so if your child wants to talk to you about it, you have the context and background information you need
  • Be able to initiate conversations with your child
Our session will provide you with a curriculum overview, recommended resources, and will allow time for questions and discussion to support you in helping your child navigate adolescence. We hope to see you there! 

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