Puberty, oh puberty

spermatozooI’ve been reading through Changes, Changes, Changes recently, and so I want to focus on puberty education this week.

When I work with young people, I am always interested to know what they know and what they don’t know. Some groups seem beyond their age, knowledge-wise. They come into the classroom full of information (and often righteous indignation) about one topic or another (usually social justice and human rights related), but so empty of other kinds of knowledge. My middle school students are usually lacking the more mundane kinds of knowledge that cover topics like nocturnal emissions and what to do when your period starts for the first time. Having a few lessons in my back pocket to cover these issues when it becomes apparent that they are lacking is a nice thing. Here’s one example:


By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  1. Identify parts of the male reproductive anatomy using three-dimensional models.
  2. Describe the functions of the male reproductive system.
  3. Explain the process of seminal emissions.

This lesson activity builds upon the previous male reproductive anatomy lessons by explaining the process of seminal emissions. Through the use of male anatomy models, students will learn the roles that male reproductive anatomy parts play in seminal emissions. An interactive handout and multiple discussion questions encourage student participation and engagement with the learning material.


This lesson is, in many ways, a basic anatomy lesson about the male reproductive anatomy. What makes the lesson unique is the focus on seminal formation and subsequent travel through the male anatomy system as the point of entry to the conversation. It is useful to move past the external and to teach the internal systems. It provides context and information for the experience that people have with their penises (penii? the eternal sex educator question…). During the pubertal years, figuring out why your body is doing what it’s doing should be straightforward, but it’s not always. Lessons like these provide context, information, and answers. If only we all had answers to all of our questions! Life would be so much easier!

sex education Changes