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Name of Activity:


Purpose of Activity:

To give the students a first hand opportunity of seeing that when they are sexually active they are at risk of becoming infected with any type of STD. The only positive solution is NOT to engage in sexual activities.

Suggested Grade Level:


Materials Needed:

Rubber Gloves, 3X5 note cards enough for each member of class

Description of Idea

Each student in class is given a 3X5 note card. On one of the note cards is a small red dot placed in a corner. Before the class begins, privately ask one student to intentionally not participate in the activity and stay seated in his/her desk throughout. Give another student the rubber gloves and ask him or her to wear the gloves throughout the entire activity.

The activity starts after the teacher hands out the cards and explains that each student must get four other students to sign their names on his or her card. The students put a "1" by the first person to sign, a "2" by the second person to sign, a "3" by the third person to sign, and a "4" by the fourth person to sign.

After each student has four signatures, ask everyone to sit down. The only person who did not get any signatures is the one who intentionally did not participate.

The instructor now tells the students to look for a red dot on their 3X5 cards. Once that person is identified (make sure that the two students who the instructor asks to participate differently do not receive the dotted card) write that person's name on the board. Ask that person to tell you the name of the first person who signed his or her card. Write that person's name on the board with a line connecting to the name of the person with the red dot. Do this with all four people on the individual's 3X5 card.

Next, ask the first person who signed the red dotted card to tell the name of the person who was the 2nd person on his or her card. Write down that person's name and connect the names with a line. Continue connecting lines and names until all possible connections to the red dot have been made.

If the name of the person with the gloves on his or her hand is mentioned in association with the red dotted card do not write that person's name down on the board. This person was practicing safe sex by wearing a condom. (Emphasize the point here that a condom is still not 100% effective at avoiding an STD. Discuss possible things that could go wrong when a person uses a condom.)

At the end the board looks like a spider web with many names connecting to different lines. The class quickly becomes aware that if you have multiple sexual partners, you not only have sex with that person but with everyone else that person has had sex with and whomever those people had sex with and so on . . .

The instructor then brings up to the front of the class the student that refused to participate in the activity. This person abstained from having sex. This person has a 100% guarantee that he or she will not be affected by any type of STD or risk the chance of becoming pregnant since this person abstained from having sex.

Assessment Ideas:

Ask students how they felt as the web grew larger and larger and they found out these were all related to a disease that is passed from person to person through sexual intercourse.

Discuss with students some things that may go wrong with improper use of a condom.

Submitted by Rob  Graner who teaches at Etowah High School in Woodstock , GA . Thanks for contributing to PE Central! Posted on PEC: 11/27/2000.
Viewed 131626 times since 8/24/2001.

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Let others know how this idea went when you implemented/tried it with your kids. Include any variations, suggested teaching tips, positive comments, etc. so others can benefit from your tips. Please be helpful and positive with all comments. Look below to see all posted comments.



Previous Comments:


My only issue with this activity is that the abstinence-only ideal that is represents at the end is not realistic, helpful to actually preventing pregnancies or STDs (according to much research), and not sex-positive. Other than that, it is a great activity.

Rob Graner

it has been over 15 years since I posted this lesson and I still use it each semester. Every year I get the same involvement where kids are engaged as they learn about the possible outcomes of having unprotected sexual intercourse. This lesson and peppermint patty day are the two lessons that all my students remember even as they have become adults. Now I am on year 25 of teaching at the same school and have second generations of kids coming through the parents ask me if I still teach this lesson. It amazes me that they still remember it after many years ago and all the other lessons that they must have sat through in their education careers.


I just wanted to add that just NOT engaging in these activities is no the only positive solution. That is faulty thinking. These are 9-12 graders we are talking about so we must be responsible and remember there will be a given number of students that will participate. And, that is natural and for them we need to be ready to provide additional resources such as how to use a condom, how to deal with STD's and also contact information to the nearest clinic for any questions we cannot answer

Dale Ogle

I am a Grade six teacher who taught my students the causes and effects of stds.This activity was helpful to me in getting the message over to my students.They were all excited and i was able to get full participation from them.


This sounds like a great activity to do. Is there anywhere I can find a visual example of what it would look like on the board? I would greatly appreciate the help. Thanks.


This is good

T. Moore

This is the most graphic way explaining the spread of STD's I've ever come across and it's so simple. Thank you for sharing.

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