Eighth Grade Family Life Education (FLE)

Year at a Glance

Grade Eight Instructional Objectives - Emotional and Social Health 

8.1 Students will review the emotional and social changes that occur during adolescence. 

Instruction focuses on emotional and social development, the increased importance of the peer group, and the effect of brain development on decision making.

8.2 Students will practice applying the decision-making process to situations related to adolescent development.

The decision-making process includes identifying the problem, determining alternatives; evaluating alternatives based on personal, family, religious, moral, and societal values; selecting an alternative that promotes the well-being of self, family, and community; acting responsibly; and evaluating the results of actions to learn from the experience.

8.3 Students will identify family and personal expectations of dating relationships and investigate the influence of mass media messages on dating and sexual behavior.

Topics include peer pressure, the explicit and implicit nature of media messages about dating, how teens are influenced by trends and fads, and strategies for dealing with peer pressure and media influences. It is emphasized that families and cultures may have different values and expectations about dating and that the age at which people become interested in dating varies among individuals. 

8.4 Students will identify that development of individual identity occurs over a lifetime and includes the component of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Instruction will include factors that influence the development of individual identity such as capabilities; areas in need of personal growth; understanding and accepting oneself; and the effect of gender roles and expectations on individual choices and emphasizes that while attitudes about gender roles differ among families, cultures, religions, and individuals, stereotyping individuals based on gender can limit opportunities.  Individual identity will also be described as having four parts – sex assigned at birth, gender identity (includes transgender), gender role, and sexual orientation (includes heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual). 

8.5 Students will explore types of exploitation and identify prevention skills, coping strategies, and sources of help for exploitation.

Types of exploitation include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and neglect.  Instruction will include the dangers and repercussions of using personal electronic exchanges or social media to engage in sexually explicit communications (includes sharing sexually explicit images).

8.6 Students will define sexual abuse, dating violence, and discuss prevention strategies, coping strategies, and sources of help.

Content includes personal prevention skills, avoidance of potentially dangerous situations, lures and techniques used by abusers, and sources of support. Instruction will include techniques and lures used in cases of human (teen sex) trafficking.  Emphasis is placed on the importance of telling a trusted adult (parent/guardian, teacher, guidance counselor, health care provider, religious leader, School Resource Officer) if you are concerned about your safety or the safety of another individual or if you or someone you know is being abused.

8.7 Students will demonstrate resistance skills. 

Instruction includes assertive communication skills and refusal strategies. Students practice applying these skills to hypothetical situations relevant to the teen experience. 

Grade Eight Media – Emotional and Social Health Education

The Right Choices: Skills for Life, Sunburst Visual Media, 1999. (17 minutes)

As they move into adolescence, young teens find themselves making choices that can affect them for the rest of their lives. Using true-to-life vignettes, this program gives students a clearer understanding of why some choices are better than others and why they need to take personal responsibility for their actions. It challenges them to think critically, weigh alternatives, and develop an ethical framework for making choices.    

Tricked: Inside the World of Teen Sex Trafficking. Fairfax Network, 2014. (36:18 minutes)

Three Phases of Trafficking:  Scouting Phase:  This segment focuses on the Scouting phase including places and locations where victims are “recruited” and what characteristics traffickers look for in a victim. Manipulation Phase:  This segment focuses on the Manipulation phase with insight into how traffickers draw victims in the teen sex trafficking trade. Trapping Phase:  This segment focuses on the Trapping phase and techniques traffickers use in order to make victims stay, including fear, violence, drugs and blackmail.  Tips on how you can protect yourself:  This segment focuses on how to stay safe – both in public and online - from becoming a victim of sex trafficking.

Grade Eight Instructional Objectives - Human Growth and Development 

8.1 (Gender Separate): Students will review the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during adolescence and identify and describe the anatomy and physiology of the reproductive systems. 

Instruction includes a brief review of the effects of hormonal changes on social and emotional development and focuses on the physical changes that occur during puberty. Topics include internal and external structures, erections, ejaculations, nocturnal emissions, and the menstrual cycle including review of primary amenorrhea and introduction of secondary amenorrhea (absence of menstruation after regular menstrual cycles have been established).

8.2 (Gender Separate): Students will examine and describe the process of human reproduction.

Topics include ovulation, fertilization, implantation, prenatal development, and childbirth. Instruction includes the stages of labor and types of deliveries. It is emphasized that the physical ability to conceive a child comes before psychological, emotional, spiritual, financial, and social readiness.

8.3 (Gender Separate): Students will describe causes, effects, modes of transmission, treatment, and prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Instruction includes the curable (bacterial and parasitic) and incurable (viral) STIs. Bacterial STIs discussed include gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis. Viral STIs include human papilloma virus (HPV), genital herpes, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV. Oral and anal sex are briefly defined and identified as risk factors for the transmission of STIs.  Sexual abstinence and abstaining from intravenous drug use will be presented as the only way to eliminate the risk of contracting STIs. Risk factors discussed will include the use of alcohol and drugs and their effect on decision making.

8.4 (Gender Separate): Students will describe the consequences of teen sexual activity and explore the benefits of abstaining from sexual activity until marriage.

Instruction includes exploring the reasons why some teenagers may become sexually active; discussing the physical, social, emotional, and financial impact of premarital sexual activity and teen pregnancy; and identifying positive alternatives to sexual activity. This includes making responsible decisions that are consistent with one’s personal and family values and supportive of personal health and the well-being of others. Students will learn to set personal boundaries and respect the boundaries of others through means such as consent.

8.5 (Gender Separate): Students will identify reliable methods of pregnancy and disease prevention.

Contraception will be defined.  Instruction will include information about barrier and hormonal methods of contraception including specific examples of each method, how the methods work, how they are obtained, and their relationship to disease prevention.  Abstinence will be emphasized as the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and the most effective method of minimizing the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted infections.

Grade Eight Media – Human Growth and Development Education

Human Reproduction and Childbirth (edited for FCPS), Human Relations Media (2010). (21 minutes)

Using animated graphics, this program clearly and vividly illustrates the biological functions of the different parts of the male and female reproductive systems.  It shows how millions of sperm race through the uterus and into the fallopian tube where fertilization occurs, and subsequently how the fertilized egg develops into an embryo.  Program also describes the basics of menstruation.  Animated graphics detail the different stages or trimesters of embryonic and fetal development.  The program also follows a young couple through the woman’s pregnancy, as both husband and wife describe the importance of good nutrition, sleep, low stress, and avoidance of alcohol and drugs.  The process of birth is described as a young couple talks about their joy at the birth of their baby daughter.

Teen Voices: Sexting, Relationships, and Risks, 2019. Common Sense Media (4 min)

Most middle schoolers aren't prepared for the risks associated with sexting and self-disclosure in relationships. As technology makes it easier than ever for kids to share photos digitally, the stakes have never been higher. In this video, your students can listen to other teens' honest -- and sometimes frank -- thoughts about their experiences with sexting, then consider how they might react in similar situations.