Coming of Age Curriculum Series: Middle School Issues, by Linda E. KnodleLinda Knodle
Lessons for Middle School Issues grew out of the Human Fertility curriculum developed for the seventh grade. It strives to provide some of the life skills and knowledge needed by eighth graders who are looking toward high school. From the Author:It is clear to me that many students in middle school have a lot of misconceptions about the facts of sex, harassment, peer pressure and a host of topics tackled in this curriculum. I work in the classroom with these themes and believe our youth need knowledge and life skills that build self-awareness, self esteem and social skills. The book contains detailed instructions for preparation and delivery of fifteen lessons. The individual lessons are attended by resources, interview questionnaires and role playing scenarios. Carefully crafted, all the material in this book could be presented as faculty and parent education.The first four lessons bring the students to some facts and experiences that encompass the threshold of truly becoming an individual. We look at the elements of an individual and that individual's relationship to the other. The lessons show that success and self esteem is more likely if one works consciously. We sequentially dive deeper into the building of moral character and decision- making through real life scenarios played out by the students in modern day culture. We acknowledge the earthly life, the inner life and the spiritual life. The curriculum brings them to an understanding that maturity develops through experience and education and that adults have wisdom and experience valuable to them. During this first week a series of interviews take place between the students and adults to bring this evidence to the student.The next six days are quite intimate. We explore self image, peer pressure, levels of human relationship, intimacy, and personal boundaries. Together, we define love, romanticism, sensuality, sexuality, sex, choices, boundaries, and commitment.The third week we develop an understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment, addiction, eating disorders,and depression. The students share research of different legal and illegal drugsand alcohol including chemical makeup and the physical, socialand emotional effects of their use. Finally, students discuss their points of view concerning the etiquette of telephone, cell phone and computer.