Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Prevention of STDs
Lesson 1
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Students research the names, causes, and symptoms of common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). They identify resources someone can turn to for help with STDs and propose and carry out a plan to teach others about STDs.


One 50-Minute Class Period, plus time to plan and carry out a service project


The learners will:

  • name common sexually transmitted diseases and research their symptoms and prevention.
  • identify resources for information and help, if needed.
  • propose a plan to help teens reduce their exposure to STDs.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

Students plan and carry out a campaign to educate others about sexually transmitted diseases, with a goal of reducing the number of cases of STDs in the teen community.


sexually transmitted disease (STD): an illness that has a significant probability of transmission by means of human sexual behavior


  • Chart paper
  • Vocabulary on chart paper made in advance
  • Magic markers
  • Lined paper
  • Pencils
  • Internet access and computers

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set

Tell students that "Nineteen million new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24." (This fact is from www.Dosomething.org where students can read other facts about teens and sexually transmitted diseases http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-teens-and-stds)

  • Define sexually transmitted diseases as "infections that are spread through sexual contact." Write the following acronyms on chart paper or the board: STD, AIDS, HIV, HBV, HPV, PID, HSV, and CDC. Challenge youth to work in pairs or small groups to come up with the full identification of these acronyms related to sexually transmitted diseases. They may use the internet to identify the acronyms (answers: STDs-Sexually Transmitted Diseases, AIDS- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, HIV-Human Immune Deficiency Virus, HBV-Hepatitis B Virus, HPV-Human Papilloma Virus, PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, HSV-Herpes Simplex Virus, CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • After ten minutes of group work, bring the class together to fill in the full names on the chart or board.
  • Ask whether they think teens would be less likely to get these infections if they had more information? Discuss.
  • Ask the students whether reducing the number of people getting these infections would benefit the whole community. Tell the students that taking action that benefits the common good is called philanthropy. Ask if they are familiar with the word. Many people think that philanthropy is when rich people give money. Use the definition, "philanthropy is giving time, talent, or treasure and taking action for the common good" to discuss that anyone can be a philanthropist and make a difference because everyone can give time or talent. 
  • Tell the students that sharing information with others to raise awareness of an issue is called advocacy. Advocacy is a form of philanthropy, or service to others. Discuss ways young people can share information (social media, video, writing  letter to the local newspaper, talking about it, displaying facts, putting up posters).
  • Organize students into research groups (two to four students) and assign each group one of the infections to find out what it is, its symptoms, and how it can be prevented and treated. They report information on the four facts through images and brief text on one sheet of paper. Give one group the assignment of finding local resources for where can youth get tested and treated and of finding statistics about teens with STDs in their community. When the research time is up, each group posts their research on the board. (Either the class walks by to read each paper, or the teacher projects each paper on the board.) Discuss the information found and discuss whether teen STDs is an issue in the local community.
  • Have a discussion about taking action at school or in the community to reduce the problem of teen STDs in their community. Ideas include creating information posters or pamphlets, designing a social media campaign, writing a letter to the local newspaper or a blog, inviting a speaker to school, or making pledge cards available to encourage youth to use appropriate preventative measures. Note: Students may need to get permission for their advocacy.
  • Discuss how different sectors of society--government, business, nonprofit, and family--may address this issue differently. What are the barriers for each sector to take action in this issue?
  • Assist students as they make a plan to address the issue. They should observe statistics before and after they implement their plan, take action, then report on their actions and the effect of their actions on themselves and the community.

Youth Voice:

Students use the information learned about prevention of STDs and their voice to make a difference in the community. Have youth committ to sharing their information with at least one other person.

Cross-Curriculum Extensions:

Community Resources: Invite a health educator or local intervention professional to speak to the class. This person can offer reliable information about disease and prevention. He or she may suggest effective and nonthreatening ways to communicate with others about the issue. The guest may also speak about the local statistics, identifying the number of teens with STDs. Discuss whether STD education is a local need. Also, the guest may speak about how different sectors of society address the issue: government, business, nonprofit organizations/volunteers, and families.

Reflection: (click to view)


Philanthropy Framework:


Ingrid, Teacher fT.Lauderdale, FL9/21/2014 4:27:32 PM

Thanks, great idea. I am a new Health Science teacher, and I will do this project over a 3 day period.

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Unit Contents:

Overview:Be the Change: Global Health Summary


Prevention of STDs
Hunger: Facts and Responses

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