Wednesday, March 3, 2010

HIV Transmission Activity: From the Students

EDIT: I have updated the HIV Transmission Game handout (which a number of people have downloaded!) in the original post. I tweaked something to represent condom usage that I included in my blog post while leaving it out of the PDF. You can find the updated link in the original HIV Transmission Game post.

After completing the activity in class with my 8th graders, I had them write a reflection for homework. My only requirement was that it be ten sentences minimum. Some students wrote less, and many wrote more. The first two examples below are in their entirety; the others are selected quotes.

All sentences are posted exactly as written (sic):

"Today's health class (Feb. 24) was very interesting. I could tell that the whole class pretty much liked that activity. It was different, we learned something from is without having to sit in our seats. It shows how fast and how easy it is to pass around HIV or any of that. In my opinion, that is not good at all. I don't know much about the stuff in this new unit, but I can tell that we will all learn a lot. HIV, STD's, and AIDS can be very dangerous. I hope everyone learns that so they will know. It would be fun to do another activity like this in the future."

"1. At first, I was wondering about some things in he activity.
2. When we found out at the end, I thought the activity was really messed up, but on second thought, what we learn in Health is usually messed up.
3. The activity surprised me at how fast and how much HIV can spread.
4. I got HIV from Peter, who got it from Jenna, who got it from David.
5. Even though I was surprised at how much it can spread, I doubt many people really "get together" with others that often as demonstrated in this.
6. I was partly scared too find out the only way to be 100% not to get HIV is to, not, you know, "get together."
7. If this is just the beginning, I don't think I want to know what we're doing next.
8. This sentence may be off topic, but I'm glad Mr. Bartlett said we're not going to see pictures.
9. It occurred to me that if a person has HIV and doesn't know, it could turn into a big problem.
10. One thing I want to know, though, is the difference between HIV and AIDS."

Note: I told them at the beginning of the unit that I would not show them any pictures of what STD's on the body look like.

"I liked how we were actual able to understand the material we are required to learn by doing it in a fun way, rather than out of a textbook or taking notes."

"The HIV disease never seemed very real to me...until now."

"It was fun because we go to get up and walk around but boring depending on what you got in your bag." (This student had the abstinence card)

"I thought it worked well, for after it was finished I had a lot more knowledge in the subject area. This is a little awkward to learn about, but it will be very educational."

"It's really creepy when you see the whole web of people."

Overall, the lesson was a success! Other students in the school asked me about the lesson during my lunch duty, and a teacher brought it up too. After we went over the discussion questions during the lesson, I could tell the students were thinking about what we just simulated. Hopefully it will encourage them to make good decisions in the future! I have received similar feedback from the alcohol simulation stations lesson in seventh grade.

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