Interactive experiences in the #HealthEd classroom are always a hit, and this Sexually Transmitted Infections Dice Game from Andy Horne is no exception.
This post originally appeared four years ago on another blog that Andy and I ran and it continues to be extremely popular, and so it’s time to dust off the dice and re-post it here on #slowchathealth.
This activity is originally from National Teacher Hall of Famer Deb Tackmann and has been modified somewhat. Students will increase awareness of risk taking through a simulation activity, which demonstrates how easy it is to cause pregnancy or acquire an STI if one chooses to be sexually active and not use reliable forms of contraception. It reinforces the abstinence message and gets students to think about the positive and negative effects that peer pressure can have on decision making.
- Approx 20-30 dice (or one for each student, you can always share)
- One small plastic cup/die to serve as a dice holder
- A piece of scratch paper and pencil for students to record scores
- Candy or prizes (for the peer pressure part)
- Approx 20 envelopes, slips of paper labeled with the STDs you want to cover (feel free to have multiples for STIs that are more prevalent – i.e. HPV, Herpes, etc. – these slips of paper will be individually stuffed inside each envelope and will be passed out to students as their “STD diagnosis.”
The Dice Game in Action
- Each student gets a plastic cup with one die inside. They roll the die six times and record the number on the die in the order they rolled it. After six rolls, put die in cup and set aside.
- Go over the decision-making model using the decision to or not to have sex. Get student input on the consequences of abstinence, protected sex and unprotected sex.
- At this point remind/review classroom expectations. Explain that for this simulation, every time they rolled the die they were having unprotected vaginal sex. When one has unprotected sex they have about a 1 in 6 chance of causing pregnancy.
- Ask whoever rolled a 6 to stand up. These students caused a pregnancy according to our risk odds. Then have those standing who rolled more than one six to hold up their hand. Ask for comments from those who caused a pregnancy.
- Ask the 6s to sit down and ask those who rolled a 5 to stand up. Every time someone has unprotected sex their chance of contracting a STI increases. These students have just contracted a STI. It may be one we can cure or it may be one that we have no cure for.
- More than one 5? Yes, you can get more than one STI from just one sex experience.
- At this point I will give students an envelope containing their “diagnosis” and we will discuss each STI along with potential symptoms.
- Students who did not roll a 5 or 6 on the first 6 tries should stand now. Ask them if they would take a chance and roll again. If someone does, let them try one roll. If they still do not get a 5 or 6, I will offer them candy/prize to roll again. If the student continues to take the risk, continue until they roll a 5 or 6. Ultimately the student will lose.
- Often times the class pressures the student to take the risk and keep rolling.
- Discuss the outcomes and the “peer pressure.” The other students had nothing to lose. The student who had not rolled a 5 or 6 had much to lose. Did they care? If it continues, the student will eventually lose. Reliable methods of birth control and STI protection are the next safest method next to abstinence. But even those are not 100%. Only abstinence will offer sure odds that you will not cause a pregnancy or contract a STI.
Closure: Ask the following questions to make sure students have a good understanding of this activity and the major points.
It’s important to think about the consequences of having unprotected sex. It’s more than just a “yes” or “no” answer. Think about the Decision Making Model.
Beyond just the risk of pregnancy or contracting a STI, can you think of some emotional consequences that could come with being sexually active?
What is something that you learned or thought about more today?
Here are printable versions of the lesson and activity.