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A Lesson Plan from Life Planning Education: A Youth Development Program
Purpose: To explore the advantages of various methods of nonprescription contraception.
Materials: Index card with ABSTINENCE written on it; male latex condom; foam with applicator;
vaginal contraceptive film; female condom; contraceptive sponge; pamphlets and brochures for each
nonprescription method; six brown paper lunch bags; newsprint; markers and other drawing materials
Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Planning Notes: Put each of the following nonprescription contraceptive below in its own brown
paper bag along with at least one easy-to-read brochure that explains how to use that method.
• "Abstinence" written on an index card
• Male latex condom
• Foam with applicator
• Vaginal contraceptive film
• Female condom
• Contraceptive sponge
A local family planning agency or the health department can provide you with brochures or
information sheets about these methods. If a female condom is not available in a local store, call
1.800.274.6601 to obtain a sample of the FC Condom (female condom).
Create a poster or overhead with the following questions:
1. How does the method prevent pregnancy and STIs and HIV?
2. What makes the method easy for teenagers to use?
3. Can teens avoid disadvantages? How?
1. Tell the group that each bag contains a sample of a contraceptive method available to teens
without a prescription, along with written information about that method. Go over the
• Teens will be divided in teams.
• Each team will focus on one of the nonprescription methods.
• Read the information about your team's method and answer the questions listed on the poster or
• Pretend you work for an ad agency that promotes your method of contraception. Design a one-
minute television commercial to market your contraceptive method to teens. Be sure to
emphasize what makes the method effective and easy to use.
2. Divide into six teams and ask each team to choose a representative to select one of the bagged
methods. Distribute newsprint, markers, and other drawing materials to each team.
3. Have teens work on their commercials.
4. After 15 to 20 minutes, ask teams to present their commercials to the group. After each
presentation, lead the group in a round of applause. Then, correct any misinformation
5. Conclude the activity using the Discussion Points below.
1. What is the most effective nonprescription method? (Answer: abstinence)
2. What is the biggest difference between condoms and other nonprescription methods of birth
control? (Answers: Condoms provide protection from most STIs, including HIV infection.
Male condoms are the only method designed specifically for males to use. Teens may also
come up with other differences. Write them all down and discuss any inaccuracies.)
3. By combining condoms with any of the other prescription or nonprescription contraceptive
methods, couples can increase their protection against both pregnancy and HIV and other STIs.
Why do you think that few teenage couples combine condom use with another method of
contraception? (Write down all answers.)
4. Why do you think people avoid condoms? (Write down all answers.) How can someone
encourage a partner to use condoms? (Answers may include, among others: Condom use shows
love and caring. Refuse to have sex without the condom. Make putting on a condom part of
5. How old must someone be to buy a condom without a parent's permission? (Answer: There is
no age requirement.) Are there any places in this community where a teen can get condoms free
of charge? (Have students list places to inquire whether condoms are available: schools, family
planning clinics, STI clinics, at the local health department, etc.)
6. What can someone do if she or he is too embarrassed to buy condoms in the store? (Answers
may include, among others: Ask someone else to buy them. Go to a family planning clinic
where condoms are given to clients, buy them online.)
7. How does a person decide which method of contraception to use? (Answers may include,
among others: The person's comfort level in using the method and how easy the method is to
use. The method's effectiveness in preventing pregnancy and STI/HIV. The method's
availability and/or cost. Whether the method requires touching the genitals and the person's
comfort level in doing so. The partner's reaction.)
Adapted from Life Planning Education, a comprehensive sex education curriculum.
Washington, DC: Advocates for Youth, 1995.