Rogers Park OWL – Curriculum Overview
The Rogers Park Our Whole Lives curriculum closely follows the curriculum published by the creators of OWL, with some exceptions:
- Some topics are not included or are included only briefly. The full curriculum is 25 sessions; we have followed the lead of Oak Park OWL in topic selection.
- Some workshop materials have been revised to feel more relevant to youth today; the last revision of the OWL middle school curriculum was in 2014. Though this is relatively recent, a lot has happened since 2014, particularly in our cultural understanding of trans youth.
Circles of Sexuality
The Circles of Sexuality are central to OWL’s understanding of sexuality. The Circles are adapted from a resource from Advocates for Youth. The five circles:
- Sensuality involves our level of awareness, acceptance, and enjoyment of one’s own or others’ bodies
- Intimacy is the experience of mutual closeness with another person
- Sexual identity is how we perceive ourselves as sexual beings
- Sexual health & reproduction focuses on attitudes and behaviors related to the sexual and reproductive systems, including health and hygiene, the health consequences of sexual behaviors, and the biology of producing children
- Sexualization involves the use of sexuality to influence, control, and/or manipulate others
At the center of these circles are an indivdiual’s values, which guide their sexual decision making and influence all 5 circles.
While subject to review and revision, the current topics in the middle-school curriculum are listed below. This is not a chronological list, and some topics will be combined with others.
- Body Image
- Bystanders and Allies
- Gender Roles and Stereotypes
- Healthy Relationships
- Media and the Internet
- Pregnancy, Parenting, & Unintended Pregnancy Options
- Relationship and Communication Skills
- Sexual Anatomy
- Sex and Disability
- Sexual Orientation, Gender Expression & Identity
- Sexual Decision-Making
- STI Prevention, Contraception, and Safer Sex