High School Hidden Messages Curriculum

How Would You Summarize the Scope and Goals of Hidden Messages?

HIDDEN MESSAGES is designed to serve as an interactive lesson series for high school students that will encourage the development of their critical-thinking skills. Each lesson deals with a relevant moral or ethical issue that teenagers face or learn about via the media or surrounding culture. And students are given the opportunity to not only analyze these difficult issues, but also consider how they will incorporate their belief systems into their decision making and subsequent actions.

These age-appropriate lessons also examine the hidden messages that devalue life, encourage unhealthy behaviors, and discourage personal responsibility. Through discussion, role-playing, and media, students are equipped with information to help them consider the potential ramifications of those hidden messages, as well as real world solutions for addressing them with a consistent ethic that values human life.

While participating in the Hidden Messages series, students will incorporate skills to help them understand their own worth and the worth of others and make healthy decisions that will enable them to live meaningful lives.

Lesson Objectives

Sexual Activity: The Message Hiding in Sex Outside of Marriage

Discussion about practicing sex outside of marriage reveals two underlying beliefsthat we must evaluate:

  1. My present choices don’t form my future.
  2. Sex is about only my physical body.

Each student will—

  • Understand the beliefs underlying a decision to be sexually active
  • Learn about the possible results of the most prevalent sexually transmitted infections
  • Identify ways that present choices regarding sexual activity could form his or her future
  • Know that God desires to protect us from suffering the consequences of choices that will make our lives more difficult
  • Know that God invented sex
  • Know that real sex and marriage are inseparable because we’re more than just physical beings
  • Write three short paragraphs describing:
    • The hidden messages behind the practice of sex outside of marriage
    • Reasons for waiting until marriage to engage in sexual relations
    • The choices he or she is making about his or her sexual activity while in highschool and the thinking behind those choices

Abortion: The Message Hiding in a Woman’s Right to Choose (Two-Part Lesson)

The discussion of the right to choose abortion reveals two underlying beliefs that we must evaluate:

  1. The value of a life is determined by its capabilities and characteristics.
  2. Abortion is an easier, more compassionate solution for a tough situation.

Each student will—

  • Recognize the hidden messages underlying the abortion issue
  • Evaluate those beliefs based on the information presented
  • Feel confident in a life-affirming position
  • Feel compassion for those who must make a decision regarding a pregnancy
  • Role-play a conversation with a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy, helping herevaluate her choice to get an abortion
  • Take time (every day for a week) to think about the belief that the value of a humanbeing is determined by God’s creation of and value of that life
  • Journal about the choices he or she made during the week that reflect this belief

Physician-Assisted Suicide: The Message Hiding in End-of-Life Issues (Two-Part Lesson)

The discussion about end-of-life issues reveals two underlying beliefs that wemust evaluate:

  1. Life can lose its value when certain conditions are present.
  2. We’re obligated to make sure we never become a burden to others.

Each student will—

  • Understand the difference between euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide
  • Understand and evaluate the hidden messages that accompany end-of-life issues
  • Consider the value of living with a terminal diagnosis
  • Consider the value of a life—even when that life is totally dependent on others
  • Identify ways he or she can affirm the life of someone who is terminally ill or who hasdisabilities that cause that person to depend on others

Embryonic Stem Cell Research/Plan B®/In Vitro Fertilization:The Message Hiding in Early-Life Issues (Two-Part Lesson)

The discussion of early-life issues reveals two underlying beliefs that we must evaluate:

  1. It’s okay to experiment with individual human life if the end result seems to be morecomfort and happiness for humanity.
  2. Some lives have more value than others.

Each student will—

  • Understand that God creates new life at the moment of conception
  • Research the procedures involved in embryonic stem cell research, in vitro fertilization,and Plan B®
  • Identify the hidden messages behind these early-life issues
  • Consider alternative and compassionate solutions for the problems these proceduresappear to solve
  • Identify ways we could help people who are suffering in the midst of circumstancesthat seem to require a need for the destruction of early life

Relevant and Effective Communication: Creating a ConsistentMessage (Two-Part Lesson)

The way we communicate with others on the issue of abortion sends a message that should be consistent with our belief that all human life has intrinsic value.
Each student will—

  • Understand that relevant and effective communication:
    • Starts with an understanding of what it’s like to be personally affected by an abortion and a willingness to really listen to another person’s story.
    • Is informed by a knowledge of society’s perspective on abortion—both past and present
    • Is more credible when there’s a willingness to be a part of the solution to meeting the reproductive needs of women
    • Affirms the value of those who may not agree with us (the pro-choice person or the person who’s had an abortion experience)
  • Desire to affirm the value of human life through his or her communication
  • Role-play conversations using effective communication skills learned during the class sessions.

Use the following link to download the Scope & Sequence:

Hidden Messages Scope and Sequence