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Public and private body parts

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This lesson supports curriculum codes: 

  • ABLEWA Stage A (VCHPEP006)
  • ABLEWA Stage B (VCHPEP020)
  • ABLEWA Stage D (VCHPEP044; VCHPEP045; VCHPEP046; VHPEP048)
  • Pre-primary (ACPPS002; ACPPS003)
  • Year 1 (ACPPS016; ACPPS020)
  • Year 2 (ACPPS018)
  • Year 3 (ACPPS034)
  • Year 4 (ACPPS035)
  • Year 5 (ACPPS052)
  • Year 6 (ACPPS055)


This lesson introduces the idea that we have some body parts that are ok for others to touch and see and others that are not touched or shown. This concept is trickier than it first seems!

We have some body parts that are always covered such as bottoms and chests for girls and women, but that doesn’t mean that someone could come up and touch our neck or ears or put their fingers in our mouths even though these body parts are generally on display.  It is important to learn about consent for touching body parts.  The type of touch is also important (a dentist can touch your lips and cheeks but this is a clinical touch and it wouldn’t be appropriate for the dentist to stroke the lips). Some activities mean that it is acceptable to show body parts we wouldn’t normally display such as wearing bathers at the beach or getting a check up at the doctors. It’s important to teach all of these aspects and to talk through scenarios that have different social rules.

Foundation Knowledge for this lesson includes awareness of public and private concepts and basic understanding of covering genital and breast areas in public.

Generalisation Ideas

  • Sorting Activities: places where private parts could be shown vs places they are not; body parts you show at the beach/pool vs body parts you show at school; types of touch on public body parts that are ok vs types of touch that are not ok; professionals who might need to help with private parts vs those who do not.
  • Consequences: What should you do if someone touches your private body parts? What happens if you show your private body parts? 
  • Flipside:  What could happen if you touch someone else’s private body parts? What would you do if someone showed you their private body parts?
  • Consent:  what does it mean if you say ‘yes’ to someone touching your private body parts?  What happens if you say ‘yes’ but they do the wrong type of touch?
  • Social story creation: a story about when you do and don’t show your private body parts; a story about going to the dentist; a story about going to the doctors for a problem with a private body part.
  • Sequencing: steps to showing your private body parts in an appropriate place.
  • Be mindful of learning opportunities:  This is a very important series of lessons for vulnerable people to learn.  Use any opportunity in the natural environment to reinforce appropriate touch and exposure of private body parts.

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