Assignment 16 - Rates of Puberty Changes

Puberty is a time of rapid growth and development. Each individual experiences the changes of puberty at a unique rate. Often, the differences between students in the same grade eight classroom can be remarkable. It is important to recognize and accept that these differences are normal. You should learn to accept that each person has their own rate of physical, emotional, sexual, and social development.

Assignment 1 - Rates of Puberty Changes

Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about puberty for girls and boys. Here are some websites to help you find the answers:

Some words are missing from the answers and you need to fill them in. A word bank has been provided to help you fill in the correct words. To submit this assignment, copy and paste the section below into the Online Text Submission box or onto a Word Document. Fill in the blanks with the correct word and then submit your final response to be graded.

General Information about Puberty

1. Does everybody go through puberty sometime?

  • _________, everyone __________ go through puberty at some point in their life.

2. Is everybody supposed to change at the same time?

  • Everyone changes at _________ times, according to their own inner “body ______” or pre-determined ____________.

3. Do boys and girls change at the same time? Is it normal for many girls to be taller than many boys at our age?

  • Girls usually change _________ than boys do. It _____ normal for girls to be taller than boys at your age. Some boys don't reach their final adult height until _______ years of age, or later.

4. I heard someone say my friend was having a “growth spurt.” What’s that?

  • Growth spurts are when you grow ______ than ever before. During puberty, instead of growing about 2 inches per year, you may grow _____ inches or more per year. You may hear your family say, “You are growing out of your clothes too fast!” But, you can’t help it!

5. Why doesn’t everybody start puberty at the same time?

  • How and when we grow is not something anyone has control over. It is ____________ before birth. Whether you start your growth spurt earlier or later it will not affect how big or small you will be in the end.

6. What if I’m really early or late in starting puberty? I don’t want to be different.

  • Being different in body changes _____ something that can be judged as ______ or ______. No one has control over when or how these changes occur. It is like the colour of your eyes, or how fast your hair grows. It is not something anyone should ever have to feel bad about. Even if it would be easier to change at the same time or in the same ways as your friends, differences are a __________ and __________ part of life.

7. What if someone teases me?

  • It may mean they don’t understand __________, or they may be being mean. You could try __________ or even educating them. Or you could try telling a __________ and getting their support. If that doesn’t help, you should ask a trusted adult for help and support.

8. Please tell me all the details about puberty changes? Will I grow everywhere all at once?

  • Some parts of your body will grow __________, while other parts grow __________. It is different for everyone, but here is the usual order: first to grow is usually your _________. They can be full-size long before you are! Then arms and legs. Then back bone and other bones.

9. What exactly will make me “fill out?” What should I expect?

  • It is __________ to gain weight from increasing __________ and bone mass during puberty. In later teen years, you will also gain some __________.

10. Isn’t getting fat bad for you? Won't that make you unhealthy?

  • Many people have __________ ideas about body fat. Sometimes body fat has been thought of as “bad”, but this is not always true, and it is not __________. People are naturally pre-disposed with different _______________. When something in nature is “pre-disposed,” it is like eye colour—it is not in anyone’s control. Eating well and being active is most important. No matter what people think, one body type is not better than another - just different. Saying someone is “bigger” or “smaller”, “shorter” or “taller”, should only be a way to __________a body type, never a way to __________a person as “good” or “bad”, as if they were doing something “right” or “wrong”. This would be the same as judging someone because of their eye or skin colour. It is not correct or fair. Because so many people have incorrect ideas about body types we will be talking more about this in later lessons.

Puberty for Girls

1. How much can a girl gain during puberty?

  • While everyone is different, it is normal for girls to gain body fat during puberty. Girls may gain ____ pounds or more in one year. This is a normal part of growing up.

2. Why do girls gain more body fat than boys?

  • This is the beginning of the normal, healthy rounding-out of a girl’s body as she grows into a young woman. Nature ____________ most adult women to carry more body fat than most boys and men. This is part of a woman’s special design for bearing children, and it should not be confused with being overweight. It is __________ and __________ for a woman to have a more rounded figure than a man. Puberty is when this begins.

3. What does a girl’s body do with the added fat?

  • At first a girl may develop a layer of fat all over, like an extra layer under the skin. Then it will begin to be more obvious in certain parts: __________, __________, and __________.

4. Do girls get taller before they gain weight or rounder first?

  • Either way,everyone is different. Some may get rounder first, and only later gain height. Others may get quite tall and thin first. Some girls will remain very thin all their lives, whether they are taller or shorter. Despite what people think a very thin body __________ the most common or natural body shape for a woman.

5. Are there any other changes in girls that boys don’t share?

  • Girl’s ______ bones (just above her hips) very gradually begin to __________. This is essential for a woman to be capable of having a baby when she is an adult. Wider pelvic bones are one of the reasons why women normally have bigger hips than men.

Puberty for Boys

1. Aren’t men usually bigger than women? How can boys begin developing later than girls?

  • Once outward growth begins, boys quickly catch-up. Many boys eventually become __________ and more __________ than girls.

2. Is it normal for boys to gain body fat during puberty too?

  • Some boys become fatter before they get taller. However, as boys grow taller, they often stretch out into a taller, slimmer body. While there are natural differences, most fully developed men carry __________ body fat than most women.

3. What other changes occur for boys?

  • Later in puberty, __________ can become wider and eventually more muscular. However, boys usually do not __________ their bodies until later teen years. Then, they will begin to look less like boys and more like men. More than half of all boys will have some __________ swelling in puberty. This is normal and does not mean he is developing breasts. It will go away in a few months. Boys need to know not to worry about this.

4. What happens to boys’ voices during puberty?

  • When a boy’s voice box has grown larger, usually by age 14 or 15, his voice becomes __________. This may happen somewhat suddenly or in a gradual, less noticeable way. Some boys experience a __________ of their voice as they go through this change. Their voices may become high-pitched or “squeaky” unexpectedly.

5. Isn’t that embarrassing? What if a boy gets teased?

  • There is no reason to be __________, because it is simply part of growing up and is ________ normal. This is something that all boys will go through and it is mean to tease someone when it is happening to them.

Common Changes during Puberty

1. What are some things in common for both boys and girls?

  • Boys and girls grow hair in new places: first __________ and __________ hair, then on arms and legs, and for boys, eventually ___________ and __________ hair. Also, two glands become more active: oil and ___________.

2. What about the glands?

  • When oil glands are more active, you may notice your hair gets oily faster. Also, many kids have some ________ or skin acne when they are further along in puberty. When sweat glands are more active you may notice you ________ more. Also, perspiration may have a more __________ odour. When oil and sweat glands become more active, kids usually need to bathe or shower and wash their hair more often. You may want to ask a parent or guardian for ________.

3. It also sounds like different parts of the body grow earlier or later—even more or less than other parts. If some bones grow faster than others, or I’m adding body mass before I get taller— or the other way around—won’t I look kind of funny or out of proportion?

  • You will not look funny! It is ________ to understand that the way you grow in puberty may not be even. For example, your arms and legs may grow long, while your backbone is still short. Your ______ may be as big as an adult’s, even 2 or 3 years before the rest of you grows taller. Your ears and chin may grow before the rest of your face. For a while you will look very different than how you will end up. One day you may look in a mirror and _______ seeing the changes. Another day, you may not be so crazy about them. It may help you to know that many kids feel this way at one time or another. Most kids feel a little __________ or clumsy when some parts of their bodies are growing faster than other parts. Remember, you are not a finished product yet! That is why teasing about body changes is especially unfair and hurtful. This is not a time to ______ or worry about your physical appearance. It is a time to be _________ at the many wonderful changes your body is going through as you are growing up.