Activity of the Month

 Making a Period Bracelet

Objective:  Girls will have the opportunity to learn about the menstrual cycle while making a colorful bracelet.

Materials:

Steps:

Distribute bracelet making materials to the students.

Discuss the process of menstruation

  • Normal experience
  • The woman’s body produces an egg monthly
  • Uterus must prepare for growth of a baby if fertilization occurs
  • Hormones from ovaries send message to uterus to grow a thick, soft lining of tissue and blood
  • This lining contains nutrients that would be needed to nourish the egg and sperm if fertilization occurs
  • If the egg is not fertilized in the fallopian tube, the lining is not needed to nourish a baby, so a message from ovary (by hormone) tells the uterus to shed the lining
  • It usually takes 5-7 days to shed lining – this is called menstruation
  • Once the lining is completely shed, a new lining begins to grow and the process starts all over again.

Assemble bracelet!

  • Have each student tie one bead to the end of their string. This will prevent all the other beads from slipping off the bracelet during production.
  • Students place 5 red beads on their string. These represent the 5 days of the menstrual period. Day one of the menstrual period starts the new cycle of egg development.
  • Students place 8 green beads on the string. These 8 beads represent the development of the uterine lining. The egg is also continuing to mature in the ovary. Hormones released from the ovaries cause these changes. (estrogen, follicle stimulating hormone)
  • Students place 1 yellow bead on the string. This represents ovulation. The egg is now mature and is released form the ovary to await sperm and the process of fertilization. The lutenizing hormone causes this to happen. The egg will be viable for 24-36 hours.
  • Students place 14 blue beads on the string. These beads represent the fluffy uterine lining that awaits the fertilized egg. A hormone from the ovary (progesterone) helps maintain this lining for 14 days. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining is shed and the menstrual period starts all over.
  • Have students tie the ends of their bracelets together. The extra bead that was tied on at the beginning can be cut away and discarded/recycled. It is not part of the bracelet.

Special notes:

  • This bracelet is only representative of a 28 day cycle. Many women, and in particular teens, have cycles that are shorter or longer than 28 days. Also teens tend to have irregular cycles.
  • If the person making the bracelet knows that they always have a 32 day cycle, changes can be made to the number of green beads. Ovulation ALWAYS occurs 14 days before the start of the next menstrual period. Adding 4 green beads to the bracelet will represent this person’s 32 day cycle accurately.
  • Also, this bracelet assumes a 5 day menstrual period. Not all periods have a 5 day long discharge of blood. If the period is shorter, the person can replace red beads with green ones, or vice versa if longer.