P.E.riod Excuses by Jacqueline Wilson

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P.E.riod Excuses

Discover our short story, written by Jacqueline Wilson, and teaching resources pack, for a lesson or discussion with your pupils about menstruation, and the taboos that still surround it in many parts of the world.

Written by Jacqueline Wilson, illustrated by Nick Sharratt and narrated by Jodie Whittaker, P.E.riod Excuses is a short story about three young girls who try to use their period as an excuse to get out of P.E. But they soon discover that being able to talk about their periods openly isn't an option for girls everywhere.

With thanks to AntoineLock for animating Nick's illustrations.

My stories deal with the real-life situations children and young people face, and this short story is no exception. I wrote P.E.riod Excuses for WaterAid to help get children talking openly about periods, because such a normal, natural part of life shouldn’t be a taboo subject. I believe storytelling – whether that’s speaking, writing, film making, drawing, or anything else – is one of the best ways to address topics that might seem difficult to talk about."
Jacqueline Wilson

Lesson resources

This resource is made up of Jacqueline Wilson’s Period Excuses animation as the core stimulus, and a set of accompanying activities to draw out your students knowledge and understanding about periods. The activities aim to get everyone talking openly and learning from each other, creating a safe space and open dialogue.

Why talk periods?

Globally, every day, 288 million women and girls are on their period, yet around one in three don't have a decent toilet to use for changing safely and keeping clean. WaterAid believe that every woman and girl should be able to manage their menstruation in a hygienic way, with privacy, safety and dignity. We can't achieve this until we start talking about periods openly - stimulating important debate and real change.

The taboo around periods is still very much alive in the UK too, which is why we’re thrilled that periods are now officially part of the National Curriculum in England and Wales. This will help break the stigma, mystery and taboos linked to periods, by encouraging everyone, everywhere to get talking about periods.

Bring your session to life

Bring your lesson to life with a trained WaterAid Speaker, who can deliver a free online talk about WaterAid's work.

More about WaterAid's work

Find out more about WaterAid's work to tackle period taboos around the world.