Teaching Tool - Healthy Relationships

This presentation teaches students about consent, as well as the factors that contribute to healthy relationships.

Target audience: students in Grades 8
Length of core content presentation: 50 minutes

Criteria Met

Grade Ontario Curriculum Codes
8 Grades 1-8: Health and Physical Education (2015) C1.4, C1.5, C2.4, C3.3

Goals

In delivering this presentation, the teacher will:

  • Create an environment in which students feel comfortable discussing the factors that shape relationships as healthy or unhealthy
  • Provide opportunities for students to think critically and practice decision-making to promote healthy relationships

Objectives

By the end of this presentation, students will:

  • Identify and distinguish qualities of healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • Understand what constitutes consent as well as how and when it can be given
  • Demonstrate the ability to reason critically in making decisions about relationships

Core Knowledge Content

Core knowledge content provides the teacher with the background information needed to prepare and teach this health class.

Learning Activities

  • Consent and healthy relationships (essential)
    Time: 50 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    Note: This presentation consists primarily of supplemental activities (My point of view, Road to relationships, and The Big Party). Ideally, the presentation will be delivered in its entirety with all related activities.

    Review the presentation prior to delivering it to the students, to determine which of the activities will be included in the lesson.

    • Deliver PowerPoint presentation, using prompts in presentation notes to conduct discussion throughout presentation, if desired
    • Ask students what they think makes a relationship healthy or unhealthy. Allow the students 2-3 minutes to discuss ideas with a partner.

    Variations

    • Follow prompts in PowerPoint presentation notes to incorporate supplemental activities (My point of view, Road to relationships, and The Big Party)
    • If desired, consult with the school health nurse to address difficult questions or to arrange a question and answer session for the class with the nurse
  • The road to relationships (essential)
    Time: 15 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Introduce the activity by explaining that the students will build a relationship 'step-by-step' according to what they believe are the best steps to follow in a relationship
    • Hand out the 'relationship progression cards'. Establish a starting point (likely Eye Contact) and ask the students to line up in the order they think is best with the cards displayed in front of them.
    • Lead the group discussion using the speakers notes contained within the PowerPoint or the following questions as a guide:
      • Does everyone agree that this is the 'best' order? If not, what could be changed? There is no 'right' way for a relationship to develop, everyone is different. Not everyone in the group will agree with the order the group has placed the cards. It is most important that the people in the relationship are happy with the speed the relationship is progressing. Communication and honesty enable couples to go at their own pace and to make changes in the relationship when necessary.
      • Will all relationships progress in this way? There are many ways that relationships progress & they differ according to each couples' values, beliefs and past experiences. It is also common for each individual in the relationship to want to progress in a different way and at a different rate. Again, this is why communication is so important.
      • Where does love fit into the progression? Can people fall in love at first sight? Does there need to be love before sexual activity? Encourage non-judgemental, open dialogue.
      • Have we built a 'real' or 'ideal' relationship? Do most teen relationships look like this? Is there a 'point of no return' in this progression? If a couple chooses to be 'sexually active' can they return to abstinence or 'less physically intimate' activities?
      • How long does each step take? Everyone is different.
      • Are the birth control cards in the right place? Chances are the group will have put these cards near the end of the relationship. Challenge them to put 'thinking about' and 'talking about' cards earlier.
    • Review with the students that relationships are not static. As a couple gets to know one another, new feelings, ideals, and issues can evolve and develop. Encourage students to communicate with their partners and be honest with their thoughts/feelings.

    Variations

    • Have students display the cards on the board or wall using tape or magnets
      • Distribute a card to each of the students
      • Place the first card on the board as a starting point
      • Ask students to consider their own cards and whether any of them think they have the next card in the sequence
      • If multiple students volunteer their cards, have them read their cards and have the class discuss which of them should be next
      • Have the student(s) post their cards on the board
      • Continue in this manner until all the cards have been posted
      • Proceed with the discussion following the prompts above
    • Have the students complete this activity in small groups rather than as a whole class
      • Provide small groups of students with their own set of Relationship Progression Cards
      • Have them work together to organize them in the order they think is best
      • Once the groups have ordered their cards, complete the exercise as a whole group. Whenever there is disagreement, use this as an opportunity to discuss the rationale and how multiple sequences can occur.
  • The Big Party (essential)
    Time: 30 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Bring up the slide that introduces The Big Party in the PowerPoint presentation
    • Divide the class into small groups and distribute one of the worksheets to each group, ensuring that there are an equal number of groups working on Her Story and His Story
    • Explain that sometimes things happen that you are not expecting - sometimes things get out of control
    • Have one person from each group read the story aloud to their group
    • Instruct students to discuss the story and complete the worksheet as a group
    • After groups have completed their worksheets, discuss the activity as a whole class
    • Following the prompts in the PowerPoint presentation, read the different sections of the two versions of the story and invite students to share their reflections
    • Continue the PowerPoint presentation to discuss the story further. Slides and speaker's notes will prompt you to discuss:
      • How the situation could have been avoided/could be avoided in the future.
      • Gender roles and sexual orientation in the story and how the story or our perception of it might change depending on the gender of the person in each role. Introduce the Genderbread person slide and further discuss the distinction between gender, sex, orientation, and expression.

    Variations

    • Continue the PowerPoint presentation, reviewing the definition of consent and showing the Consent Tea video (2 minutes 49 seconds)
  • My point of view is...
    Time: 10 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Place the three position cards around the room
    • Cue the 'point of view' statements in the PowerPoint presentation
    • Have a student read the first statement and ask the students to move to the area of the position card with which they identify most
    • Initiate a discussion with the students about the rationale for their choices
    • Repeat the exercise with each of the statements
    • If time permits, allow students to discuss what they learned through this activity
    • Encourage students to reflect on:
      • How a person's point of view might lead to miscommunication
      • The incorrect assumption of implied consent
      • When consent and clear communication are important

    Variations

    • Have students stay in their seats and answer using personal white-boards or position cards
    • Have students discuss these statements in small groups
    • Create a gallery walk, with a different statement at each station and have groups of students discuss and respond to one statement before moving on to the next station
  • What would you say?
    Time: 20 minutes

    Materials

    Instructions

    • Open a brief whole class discussion to review the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships
      • Recall the discussion in the Road to relationships activity, referring to the information in the Core Knowledge Content as needed
      • Optional: review the S.H.A.R.E. qualities with the students (see Core Knolwedge Content). Consider printing the acronym on the board or creating a handout. The students may have seen this acronym in Grade 7 as a part of the presentation on healthy relationships.
    • Inform students that in this activity they will be exploring some different scenarios and responding with some advice
      • Pretend that this is a classmate, friend, or sibling coming to you with a problem and asking for help making a decision. What do you see as the problem? What is your best advice for the person in question?
    • Read a scenario aloud and invite the students to discuss their reflections and advice. Consider using the following prompts for the discussion:
      • Are these people in a healthy or unhealthy relationship? How can you tell?
      • What advice would you give to the person?
      • What might the outcomes be? Negative outcomes? Positive outcomes?
      • What are some things the person should consider?
    • Encourage the students to recall the qualities of healthy relationships
    • Repeat with the remaining scenarios

    Variations

    • Allow students to discuss the scenarios in small groups
    • Create a gallery walk
      • Place a different scenario at a different station throughout the classroom
      • Divide students into small groups, each beginning at a different station to discuss that station's scenario and their response
      • After several minutes, have groups rotate to the next station and scenario
      • Once groups have visited each station, have a brief whole class discussion in which students reflect on the activity and on the scenarios
      • Optional: Include a blank sheet onto which groups record their responses at each station
    • Quick review: whenever time permits (5-10 minutes), revisit one or two scenarios to discuss healthy relationships and responding to difficult situations

Consult Your School Health Nurse

Your school's public health nurse can help you prepare for delivering this presentation and can assist you in developing engaging projects and extension activities. To reach your school health nurse, contact healthyschools@niagararegion.ca or 905-688-8248 ext. 7379.


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