Friday, January 3, 2014

Love or just "In Love"?

This is a fun activity to review and gauge what the students know about the stages of relationships and identify healthy attributes versus unhealthy attributes in a relationship.  

The object of this first part is to show students how the qualities that make a good friend also are good qualities to have in a spouse.

Have all the students take out a half sheet of paper and separate it into two
columns.  Have them number rows 1-5 in each column.  In the first column, have them write 5 qualities they want in a good friend.   Give them about 5 minutes or so to write their lists.

After about 5 minutes, have some students share a few of the qualities they came up with.  List those qualities on the board as they share them.  Try to have the students list different qualities so you don’t have a lot of repeats. 

Now, in the second column, have them write 5 qualities they want in a spouse.  Give them about 5 minutes or so to write their lists.  Ask if their lists look similar on their paper?? 

Have some students share a few of the qualities they came up with for a good spouse.  If they share any qualities for a spouse that are already listed on the board, circle them to show that they belong to BOTH columns.  List any new qualities on the board as they share them.

This second part is for them to identify the different “stages” in a relationship and to sort out behaviors, thoughts & attitudes that relate to those stages.

(The students should have watched my vodcast on Stages in relationships or have notes on stages in relationships.)

You will also need to print and cut up a set of tickets with title cards for each group.  (I laminated mine so they are a little more durable)  You can also make your own to suit your needs as well.  You will also need the answer key. I have these on a PowerPoint slide I put up at the end but you could easily make an overhead as well.

Break students into groups of 2-4 and have them push their desks together into a table group to have a surface to do the activity. 

Give each group a pack of tickets to sort  and  have students put the three title cards (Love, Infatuation & Selfish) on the table.  Have each group elect a reader.  The reader reads each ticket and the group will decide under which heading to place it according to the “Phases of a Relationship” notes.

When completed, have the groups place the cards in numerical order based on the column they are in.  (Should be 10 tickets in each column – good checkpoint for groups)

When groups are finished, put up the numerical answer overhead and have student check their lists.  I have the students pay attention to how many times they had to switch tickets around.  It just gives them an idea of how well they can recognize attributes belonging to a phase of relationships.

Collect all ticket packs when finished

Virgin Orange

This is one of my favorites to bring home the point that virginity is more attractive and desirable than a bunch of experience.  Too often kids are trying to move way too fast relationally and sexually.  With the internet, social media, TV & movies; kids are getting bombarded with sex and sexual messages.  The pressure to be "experienced" and know what you are doing is huge on kids these days.  So many want to jump right in to things thinking they have to "practice" to be good at sexual activities and that is somehow 
more desirable.

This simple & quick activity really drives home the point that virginity can be more attractive and overall a healthier choice for their future.

Here is what you will need for one class period:

2 ziplock sandwich/freezer bags
2 Oranges (I also use grapefruits because they are bigger)


Have students stand in a circle or remain in their desks (either is fine)

Hold up one orange and talk about how this orange represents a person who wants to experience sex to see what it is like.  He/she went through health education class and knows how to be protected from disease and pregnancy so they use a form of birth control.  (place the orange into one ziplock bag)  

Explain that they really do not want to catch a STI or get pregnant so they are going to really play it safe. (place a second ziplock bag over the first

**at this point i always make mention of this NOT representing the use of 2 condoms or "double bagging".  Using 2 male condoms or 1 male and 1 female condom at the same time INCREASES the chance of condom failure due to friction, heat and tearing.  Latex on latex reduces the effectiveness of condoms all together.  I will then ask "so what could our two bags represent?" (BCP & condoms, condoms & spermicidal foam, condoms and the Depo Prevera Shot, etc ... ) 

Now show the other orange.  Explain this orange is also interested in sex but he/she decides to wait until marriage.  He/she stills enjoys dating, kissing, etc. but has decided to wait.  Place that orange on a shelf or a desk away from the group but visible.

Toss the bagged orange to a student.  When a student has the orange they must say something about sex either - good or bad.  If they say something good, they simply pass the orange back to me.  If they say something bad, they must toss the orange on the floor, pick it up and pass it to back to me.  This process repeats to about 4 or 5 people or until the orange is pretty beat up.  

(you can have the kids pass it around too, but I like being able to choose who gets the orange.  Some students may not be mature enough to handle the activity and some may be too shy to really want to be in that position.)

Once I have determined the orange has had enough .... I hold up the bagged orange and ask "What might all this damage represent?"  (Pregnancy and disease is out of the mix due to the "protection" it had and technically this orange is perfectly edible and germ free.)  

Ask:  “Now let’s say it is time for you to go buy and orange at the store and these are the two available.  Which one would you find more attractive and want to invest in?"

Ask: "how do we compare this activity to virginity as it relates to us?"  

Ask:  "So when it is time to get married.  Which orange is more attractive, the “experienced” one – hold up the mushy orange, or the virgin orange?”  Usually the students will see that the “virgin” orange is more appealing.

Say: “With sexuality, experience isn’t necessarily more attractive so what kind of orange do YOU want to be?There is also a lot of potential with further discussion too:  

  • What can the damage on the orange represent other than disease or pregnancy (orange was protected physically from germs)
  • Does experience make us more attractive
  • Virginity isn’t a bad thing
  • Sex affects us I more ways than just physical (disease).
  • Experience isn’t all it is cracked up to be
  • you may eat the experience orange for free ... but you wouldn't "buy" it.
  • Etc.
This is a great eye-opening activity that gets them thinking.  I often have had students come back years later and tell me they remembered that lesson!!  I usually use this one as my exclamation point on the sexuality unit.  

A Great Catch

I got this game from a conference I was at years ago.  I adapted it a little but I cannot take all the credit.

This is a fun game or students because they are doing something with equipment and it is a little different.  Everything in this activity is symbolism so it is useful to make kids do the activity using the pole and magnets rather than just picking cards.  I have used this activity as an intro and a closing activity.  Either way it is interesting to get kids thinking and talking about what is important in a potential mate.  the more mature the group, the better the discussion.

***This activity requires some prior set up and construction initially.  if you are looking to do this tomorrow you are going to be up late tonight ... ;-)  

First you will need to cut out a lot of cards ... I mean a lot!!  You may want to enlist the help of some students ahead of time or service aid kids if your school has those.  I laminated all my cards before cutting them out to make them more durable.

I also bought a roll of magnetic strip with adhesive on one side.  After cutting out all the cards you will need to cut a piece of magnet and stick it to the back of each card. 

I made fishing poles using dowel rods about 18" long.  I tied simple cotton string to the dowel and tied a steel nut to the end to stick to the magnetized cards.  

viola .... all your equipment is ready.  I used a glad sore & go container to keep all the cards in (I have a total of 8 sets)    

  • Great catch game cards (examples - feel free to make up more) with magnetic strip on the back
  • Dowel rod fishing pole with string and a nut
  • Great Catch record sheet

  • Have students break up into groups of 4
  • Each member gets a great catch record sheet
  • Each group gets a tub of quality cards and fishing pole

Spread out blue cards, face down, in the middle of the table (like "Go Fish").  this is called "the Pond".  Each member takes turns using the fishing pole to “fish” out a quality. 

They read the quality card and explain to their group where they would rank that quality in a potential mate based on the 4 categories (Crucial, Significant, Perk or tackle Box).

That group member then records that quality in that category on their record sheet and passes the fishing pole to the next person..

Each member takes turns “fishing” until all the cards are gone, or time runs out.

The group does not have to get through all the cards.  It is more important that they are communicating to the group where they would categorize that quality and why.

Lots of discussion points with this activity:
  • Why did we use the pole? (relationships take work and patience)
  • How does this activity resemble real life in relationships?
  • Don’t know what you are gonna get
  • Lots of qualities
  • Lots of thought goes into relationships
This game is a favorite in my class and really helps the kids learn some things about themselves and relationships.  

Match 'Em Up

This activity uses circles cut in half with relationship attributes on both halves.  (Click here for a template) The halves are cut in a unique way so only a half cut the same way would match.   Each of the circles have either positive attributes matching positive attributes or negative attributes matching negative attributes. 

Having students realize that in order to attract a positive person, they need to have a shape that” fits”.  If they keep attracting negative people, maybe it’s time to change their “shape”

The activity:  
In groups, give the students a set of circles and have them match up the circle pieces.  Once all the pieces are assembled  have the students make observations.  Have a few groups share their observations.  (Ideally you are trying to get them to see that negative qualities match with negative qualities.)  

Next have the groups rearrange the circle shapes trying to match a positive quality to a negative quality.  (the idea is a negative person wishing they could “match up “ with a positive person).  The students will not be able to make any of those matches.  Again ask the groups to make some observations and have some groups share.  By now they start to get it.

  • Ever notice that some people keep bouncing from bad relationship to bad relationship wishing they could find a “good match”?  
  • What does a person need to do to find  a “good match”?  (have the right shape)  
  • If I keep getting poor matches what do I need to do?  (Change my shape)  
  • A positive person is not going to stick with or change to fit a negative person very often.  
  • We need to work on ourselves not asking someone to change for us.
You could change the size of the circles, use different shapes and add different attributes.  it's the concept that is the important thing about this activity.

This is a great "Ah-Ha" moment for kids to see that they need to attract what they are looking for and if they keep getting "loser relationships" they need to take a look at themselves and make some changes.