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Curriculum/Discussion Points
for Teen Dating Violence
Awareness Class – 8th Grade Level

Materials:

Additional Reference Materials:

AGO Web site and attached brochure.

Objectives:

  1. Students will understand their rights and responsibilities in a relationship.
  2. Students will be able to identify warning signs of an abusive relationship.
  3. Students will know where to turn for help.         

NOTE:  This module is designed to take 50 minutes, moving along at a fast pace to maintain the interest of students

Lesson Plan:

  • Introduce the subject matter (1 minute )
  • Hand out printed copies of Dating Rights and Responsibilities (1 minute )
  • Hand out printed copies of Teen FAQ #2 – Warning Signs (1 minute )
  • Read and Review each right and responsibility and warning sign with class to ensure basic understanding (10 minutes )
  • Introduce “Hands,” the 3 minute music video:  “We’re going to watch a short music video developed and produced with input and assistance from Washington teenagers and featuring three teenagers from Thurston County.  The video tells a story about a few minutes in the life of two teenagers - Jimmy and Susan.  After the video, we’ll talk about the story so pay attention to what happens.” (2 minutes )
  • Show the video – “Hands” (3 minutes )
  • Break up students into groups of 4-6, boys or girls only in each group, give them time to discuss the questions (below) in the order listed.  [Variation:  Break up students into groups of 4-6 without separating out by gender].  (2 minutes )
  • Instruct each group to start by choosing one person from each group to lead the discussion, one to take notes and another person to be the group speaker.  The leader will help the group reach agreement on an answer for each question.  The note taker will record answers on one piece of paper.  Everybody in the group will sign the paper so they all get credit.  When back with full class, each group speaker will share their group answers with the class.  Instruct students that they can refer to the Rights and Responsibilities handout if they need help answering any of the questions.  (15 minutes )
  • Back from Groups to Full class discussion – Go around the room asking each group speaker to give their group answers to the discussion questions. Teacher comments on answers as appropriate, using discussion points and additional reference materials for guidance. Give each group the opportunity to answer at least one or two discussion questions.  Teacher can ask for answers by group, one group at a time, or by question, one question at a time, according to personal preference.  Give all groups an opportunity to answer the final discussion question.  Teacher should ensure that all discussion points are covered during full group discussion.  Note to teacher: When you hear similar themes and answers, acknowledge and move on. (10 minutes )
  • Wrap-up – Have each student write a short, fast paragraph on what they learned in class today.  Before they start writing, tell students when they are done, you will read your paragraph and ask a few student volunteers to read theirs. After allowing a minute or two for writing, teacher reads his or her paragraph, selects student volunteers to read theirs and then closes class with reference to AGO web site for further information. (5 minutes )

Discussion Questions:

If dividing into same-gender discussion groups, there are two sets of questions:

A. One For Girls

  1. Why do you think Jimmy got angry?
  2. Is Jimmy wrong for being mad?  Is there anything Jimmy could say to Susan to express his feelings without getting mad?
  3. Is Jimmy’s way of expressing or showing his anger a problem?  Why or why not?
  4. How do you think Susan feels while Jimmy is showing his anger?
  5. If you were Susan, in the story, how would you want Jimmy to handle the situation?
  6. Is Susan wrong for talking to her ex-boyfriend when she is walking with Jimmy?
                       Why or why not?
  7. If you were Susan, would you have handled this situation any differently?  How?
  8. What could or would you do to help if you saw this situation?
                       What if you are friends with both Jimmy and Susan?
                       What if you are only friends with Jimmy?
                       What if you are only friends with Susan?
  9. How might these people be able to help Susan and/or Jimmy
                       friends
                       parents
                       siblings
                       teachers
                       school counselor
                       physician
                       police
  10. Do you think Susan and Jimmy have a good relationship?  Why or why not?

B. One For Boys

  1. Why do you think Jimmy got angry?
  2. Is Jimmy wrong for being mad?  Is there anything Jimmy could say to Susan that would accomplish the same thing, without getting mad and grabbing Susan?
  3. Is Jimmy’s way of expressing or showing his anger a problem?  Why or why not?
  4. What do you think Jimmy is trying to accomplish when he grabs Susan?
  5. If you were Jimmy, in the story, what would you say to Susan?
  6. Is Susan wrong for talking to her ex-boyfriend when she is walking with Jimmy?
                      Why or Why not?
  7. Is there anything Susan should have done differently?  What?  Why?
  8. What could or would you do to help if you saw this situation?
                      What if you are friends with both Jimmy and Susan?
                      What if you are only friends with Jimmy?
                      What if you are only friends with Susan?
  9. How might these people be able to help Susan and/or Jimmy
                      friends
                      parents
                      siblings
                      teachers
                      school counselor
                      physician
                      police
  10. Do you think Susan and Jimmy have a good relationship?  Why or why not?

C. One for mixed gender discussion groups

  1. Why do you think Jimmy got angry?
  2. Is Jimmy wrong for being mad?  Why or why not?
  3. Is Jimmy’s way of expressing or showing his anger a problem?  Why or why not?
  4. How could Jimmy have handled the situation differently? What could he say to Susan instead of getting mad?
  5. Is Susan wrong for talking to her ex-boyfriend when she is with Jimmy?
                      Why or why not?
  6. What should Susan have done or said when she saw her ex-boyfriend while out walking with Jimmy?
  7. What could or would you do to help if you saw this situation?
                      What if you are friends with both Jimmy and Susan?
                      What if you are only friends with Jimmy?
                      What if you are only friends with Susan?
  8. How might these people be able to help Susan and/or Jimmy
                      friends
                      parents
                      siblings
                      teachers
                      school counselor
                      physician
                      police
  9. Do you think Susan and Jimmy have a good relationship?  Why or why not?

Discussion Points:   (Teacher should ensure each of these points is discussed)

  • For boys- and girls-only groups, use discussion of #9 to remind and encourage students to talk to someone they trust (parents, teachers, school counselors, physicians, and friends). For mixed-gender groups, use #8 for this purpose.
  • Write contact information on blackboard.
  • Relationship violence often starts as emotional, mental and verbal abuse and escalates into sexual and physical mistreatment. [1 ]
  • A healthy relationship occurs when it serves the best interests of both persons. An unhealthy relationship occurs when it serves one person at the expense of the other. [2 ]
  • No one is justified in hurting another person (emotionally, physically or sexually) just because he or she is angry.
  • Some students may perceive the video as "funny" or "not serious". This is a great opportunity to remind the students of the actual definition of violence. Violence is "physical force employed as to violate, damage or abuse" or the "abusive or unjust use of power". Violence does not have to result in a severe injury or require the use of a weapon. Discussion with the students who think the video is funny or not serious will likely illustrate the purpose of this exercise. Many kids today are so desensitized to violence because of their extreme exposure to it in movies, video games and on TV. Many do not realize that most violent relationships that result in severe injury or death began by what is shown in the video - pushing, shoving. Violence in relationships does not get better over time – it just gets worse!
  • Review teen relationship Bill of Rights & Responsibilities from AGO website.


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[1] Teen Outreach Committee booklet, San Diego, California.

[2] Teen Outreach Committee booklet, San Diego, California.

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