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close this bookSchool Health Education to Prevent AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) : Teachers' Guide (UNESCO - WHO, 1994, 117 p.)
close this folderUnit 2. Responsible behaviour: delaying sex
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1 Reasons to say NO - Reasons for delaying sex
View the document2 To delay or not to delay (a, b) - Case Study - Reasons for and against sex
View the document3 “Lines” and more “lines” - Pressure to have sex
View the document4 Guidelines: help to delay sex - Help for delaying sex
View the document5 What to do? - Case studies on sex for delaying sex
View the document6 Affection without sex? - Alternatives to sexual intercourse
View the document7 What’s next? - Ranking physical activities
View the document8 Am I assertive? - Definition of passive, aggressive, and assertive behaviours
View the document9 Who’s assertive? - Case studies - types of behaviours
View the document10 Assertive messages - Four steps to assertive behaviour
View the document11 Your assertive message (class) - Four steps to assertive behaviour
View the document12 Your assertive message (individual) - Four steps to assertive behaviour
View the document13 Responding to persuasion (demonstration) - How to refuse, delay, bargain
View the document14 Responding to persuasion (class activity) - How to refuse, delay, bargain
View the document15 Responding to persuasion (individual) - How to refuse, delay, bargain
View the document16 You decide - Activity on gender differences
View the document17 Dealing with threats and violence - Case study on violence in dating
View the document18 Being assertive every day - Take-home activity on being assertive

(introduction...)


Figure

1 Reasons to say NO - Reasons for delaying sex

Purpose

It is important for students to know a variety of reasons for delaying sex.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide each student with an activity sheet so that everyone can do the activity.

b) Write the activity on the blackboard and have students do it on a plain piece of paper (only one activity sheet needed).

2. Have students choose the four reasons they think young people usually have for delaying sexual intercourse.

3. Take a poll, by show of hands and discuss with the students the top three or four reasons for delaying sex. You might want to ask:

a) Why they chose each reason as the top three or four.

b) Do they think their reasons might change as they get older? How?

c) Which of the four would be the best or most important reason (take another vote) and why?

Additional preparation

Depending on your community, there may be other reasons for delaying sex than those listed in this activity. If so, you should include these in the list.

2 To delay or not to delay (a, b) - Case Study - Reasons for and against sex

Purpose

Students should be provided with an opportunity to explore reasons for having sex or not having sex.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide each student in the class with an activity sheet and have them follow the instructions individually, in pairs or in small groups.

b) Read the story of Stoli and Yarmella and ask students to evaluate, as you read them, each reason for saying “yes” as 0 = poor reason, or 1 = good reason. Do the same thing for reasons for Stoli and reasons for Yarmella to say “no”. (Only one activity sheet needed.)

2. Encourage discussion by asking the questions in “Teacher asks”. You will probably have to poll the class to determine the answers to some of these questions. Answers will vary from person to person and class to class.

Additional preparation

Try not to moralize or push students into making a decision that you think is right or proper. This will often cause students to rebel and take the opposite point of view. They should make their own decisions without pressure.

3 “Lines” and more “lines” - Pressure to have sex

Purpose

Students need practice in responding to typical arguments that are used to pressure individuals to have sex.

What the teacher does

Notice that for every reason for not having sex (in activity 1 and 2 - unit 2), lines have been invented to persuade someone to forget their reasons and say “yes” to sex.

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Distribute an activity sheet to each student to complete individually, in pairs or in small groups. You may decide to divide the students into two groups so that each group only does 5 lines.

b) Draw 10 question and answer “bubbles” on the board. Discuss an answer to each one and have a student place the best response in the “bubble” (only one activity sheet needed). You would need to put the list of “possible responses” on the blackboard.

c) Divide the class into small groups - assign 5 lines to a group and have them decide on the best response (only one activity sheet per group is needed).

2. Add to the list of possible responses by asking students to suggest “lines” that they have heard.

3. Place the best response for each “line” in the appropriate bubble. There may be more than one good response.

4. Discuss or role-play.

a) The best way to make your response - verbally and non-verbally?

b) Try role-playing 5 or 6 responses by having two people say the “lines” and responses. Talk about the verbal and non-verbal actions of the role-players.

What the peer leader(s) does

· Be in charge of a small group.
· Draw the “bubbles” on the blackboard (if that method is used).
· Role-play the lines and responses to the lines.

Additional preparation

Teachers should decide on appropriate responses for each line before doing this activity with students.

4 Guidelines: help to delay sex - Help for delaying sex

Purpose

Students need to know that they are not alone in delaying sex. They x also need help in their decision to delay sex.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide an activity sheet for each student and have them do the activity individually.

b) Read each “Help for delaying sex” and have students put an “E” for easy to do and “D” for difficult to do (only one activity sheet needed).

c) Write the activity on the blackboard and have students complete it individually (only one activity sheet needed).

2. Discuss the following:

a) Which ones did the students find difficult? Why were they difficult?
(Answers will differ from student to student.)

b) Which of the guidelines would be best to avoid unwanted sex with a friend?
(Answers could include many of the guidelines.)

c) Which guidelines would be most useful for selecting who to go out with?
(Answers will differ from student to student.)

d) Which guidelines would be most helpful for a first date?
(Answers will vary but the first six would be important.)

e) Which guidelines would you use if you really didn’t want to date at this time in your life?
(Answers 1, 7, 8 would be important.)

Additional preparation

It would be important to review the above questions to decide what answers would be acceptable for each question.

5 What to do? - Case studies on sex for delaying sex

Purpose

Students need to practice using the guidelines for delaying sex in real-life situations.

What the teacher does

1. Decide on a method for doing this activity.

a) Provide an activity sheet for each student and have them work individually, in pairs or in small groups.

b) Write the list “Help for delaying sex” on the blackboard and then read aloud each situation. Ask students to select the 3 best ways (from the list on the board) of helping the person in each situation (only one activity sheet needed).

c) Divide students into small groups and provide one sheet for each group (only one sheet per group needed).

Note: If you need more time for this activity you might have one third of the class or groups do one situation each.

2. Provide the answers for each situation. These may vary from group to group and student to student and are only suggested answers.

· Situation 1
Help for Jeline

1) Decide how far you want to “go” (your sexual limits) before being in a pressure situation.
2) Be honest from the beginning, by saying you do not want to have sex.
3) Decide your alcohol limits before being in a pressure situation.

· Situation 2
Help for Romain

1) Avoid going to someone’s room (or house) when there is no one else there.
2) Be honest from the beginning by saying you do not want to have sex.
3) Pay attention to your feelings; when a situation becomes uncomfortable, leave.

· Situation 3
Help for Nadino

1) Do not accept presents and money from people whom you do not know very well.
2) Avoid secluded places where you could not get help.
3) Be honest from the beginning, by saying you do not want to have sex.

3. Have students select three guidelines that would be most useful personally for them (answers will vary from student to student).

What the peer leader(s) does

· Write the activity on the blackboard (if that method is used).
· Be a group leader and report back to the class (if that method is used).

What should be done by parent(s)
(if a Parents’ Guide is used):

Students might take this activity home and read and/or discuss the situations and answers with their parents (if each student is given an activity sheet).

Additional preparation

Teachers might want to decide on other (than those given here) acceptable answers for each situation, before doing this activity with students.

6 Affection without sex? - Alternatives to sexual intercourse

Purpose

It is unreasonable to expect young people not to show affection (both physical and emotional) during this stage of their lives. It is important to provide alternative activities for those who wish to delay sex.

What the teacher does

Special concern:

· Students may suggest some physical activities during this exercise that may be difficult to talk about, i.e. oral sex, masturbation, petting with or without clothes, body rubbing with or without clothes.

· Be prepared to use local slang with the students.

1. Decide how to teach this strategy.

a) Form pairs or small groups in the classroom and provide each pair/group with one activity sheet.

b) Draw the activity on the board and have students work in pairs or small groups to complete the task.

2. Look at ways of showing affection.

Ask the students to look at the list of ways of showing affection shown in the first heart. Then have them discuss in pairs or small groups other ways of showing affection. Their suggestions may be written on the blackboard and the class may discuss together whether or not they are safe and acceptable (i.e. do not put a person at risk for HIV/AIDS/STD). When agreement has been reached on this, the students may write in the second heart their preferred suggestions for ways of showing affection without sex. You might expect some of the more physical affections to include: touch on the shoulder; kissing; open-mouth kissing; petting while clothed (above and below the waist); mutual masturbation; body-to-body rubbing (clothed and without clothing); oral sex, etc. Students may use quite a different language in trying to express these physical affections.

3. Ask the following questions:

a) Why is it important for young people to show affection without sex?

It is important because it: promotes healthy communication; reduces the chance of HIV/STD; reduces the risk of pregnancy; promotes respect for self and partner; reduces the risk of unwanted sex; provides acceptance, warmth and touch to another person and yourself.

b) Is it important to discuss this topic with a partner? Why or why not?

Yes, but it might cause embarrassment or it might end a relationship.

c) What would make it easier to discuss this with a partner?

If there was respect, trust and openness in both people; if it was discussed before being in an emotional and sexual situation.

7 What’s next? - Ranking physical activities

Purpose

Physical affection can be very sexually arousing. The more sexually arousing the activity is, the more likely it will eventually lead to sex. Establishing limits, and knowing when to express these limits is very important for young people.

You may want to use the image of the mountain (see students’ activities 2.7) in order to illustrate to students that the more physical one gets, the more difficult it is to stop. In this image, sexual arousal is shown as a continuum from least physical to most physical, and students are asked to place various sexual behaviours at different levels on this continuum.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide each student with an activity sheet and have them work individually, in pairs or in small groups.

b) Draw the activity on the blackboard and have a class discussion as to where the various sexual behaviours should be placed (only one activity sheet needed).

c) Provide one activity sheet for each group and do the activity in small groups.

2. Check the answers to the mountain climbing. Explain the concept to the students (see box above).

1) Holding hands - Least physical
2) Hugging
3) Dry kissing
4) Deep (wet) kissing
5) Touching breasts and/or genitals on top of clothes
6) Touching breasts and/or genitals under clothes
7) Body rubbing with no clothes - Most physical next to sexual intercourse

3. Discuss the answers to the questions in “Teacher asks”.

1) Why is it hard to stop as you get closer physically?
Curiosity and sexual desire put pressure on the couple to move to the next step. It is hard to stop and certainly very difficult to go back a step.

2) Would it be easy to go back to a safer activity? Why or why not?
For most people it would be difficult to go back a step. Strong sexual urges, curiosity and risk-taking would probably lead one to go on rather than back.

3) Where do you think the limit is?
Answers will vary but it is very difficult to stop after 5 or 6. If it has been discussed and agreed upon by both partners not to have sex, then it is possible to set limits.

4) Who should decide where the limit is? When should this limit be decided?
If there is disagreement, one person may have to be very assertive with the other about where they want to stop. The best or safest time to do this is before you become too aroused, but you can stop whenever you feel uncomfortable.

8 Am I assertive? - Definition of passive, aggressive, and assertive behaviours

Purpose

Being able to describe and recognize verbal and non-verbal aspects of assertive, passive and aggressive behaviour is an important first step in learning how to be assertive oneself.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide the information sheet for each student. Read the words and demonstrate, using body language, the non-verbal aspects of each behaviour.

b) Put the words “Passive”, “Aggressive”, “Assertive” on the blackboard and ask students to describe verbal and non-verbal characteristics of each behaviour. Write these under each type of behaviour.

2. You might want to demonstrate or have students demonstrate the verbal and non-verbal aspects of each behaviour - using the verbal and nonverbal descriptions on the activity sheet.

3. You could add the following points to your lesson:

Passive behaviour

Assertive behaviour

Aggressive behaviour

Passive feelings

Assertive feelings

Aggressive feelings

· helpless

· you feel better about yourself

· angry

· resentful

· self confident

· frustrated

· disappointed

· in control

· bitter

· anxious

· respected by others

· guilty or lonely afterwards

Passive outcomes

Assertive outcomes

Aggressive outcomes

· you don’t get what you want

· you don’t hurt others

· you dominate

· anger builds up

· you gain respect for yourself

· you humiliate

· you feel lonely

· your rights and others’ are respected

· you win at the expense of others

· rights are violated

· you both win


What the peer leader(s) does

Peer leaders could be very helpful in suggesting additional characteristics of these three types of behaviour; and in demonstrating the three types of behaviours.

Additional preparation

Set up a role-play with your peer leaders that would demonstrate these three types of behaviours.

9 Who’s assertive? - Case studies - types of behaviours

Purpose

Being able to recognize assertive, passive and aggressive behaviour in real-life situations is important for a person who wants to be assertive.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide an activity sheet for each student and have the students work on the activity individually, in pairs or in small groups.

b) Read the two stories and ask the students to identify the behaviours of the three people in the stories (only one activity sheet is needed).

c) Place the students in groups and give out one activity sheet for each group.

2. Give the students the answers to the questions about the three people in the stories.

· Story 1

Rob’s behaviour is:

Passive

Why?


What said?

“I know you’ll think I’m crazy...” “Well, OK, I’ll go”.

How said?

Soft voice; low voice.

Body position?

Head down; hangs his head; eyes down; defeated.



Sulana’s behaviour is:

Aggressive

Why?


What said?

“You are crazy and not only that but you’re stupid too”.

How said?

Interrupts; loudly.

Body position?

Nose to nose; hands on hips.

· Story 2

Tana’s behaviour is:

Assertive

Why?


What said?

“Could we talk where no one is around” (privacy); Asks for feedback and takes other person’s feelings into account.

How said?

Calm but firm.

Body position?

Sits straight; looks person in the eye.

3. If time permits, ask students to role-play these two scenes.

What the peer leader(s) does

The peer leaders could:

· Work with a small group
· Role-play the two stories
· Write on the blackboard

Additional preparation

Teachers might want to prepare peer leaders to do a role-play of the two situations.

10 Assertive messages - Four steps to assertive behaviour

Purpose

It is important for students to learn the specific steps in being assertive and to practise these steps through behavioural rehearsal.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide an activity sheet for each student so that they can follow the four steps to an assertive message.

b) Write the four steps with the “words you might say” on the blackboard. Then, with another student (peer leader) role-play the situation described (only two activity sheets are needed).

2. Explain the four steps and the words that might be used, to the students. Point out that steps 3 and 4 - asking how the other person feels and thanking the other person - are ways of respecting and being assertive with that person.

3. Read the situation for the role-play and then act out the assertive message with another student (peer leader). Emphasize that in this role-play the person who is replying is accepting the assertive person’s message.

What the peer leader(s) does

Peer leaders should be able to:

· Help the teacher in the role-play by being the person who replies to the assertive message.
· Write the activity on the blackboard (if this method is used).

Additional preparation

It is important to practise this assertive message with peer leaders or other students before you demonstrate to the students.

11 Your assertive message (class) - Four steps to assertive behaviour

Purpose

By preparing an assertive message with the whole class, it is easier for students to prepare their own assertive message during the next activity.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how you are going to do this activity:

a) Provide each student with an activity sheet and have them fill in the “bubbles” as you do the activity with the whole class.

b) Put the activity on the blackboard and fill in the “bubbles” with the suggestions from the class (only one activity sheet needed).

c) Place students in small groups and provide each group with an activity sheet. Have the group develop ideas for step 1 and then ask for suggestions from each group. Select the best suggestion and have the recorder from each group enter that step in the “bubble”. Do the same for steps 2, 3, 4.

2. Read the situation at the top of the page. Also read step 1.

3. Ask students for suggestions for the first “bubble”. Take the best one and have the students write this on their activity sheet.

4. Do the same for steps 2, 3, response of the other person and step 4.

5. When the message is finished, role-play the message with a student playing the part of Adula.

What the peer leader(s) does

Peer leaders could:

· Be in charge of a small group
· Role-play the developed message with the teacher or another peer leader

12 Your assertive message (individual) - Four steps to assertive behaviour

Purpose

Students are given the opportunity to develop and practise their own assertive message.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity:

a) Provide an activity sheet for each student in the class and have them write out an assertive message individually or preferably in pairs.

b) Divide the students into small groups and provide one activity sheet per group.

2. Either assign a situation (there are four) to the students or let them choose their own.

3. Have them write out an assertive message for their chosen situation.

4.

a) Have the groups role-play the situations they have been assigned or have chosen.

b) Ask for volunteers to role-play their script in front of the class. Look for verbal and non-verbal aspects of their message. Be very positive if they volunteer.

What the peer leader(s) does

Peer leaders could:

· Volunteer to role-play their script
· Lead a small group (if working in groups)

13 Responding to persuasion (demonstration) - How to refuse, delay, bargain

Purpose

It is very important that students learn to deal assertively with people who try to distract or pressure them by persuading them to do something they do not think they should.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide a copy to each student to follow as you go over each section.

b) Read the various parts of the activity, putting the important parts on the blackboard, i.e., the ways to “get back on topic” and to “refuse”, “delay”, or “bargain”.

2. Read “Ways people get you off the message or do not accept it”. Role-play each line, e.g. “You’re just afraid.” Ask the students to provide other lines similar to the one read.

3. Show the students how to “Get back on topic” if they are distracted. Ask for additional ways.

4. Show the students ways to “refuse”, “delay”, and “bargain”.

What the peer leader(s) does

The peer leaders should be able to:

· Role-play the parts or lines used by the teacher in his/her explanation
· Put the activity on the blackboard

Additional preparation

Teachers should read this activity carefully and decide how they might demonstrate the various sections.

Purpose

Students need to know the techniques of an assertive message when someone is trying to distract them or persuade them to do something they don’t want to do.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide an activity sheet for each student in the class. Let them follow you as you explain the activity.

b) Read the activity and put important parts on the blackboard, e.g. the lines to use in order to refuse, delay and bargain.

2. Read each step and the persuader’s statements and responses. After each step, statement or response, role-play the words in the “bubble”. For example, step 1 - Explain your feelings and the problem: “I feel scared about driving with you when you have been drinking.”

3. When you have finished each step, role-play the entire assertive message once more, using a student volunteer (peer leader) to play the part of the older brother. Do the role-play three times, using a different ending (refuse, delay, bargain) each time.

What the peer leader(s) does

Peer leaders should be able to help you by:

· Role-playing the situation with you
· Writing information on the blackboard
· Explaining the refuse, delay, and bargain endings

Additional preparation

It is very important to practise this script with a peer leader(s) or another student before demonstrating it in front of your class.

14 Responding to persuasion (class activity) - How to refuse, delay, bargain

Purpose

An example of distraction and persuasion makes it easier for students to learn to deal with these problems and develop their own strategies.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity

a) Provide each student with an activity sheet and have them fill in the “bubbles” as you do the activity with the whole class.

b) Put the activity on the blackboard and fill in the “bubbles” with the suggestions from the class (only one activity sheet needed).

c) Divide students into small groups and provide each group with an activity sheet. Have the group develop ideas for step 1 and then ask for suggestions from each group. Select the best suggestion and have the recorder from each group enter that step in the “bubble” provided. Do the same for the other steps and responses in the activity.

2. Read the situation at the top of the page. Also read step one and the words that might be used.

3. Ask students for suggestions for step 1 and select the best one. Have the students put this in the first “bubble” on their activity sheet.

4. Do the same for the remaining steps and responses.

5. When the message is finished, role-play it with a volunteer student (or peer leader) three times using a different ending (refuse, delay, or bargain) each time.

6. Discuss the question; different answers are possible.

What the peer leader(s) does

The peer leaders should be able to:

· Role-play with the teacher
· Be in charge of a small group
· Write the activity on the blackboard

15 Responding to persuasion (individual) - How to refuse, delay, bargain

Purpose

Students learn how to deal with distracting statements and how to be assertive when someone is pressuring them to do something they do not want to do.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide an activity sheet for each student in the class and have them write out an assertive message to a distracting and persuading person, individually or preferably in pairs.

b) Place the students in small groups and provide one activity sheet for each group.

2. Either assign a situation (there are three) to the students or let them choose their own.

3. Have them write out an assertive message for the situation they have chosen, in the “bubbles” (as in the class activity).

4. They should read it to themselves, make changes and men read it once more.

5. Tell the students that they may be asked to role-play their situation in front of the class.

What the peer leader(s) does

The peer leaders can help you by:

· Volunteering to role-play his or her script
· Leading a small group (if working in groups)

16 You decide - Activity on gender differences

Purpose

Boys/men often have different ideas about delaying sex from girls/women. Most of these are old ideas and need to be changed.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity.

a) Provide an activity for each student and have them do the activity individually, in pairs or in small groups.

b) Read the statement. Ask the students to indicate if they agree or disagree. (Only one activity sheet is needed.)

c) Put the students in small groups and have them complete the activity (one sheet per group needed).

2. You will have to explain to the students that they should indicate “agree” if, generally speaking, they think the statement is correct or right for themselves, and “disagree” if they think that this is not the right way of thinking or this idea is incorrect or wrong.

3. Next, the students are asked to change the old statements into new ones by completing the unfinished statements.

4. After the students have completed the activity you should conduct a class discussion. The agree-disagree can be clarified by a show of hands. Ask students to volunteer their answers to the unfinished sentences.

5. Ask students to suggest new statements and choose the one that receives wide consensus.

17 Dealing with threats and violence - Case study on violence in dating

Purpose

Women, particularly, need to be aware of situations that may lead to violent sex and of people who may put them in those situations. They also need to learn ways of avoiding or dealing with pressures and threats to have sex.

What the teacher does

1. Decide how to teach this activity:

a) Provide each student with an activity sheet and have them work individually, in pairs or in small groups.

b) Read the story to the students and ask the questions under “Teacher asks.”

c) Form small groups and provide each group with one activity sheet to use for discussion.

2. Discuss the questions with the students. Possible answers are suggested below.

1) Do you think that Maria could have been aware of what was going to happen? What were the clues that could have told her?
Yes. Walking alone on a possibly deserted country road; Carlos flirting and talking about sex; going into an abandoned house; touching her.

2) Maria was silent and embarrassed when Carlos started talking about sex. What could she have done instead of being silent and embarrassed?
She probably should have been assertive and told him that she did not like what he was doing and that she was going home.

3) What should she do now? Keep it a secret? Tell someone she trusts (parents, teachers, religious leader)? Should she talk to Carlos about the matter? What might happen if she doesn’t tell anyone about the situation?
She has to make her own decision but generally it is a good idea to talk to someone she trusts. Whether she should tell the police and/or go to a hospital should be discussed with that person. She should arrange to be tested for STD/HIV (and pregnancy if necessary). It is not likely that anything can be accomplished by talking to Carlos. She may feel unnecessarily ashamed, lonely and worried if she doesn’t tell anyone.

4) List things you can do to help prevent violence and threats:

a. When you’re with someone who suggests having sex and you don’t want to.
Be assertive and tell the person in a firm manner that you are not interested. Leave with a friend. If possible, move to where there are other people. Phone someone if phones are available.

b. When someone becomes physical and tries to force you to have sex.
Scream; fight; kick in the testicles only if you can get away quickly; delay; bargain depending on the situation (if your life is threatened or a weapon is being used). Be very assertive.

5) What do you think about Carlos? Are there other men like Carlos? What should he have done in this situation? Why did he do what he did?
Responses will vary. If at all in doubt, he should not have tried to have sex. He did what he did because: he lacked respect for women and abused his physical power over Maria; he had a common male attitude that “no” doesn’t really mean “no”; and perhaps because she agreed to go for a walk alone with him in the country.

18 Being assertive every day - Take-home activity on being assertive

Purpose

There is a need to transfer the skills that are taught in the classroom to everyday life. Therefore, it is important for the student to learn to be assertive in his/her daily activities.

What the teacher does

1. The teacher explains to the students how this activity is done. Have the students develop their plan at school and practise it at home. Here are a few key points that you should emphasize:

· Tell the students the purpose of the activity - there is no sense in learning how to be assertive in the classroom if you don’t apply what you have learned to your everyday life.

· Explain that the “Personal plan” is a way of carrying out your plan, a contract with yourself and finally an evaluation of how you did.

· Have them select an assertive goal - get them to make their goal specific, for example, “to say how I feel when Susan puts me down.” Goals can include: handling criticism; giving compliments; asking a favour; showing you are hurt; giving your own opinion; making new friends; saying “no” to something, etc.

· The dates should also be specific, for example, “start on Monday, July 1 at 9 a.m. and finish on Sunday, July 7 at 6 p.m.”

· Benefits should also be specific rather than general. “I will probably feel better about myself (self-respect); get what I need, and still not hurt my friend.”

· Rewards can include many things - food, drinks, a trip, buying something, a holiday, telling someone special about what you did, etc.

· If the student signs a contract with her/himself, she/he is more likely to complete the task. Sometimes having a friend sign as a witness further reinforces the student’s motivation.

· Identifying obstacles that may get in the way of reaching a person’s goal can be of help, if plans are made in advance, in overcoming these problems.

What should be done by parent(s)
(if a Parents’ Guide is used)

It would be useful for students to inform their parents of their action plan so that parents could help students follow through with their assertive message. Students could take their personal plan home and discuss it with their parents.

Additional preparation

Students should be advised to try their assertive message with someone who is likely to be positive about their being assertive (i.e. avoid someone who might get angry or violent).