Lesson 1 covers three main topics:
- Introduce the concept of body safety
- Understand the kinds of situations we are comfortable and uncomfortable with
- Understand that by listening to our thoughts, emotions and how our body feels, we can know when we feel uncomfortable and take action.
Students are read a key text (‘My Body Is Mine’) aloud. Afterwards, discussion time and student reflection on the messages of the book is undertaken via the teacher highlighting key phrases and concepts and asking questions. Of particular note is a section of the book where the main character identifies that certain things are “his and his alone”, such as his toothbrush and backpack. Students begin to consider different situations in which they feel comfortable and uncomfortable. Each student completes a classification activity where they investigate things/events that make them feel comfortable and/or uncomfortable. Finally, students compare their classifications with one another and understand that different people are comfortable with different things/events, but that we can all take action to be safe and body smart.
List of the scenarios used in the classification activity in Lesson 1:
Photos of the classification activity from Lesson 1
Lesson 2 covers three main topics:
- Revisit the concept of comfortable and uncomfortable feelings: how do we know when we are feeling uncomfortable?
- Understand what we mean when we say that some parts of the body are private
- Reflect on ‘red flag’ or ‘alarm bell’ feelings and how to take action to communicate these feelings with a trusted adult.
Students review the topics covered in the previous lesson and discussion time is allocated to more deeply consider comfortable and uncomfortable feelings. Taking this understanding further, students are told that when we feel uncomfortable this is like an alert sounding inside ourselves that we need to listen to (just like a fire alarm ringing). Students will use their whiteboard tables to draw an outline of a human body and draw and write where they might feel their “alarms” ringing (e.g. “my heart beats fast” or “my stomach feels like it is churning”, “I get tears in my eyes”). Student conduct a gallery walk around the room, looking at their classmate’s work and are given a chance to change or add to their drawing with any new ideas discovered. Finally, students are read a key text (“I Said NO!” A kid-to-kid guide to keeping private parts private). This text uses visual imagery of ‘red flag and green flag’ feelings. Students are encouraged to choose their own way of thinking about uncomfortable feelings (whether it be an alarm, flags or something else).
Lesson 3 covers three main topics:
- Revisit the importance of communicating ‘red flag’ feelings to a trusted adult
- Understand that some secrets should never be kept
- Internalize the simple message of “No”, Go, Tell
Referring back to Lesson 1, students are asked to consider the line in the book that said: “most people are very kind and safe, but there are people who are not safe to be around”. In partners, can students think of three types of people who are not safe to be around? Because Grade 3 students typically talk about generic ‘strangers’, the instructor will continue to ask probing questions to take student thinking further. Studies have shown that the majority of child abuse is perpetrated by an adult or older child that is already known to the victim, so extending thinking beyond the simple concept of ‘strangers’ is important. Referring again to Lesson 2, students are reminded about their ‘alarms’, ‘red flags’ and to listen to their feelings. Students are told that sometimes they might feel uncomfortable, even with someone who is not a stranger. The key text ‘Do You Have a Secret?’ is read and time for discussion is provided at the end and during the reading. Finally, students draw three small ‘business cards’ to internalize the simple action statement of “NO”, Go, Tell.
Note: In Grade 3 the scientific names for body parts are not explicitly taught within the planned structure of the lessons. If, during discussion, students ask questions or themselves begin to speak about male and female genitalia the instructor will use only the correct terminology for the body parts being discussed. We encourage all parents to use correct terminology with their children from a young age, because experts feel that this helps empower children and de-stigmatizes these parts of the body. This contributes to the protection of children because they are hopefully more likely to be able to enact the protective behaviors taught during the Body Smart lessons with confidence, or speak clearly and precisely to trusted adults about any issues that may occur.