All About Consent

Cute kids reading books on bench

Topic

All About Consent

Overview

Students will be introduced to the topics of personal boundaries and consent, and learn how to give, refuse, and ask for consent in different situations.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will learn bodily autonomy and begin to understand the concept of consent and boundaries in various situations.

Essential Question(S)

  • What is consent?
  • What are some ways to give and refuse consent?
  • How can we communicate our boundaries and show respect for other people’s boundaries?

Content Standards/Benchmarks

National Health Ed. Benchmarks

4.2.3 Demonstrate ways to respond in an unwanted, threatening, or dangerous situation.

National Sex Ed. Benchmarks

IV.2.CC.1 Define sexual abuse and identify behaviors that would be considered child sexual abuse.

Florida Health Ed. Benchmarks

HE.3.B.5.1 Recognize circumstances that can help or hinder healthy decision making.

HE.3.B.5.4 Find a healthy option when making a decision for yourself. HE.3.P.7.1 Practice responsible personal health behaviors.

HE.3.B.4.2 Demonstrate refusal skills that avoid or reduce health risks. HE.3.B.4.2 Demonstrate refusal skills that avoid or reduce health risks.

Back to school. Multiracial pupils of primary school are ready to study. Children in class room with teacher

Vocabulary

  • Consent
  • Boundaries
  • Respect
  • Safe/Unsafe Touch
  • Safety Voice
  • Circle of Safe Adults
  • Verbal Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication

Material List

  • Consent Lesson Guide
  • Consent Poster
  • Body Cues Spinner Template
  • Scenario Cards

 

Estimated Time Frame

30 minutes

Technology Tools

Printer

Lesson Description

  1. Introduce: Comfort Levels (See Lesson Guide)
  2. Introduce: Personal Boundaries (See Lesson Guide )
  3. Discuss: Consent (See Lesson Guide and Printable Activity )
  4. Discuss and Roleplay: How to Give and Refuse Consent (See Lesson Guide )
  5. Discuss: Body Language (See Lesson Guide )
  6. Discuss: Personal Boundaries Being Crossed  (See Lesson Guide)
  7.  Activity: Situation Spinners (See Printable Activity)
  8. Closing Statements (See Lesson Guide)

Teacher Notes:

Emphasize that students have the right to set boundaries at any time and for any reason, even with an adult. Remind them that they also have the right to change their mind. Giving consent once does not mean they are obligated to give it again. Remind students that it is never their fault if someone touches them in an unsafe way, and that they can always tell someone in their Circle of Safe Adults if this happens.

Smiling elementary school kids  in classroom

Lesson Guide

1. Introduce Comfort Levels

We all have things that make us feel comfortable, and things that make us feel uncomfortable.

Name some things that make you feel comfortable and safe. (Answers will vary. Possible answers: a soft blanket, holding mom’s hand, playing with siblings, petting my dog)

Name some things that make you feel uncomfortable and unsafe. (Answers will vary. Possible answers: a scary movie, people fighting, loud thunder)

Since we are all different and unique, we might not agree on what is comfortable or uncomfortable. Something that you are comfortable with may be uncomfortable to someone else.

Let’s think about this for a bit. I’ll name something, and you decide if it makes you comfortable, or if it makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Remember, not everyone will have the same answers and that is fine.

Thumbs up if you would be comfortable, thumbs down if it would make you feel uncomfortable.

Today, there is new food in the cafeteria (look for student thumbs).

Let students discuss their answers to the following questions.

Do you like being surprised with new food?

What is your comfort level with trying new things?

You are riding a new roller coaster that goes upside down. (look for student thumbs).

Let students discuss their answers to the following questions.

Do you feel comfortable?

What would make you feel safe?

Do you want to ride the roller coaster or would you rather wait for your friends at the end?

The show his older brother is watching seems pretty scary (look for student thumbs).

Let students discuss their answers to the following questions.

Do you feel comfortable watching this show?

What is your comfort level with trying new things?

You can see that everyone is different and that is okay. Your comfort level is one of the things that makes you special. You use your comfort levels to decide what you want to do. Only you can decide what your comfort level is, and then you can do what is just right for you!

2. Introduce Personal Boundaries

Now, let’s use our comfort levels to help us understand our Personal Boundaries. Personal Boundaries are the personal limits you set for yourselves, especially when you are around other people.

Let’s pretend that you have an invisible circle around you. Inside that circle are things that make you feel comfortable. That circle will grow bigger if you try something new and it feels comfortable and safe.

Outside of the circle are the things that make you uncomfortable. You don’t have to do things that are outside of your Personal Boundary if you don’t want to. Only you can decide what your Personal Boundaries are.

When people respect your Personal Boundary, they make you feel comfortable. But if you feel pressured or uncomfortable, that means that someone is crossing your Personal Boundary. You have the right to set your own boundaries, even when you are with grown-ups.

3. Consent Discussion

How can we let others know if we are comfortable or if we feel uncomfortable?

We can give consent or refuse consent. The word consent means that we give permission. So, if we give consent, we are giving permission for the person to do something. If we refuse consent, we are letting the person know that we are not comfortable, so they do not have permission.

We should ask for consent any time we want to enter someone else’s personal space. We need to ask for permission (consent) so we don’t cross their Personal Boundary and make them feel uncomfortable.

Let’s think of some times when we should ask for consent.

(Allow for answers to add to the list)

  • Giving a Hug
  • Borrowing Something
  • Holding Hands
  • Touching Other People
  • Touching someone’s hair or clothes
  • Sitting or standing close to someone (in their personal space)
  • Moving or touching someone’s belongings
  • Tickling

These types of activities require consent. You have the right to give consent or refuse consent.

4. How to Give and Refuse Consent

Use the consent poster to help model how to give consent and how to refuse consent.

We can use our words to give consent and also to refuse consent.

Let’s look at the different ways we can use our Safety Voice to give or refuse consent. (Refer to poster)

Have students model how they can say each of the various statements to either give or refuse consent.

5. Body Language

Now that you understand your Personal Boundaries, you need to think about the Personal Boundaries of other people. You can help your friends stay safe and comfortable by paying attention to their body language and the tone of their voice when they give consent. If someone gives consent by saying, “Whatever” or “I guess so” in a sad, upset voice and they look nervous, uncomfortable, or confused, they are giving you clues that they really don’t want to give consent. You don’t want to cross their Personal Boundary and make them feel even more uncomfortable.

How can we let others know if we are comfortable or if we feel uncomfortable?

Model how what we say changes based on how we say it. Read the statements below using various tones of voice and body language to convey different messages.

Show students that how we say things can change what is being said.

6. Personal Boundaries Being Crossed

Sometimes kids give consent even when they don’t want to. They let someone cross their Personal Boundary. For example, maybe you gave consent to let a classmate use your new markers, but you really didn’t want to.

Can you think of a time that you gave consent but didn’t really want to? (Allow for answers)

Why do you think that kids might give consent even when they don’t want to? Do they want their Personal Boundaries to be crossed? (Allow for answers)

  • Because their friends are doing it (peer pressure)
  • Because they feel it would be rude to say “no”
  • Because they think they can’t say no to a grown-up
  • Because they don’t want to explain why they’re saying “no”

Sometimes it might feel awkward to set boundaries and refuse consent. But you never have to give consent to something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Use your assertive Safety Voice to protect your Personal Boundaries.

7. Scenario Spins

Now we are going to play a game.

For this game, we are going to practice asking for consent, setting boundaries, and looking for body language and tone of voice clues. You will hear various questions that require someone to give consent. Listen to how the person responds.

Then, the class will spin the wheel to uncover the body language clues and the tone of voice clues. Add these clues to how the person responds in each scenario.  Based on the body language clues, decide if the person gave consent willingly because they felt comfortable, or if someone crossed their personal boundaries and they gave consent even though they were uncomfortable.

Pick a situation card and read it out loud. Have a student spin the wheel (utilize the spinner template and add a paperclip as a spinner) to determine the body language and tone of voice. Have a student reread the situation card out loud, including the body language and tone of voice clues.

Based on the body language clues and tone of voice, do you think they wanted to give consent? What do you think they should do next?

8. Closing Statement

Today we talked about Personal Boundaries and consent. We were reminded that our bodies belong to us, and we decide what we are comfortable with, and what we are not comfortable with. We discussed lots of ways to give consent, and ways that we can refuse consent. We learned that it is always okay to say “no” and refuse consent, even to a grown-up. We learned that it is okay to change our mind.

Consent

Consent is how we let others know we are comfortable. Consent means to give permission. You have the right to give or to refuse consent to anyone at anytime. You need consent for: 

Consent Needed
  • Giving a Hug
  • Tickling
  • Borrowing Something
  • Holding Hands
  • Touching Other People
  • Touching Someone’s Hair/Clothes/Belongings
  • Sitting or Standing Close to Someone (in Personal Space)
Ways for Consent

Activity

All About Consent Activity

“I’m scared to walk across the walkway alone. Can I hang on to you while we cross?”

They responded: Sure.

“We’re going to come over to your house to play with your new computer games.”

They responded: Sure.

“There aren’t any other seats available. Can I share your seat with you?”

They responded: Yes.

“Can I move your papers? I don’t want to get them wet.”

They responded: Yes.

“They were asked: I haven’t seen you in so long! I missed you! Can I give you a hug?”

They responded: Uhm, okay.

“I haven’t eaten yet today. Can I have a bite of your breakfast?”

They responded: Uhm, okay.

“Want to link arms while we walk to class?”

They responded: Yeah, that sounds good.

“Do you mind if I look at your homework to compare my answers?”

They responded: Yeah, that sounds good.

“Your hair looks so soft! Can I touch it?”

They responded: That’s fine with me.

“Can I tickle you?”

They responded: That’s fine with me.