CHATTING AND RED FLAGS
9th Grade Lesson
FULL LESSON PLAN HERE
Chatting and Red Flags
How can you tell when an online relationship is risky?
Having conversations online, without nonverbal cues or being able to see people, can be awkward and sometimes even risky -- with drawbacks from simple misunderstandings to manipulation or inappropriate messages. Help students navigate and avoid these situations before they go too far.
Students will be able to:
Identify the types of messages that might cause a red flag feeling for someone.
Use the Feelings & Options thinking routine to analyze and respond to a situation involving a red flag feeling.
Key Vocabulary: grooming (online) · red flag feeling Hide definitions
when someone older uses chatting or messaging to befriend and manipulate a child or teenager into an in-person meeting for the purpose of sexual abuse or sex trafficking
red flag feeling:
when something happens that makes you feel uncomfortable, worried, sad, or anxious
This lesson meets standards for CASEL, AASL, and ISTE. See standards
Consider: Risky Online Relationships
Before the lesson: This lesson includes a link to an external resource. Please confirm that you can access this resource prior to teaching the lesson.
Project Slide 4 and have students pair-share their response to the warm-up:
Think about what you share through digital media -- through text messages, social media, messaging apps, etc. How much of the real you comes through? How is the you that you present through digital media different from the you face-to-face?
Invite volunteers to share out. Highlight the ways that people present themselves differently through digital media than they do IRL (in real life).
Explain that most people present a self online that is somewhat different from how they are in real life. They might be more or less shy online or more or less casual. Most of the time these differences are not a big deal. However, when there are really big differences between someone's online self and who they are in real life, that can lead to risky situations.
Have students share out how the chat messages in the video are misleading. Explain that this shows an example of a very dangerous kind of online chatting called grooming, which is when someone older uses chatting or messaging to befriend and manipulate a child or teenager into an in-person meeting for the purpose of sexual abuse or sex trafficking. (Slide 6)
Explain that even though these kinds of messages are not obviously bullying or insulting, they may result in an uncomfortable or negative feeling. These are called red flag feelings, which occur when something happens that makes you feel uncomfortable, worried, sad, or anxious. (Slide 7)
Explore: Sheyna's Situation
Explain that chatting with strangers is not the only type of situation that can cause red flag feelings. Sometimes, you might experience red flag feelings when chatting with people who are closer in age and possibly even people you know in real life. For example:
If someone asks you to do something you're not comfortable with, like sharing a photo of yourself, sharing where you live or go to school, or keeping your relationship secret.
If someone lies about their age or background, or tries to manipulate you by saying things like "If you really liked me, you would ... " or "No one understands you like I do."
Project Slide 8 and say: When you have a red flag feeling, it's important to slow down, pause, and think about how you are feeling using the Feelings & Options steps.
Have students read aloud the questions associated with each step.
Feelings & Options is a thinking routine that supports social skills and thoughtful decision-making for digital dilemmas.
Distribute the Sheyna's Situation Student Handout. Tell students they're going to use the Feelings & Options steps to explore how to handle red flag feelings.
Have students complete Part 1 of the handout individually.
Arrange students into groups of three to four, and have them discuss their responses together. Give groups three minutes to discuss each of the four sections. Use a timer if necessary and have them move on.
Invite each group to summarize their responses to the Feelings & Options steps. Use the Sheyna's Situation Student Handout - Teacher Version to guide the class discussion. Record student responses to the "Say" step of the handout on Slide 9.
Analyze: Complicate It
With students still in groups, have them discuss one or more of the scenarios in Part 2 of the student handout.
Bring the class back together and ask a volunteer from each group to share a brief summary of their conversation, or how perspectives may have changed.
Wrap Up: Review
Say: Remember that when you have a red flag feeling, it's important to slow down, pause, and think about how you're feeling. Taking these steps will help you think through the options you have for handling the situation.