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Teacher Lesson Return to "Opening Up to My Shorty"
Opening Up to My Shorty
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Discussion on the Pros and Cons of Monogamy

In this story, Antwaun Garcia explains how he cheated on his girlfriends and basically used women as “toys.” But then he meets a girl he can really open up to about his feelings, and he discovers the satisfaction of commitment.

Group activity: Youth can work in pairs or in small groups.

Goal: To help youth reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of a committed relationship. To help them identify and express what values are important to them in a relationship.

Vocabulary: Committed, monogamous. You can write these words on the board, and ask the group to define them.

Pass around pieces of paper (you can rip 8 ½ x 11 sheets into smaller pieces, if need be).

Youth should work in pairs or small groups. Tell the groups the topic of the story—staying committed in a relationship. On one side of the paper, they should write a couple of positive things about staying committed in a relationship. On the other side, a couple of negative things about staying in a relationship. (Positive examples: they’ll grow closer to the person, they’ll learn to express emotions or reveal secrets, they’ll feel secure in having someone there. Negative examples: they’ll have to put their trust in the person, they run the risk of getting hurt, they will have to put up with things they don’t like about the person.)

Go around the room. First have everyone read the positives. You can gently prod them, challenge them, and let them make comments too. It’s fine to get into a bit of a discussion or disagreement about these points. Then have everyone read the negatives. Again, try to stimulate a bit of discussion and even disagreement about their points. You can list the positives and negatives on the board, if you choose.

Ask volunteers to read the story aloud. At various points in the story, you can stop to ask questions of the group. For example, “Why did Antwaun cheat on girls?”

After you finish reading, ask if anyone wants to add or change anything about their list of positives or negatives. Ask if they have changed their views of monogamous relationships in any way. Ask additional questions about the story. The goal of this part of the discussion is to have the group share feelings about trust, values, and their experiences in relationships.
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(FCYU-2003-01-30)

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