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Teacher Lesson Return to "The Point of Trust"
The Point of Trust
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Hiding vs. Sharing

Opening Activity: 5 minutes
Ask the group to brainstorm reasons that you would keep something bad that happened to you a secret. Then ask them to brainstorm reasons you would tell someone about it. Write responses on the board.

Read the Story: 10 minutes
As a group, read “The Point of Trust." First warn the group that the story begins with upsetting sexual violence. For advice on how to introduce a sensitive story like this one, read "Trigger Warning! 9 Tips to Introduce a Sensitive Subject" on our sister site

Explore the Ideas: 15 minutes
Point out that the author confided in many different people after her cousin attempted to rape her. Ask teens to identify some negative consequences that resulted from her telling. (her grandmother tortured her; other family members blamed her; her aunt reacted cruelly, which made her mother blame her for telling).

Then, ask teens to find positive consequences that resulted from the author speaking up (her mother got her out of her grandmother’s house; her boyfriend sympathized with her and they got closer, which led to more communication with other people; her Aunt Ella and she also got closer).

Discuss the author’s choices—should she have stayed silent, or was it ultimately the right thing for her to keep confiding in others?

Ask a volunteer to read the last three paragraphs of the story out loud. Revisit the initial list of “reasons to tell” and ask the group if they have anything to add.

Closing Activity: 5 minutes
Ask teens to freewrite for a few minutes on this question: How do you know whether or not to confide in someone?
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