Editor’s Note: Su Nottingham is currently an instructor at Central Michigan University, and has taught Family & Consumer Science, Sexuality, and Health & Physical Education at both the secondary and university level. The Choices team took part in her workshop at the 2015 Society for Health & Physical Educators (SHAPE) Conference, and we were floored by the power of this Bip and Bop game, which teaches the tenets of healthy and unhealthy relationships. We’re so excited to share it with you as a support activity complementing our feature on teen dating abuse in the February issue!
How Can This Help?
Recognizing if a characteristic is healthy or unhealthy is influenced by perception of social norms and the influence of peers. Bip and Bop are two gender neutral characters that demonstrate both healthy and unhealthy characteristics of a relationship. This small group strategy causes adolescents to determine the impact of behaviors on relationships through discussion, reflection, and a representative demonstration of each action. Bip and Bob highlight a variety of age-appropriate examples of adolescent relationships and how actions can take a toll on the success and stability of any relationship. To enhance meaning, a symbolic action—based on the severity of the action—is demonstrated by utilizing everyday household items: a sandwich-size container, napkin, rubber band, rocks, water, and pencil.
What You’ll Need:
Assemble the following materials for each group (3-4 students):
- One container (sandwich size container with lid)
- 10 small/medium sized rocks (or marbles)
- One paper napkin (to cover container)
- One rubber band (to hold paper on container)
- A sharpened pencil
- A small dish of water and eye dropper, straw, or plastic spoon (or a small spray bottle of water)
- One set of “Bip and Bop” scenarios on cards (see below)
Prep: Use the rubber band to attach the paper napkin to the container
Students will be able to recognize healthy and unhealthy relationships characteristics, and:
- Describe how peers influence healthy and unhealthy behaviors (NHES 2.8.3)
- Explain how the perceptions of norms influence healthy and unhealthy behaviors (NHES 2.8.7)
1. Prepare: Divide students into groups of 3-4 and give each group its set of supplies, as listed above in the "What You’ll Need" section.
2. Play: Instruct students to take turns selecting a card and reading it to the group. Readers should:
- Withhold the answer written on the card as the group discusses if the action is unhealthy/healthy and why
- Read the correct answer provided on the card
- Then take the action described on the card for the situation (actions include: add or take away "rocks" to the paper; add drops or sprays of water to the paper; poke a hole in the paper)
- Keep the card they read for discussion at the end of the activity