In 2019, consent was added as a topic in the Ontario Health Curriculum. Teaching consent in primary is very important, but you may feel a little lost in choosing age appropriate activities.
I highly recommend starting the conversation around consent at the beginning of the year. I have ready-to-go health units that address consent for Grade One and Grade Two in French. PS – want to read more about teaching Health in French Immersion? Click here to see my other posts about Health.
Why Teaching Consent Matters
When we hear the word consent, it’s natural to wonder how it applies to primary aged students. However, teaching students at a young age can be extremely beneficial.
Consent is about helping students know that they have control over themselves – such as what they do and don’t want to do. For instance, if a young child doesn’t want to hug someone, they should know how to set that boundary.
Teaching consent also helps students learn how to respect the boundaries of others.
How to Teach Consent in Primary
Now that we know why it’s important to teach consent in primary school, you may be wondering how you initiate these conversations. Below, I will give you several activities for teaching consent in French.
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Start with a book
The best way to begin talking about consent is through age appropriate picture books. Two of my favourite books are Petit Doux n’a pas peur by Marie Wabbes and Non! Dit Petit-Monstre by Kalle Guettler.
Petit Doux n’a pas peur is a story about Petit Doux. Petit Doux is playing with Gros Loup, but sometimes he becomes mean and forces Petit Doux to do things he isn’t comfortable with. In this story, Gros Loup tries to threaten him into keeping quiet. What will Petit Doux do?
Non! Dit Petit-Monstre is a French picture book about Petit-Monstre. Petit-Monstre doesn’t want to answer the door when Grand-Monstre comes because he always wants to be in charge, makes fun of Petit-Monstre, and ruins his drawings. Will today be the day he stands up to Grand-Monstre?
Both these French books are great for primary and kindergarten. They will help you approach the topic of consent and unwanted actions in a kid-friendly way.
After reading together, you want to engage your students in a conversation about consent. Ask them a few key questions:
- How do you feel when someone tries to force you to do something you don’t want to do?
- can you say no? What can you do if they don’t listen?
- What should you do if someone tries to force you to stay quiet about something?
If your students are struggling to answer the questions, make sure you guide them to the “right” answer. You want to leave students with the knowledge that they have the power to say no and that there are trusted people they can talk to about difficult things. Want the worksheet below? Scroll down to the end of this blog post to get it straight to your inbox.
Keep the Conversation Going
One of the best things you can do for consent is to keep talking about it. Teaching consent to our primary school students doesn’t stop after one conversation or activity.
Make consent a part of your classroom culture. For instance, if you see students having a disagreement, bring up the topic of consent. Are we respecting each other’s boundaries? The more we discuss consent with our students, the more it becomes second nature – for us and them!
Want more activities for teaching consent in French? I have a Grade One and Grade Two health unit for French students that covers consent! Each health unit includes over 55 pages of activities, information, and graphic organizers. The health units cover additional topics such as harmful behaviours, personal safety, and injury prevention. These units are in French.
I have free French consent posts ready to download! Sign up below to receive the posters.