That's Not Cool: Healthy and Respectful Relationships Online Lesson Plan

Level: Grades 7 to 8

About the Author: Matthew Johnson, Director of Education, MediaSmarts

Duration: 1-2 hours

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


In this lesson, students begin by considering one of five scenarios that illustrate unhealthy relationship behaviours relating to digital media: pressuring others to share private content, cyberstalking, harassment and abuse of trust. Students then relate the scenarios to their own experience by brainstorming other examples of these behaviours and voting on which they feel are most relevant to their lives. The teacher then leads a guided discussion on the reasons why unhealthy behaviours may be more common when we communicate through digital media and ways in which they can be avoided or mitigated. Finally, students act out their own scenario in which they portray young people successfully dealing with one of the unhealthy relationship behaviours.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Learn how to recognize healthy and unhealthy elements of relationships
  • Consider aspects of digital communication that may lead to unhealthy relationships
  • Reflect on the role of digital relationships in their lives
  • Learn strategies for dealing with unhealthy online and offline relationships
  • Create a media product

Home and School Connection

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version