Relationship Skills

Family Resources on Flag on the Play, Part 2

Project and Purpose

Students create an original card/flag system for warning signs of healthy and unhealthy friendships.

Essential Questions

What are the warning signs of healthy and unhealthy friendships? Why should we learn to heed the warning signs of unhealthy friendships?

If this lesson was used in the classroom: This lesson is a continuation of Flag on the Play, Part 1, where students identified the warning signs of a potentially unhealthy friendship. In part 1, students used a variety of warning signs to help with the discussion. In this lesson, students extended the discussion by working in groups to design their own “warning flags” for concerning or unhealthy friendships.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

Just like it is important to learn how to make and maintain friendships, it is important to recognize the signs of unhealthy friendships. Students discussed the warning signs of unhealthy friendships and actions that can be taken if they encounter an unhealthy friendship.

Conversation Starters and Practice at Home

The first item is for follow-up after participating in class activities.

Describe the warning flags your group developed in class? Why did your group choose to make those signs?

Does a disagreement with a friend mean that your relationship is unhealthy? Why or why not?

What are the steps you should take when you realize that you need to back away or end an unhealthy friendship? Why would these steps work?

What steps can you take to make sure you are promoting positive friendships? Why are these good ideas?

School to Home Resources on Flag on the Play, Part 2


  • “Warning signs” list from previous session
  • Slides/handouts of flag systems for different sports (provided in part 1 of lesson)
  • Paper cut in rectangular and pennant flag shapes (template provided)
  • Markers, crayons, paint (and other means to add color)


Note: This lesson is the second of two. This session will take two class periods, one for design and one for presentation.
1. Review the information from the previous session on:

  • Metaphors
  • Warning signs of unhealthy friendships
  • Flag and card systems from different sports (use the slides/handouts from previous session as support)

2. Tell students they are going to create their own card or flag warning system of signs of an unhealthy friendship. They may base it on any sport or activity they wish or create their own system. This includes creating their own color choices. They may use the templates provided or create their own designs.

3. Teacher should determine if students will work independently, with partners, or in small groups and proceed accordingly.

4. When working groups have been formed, give the following task list for the project:

  • Each system must have at least three levels of warning: signs of a healthy friendship, warning signs to look out for, and signs that the friendship is over. They may add other levels if they wish but must justify and title each.
  • Each level must have a title and a descriptor.
  • Each level must list at least four signs or examples. These may be written on the flags/cards or on an accompanying document.
  • Each group must be ready to teach another group about the influences for and how to use its

5. Give groups the rest of the session to design and create their card/flag systems.

6. Design how and when students will share and teach their systems with other groups.


Ask students to discuss or write a brief response to the essential question: Why should we learn to heed the warning signs of unhealthy friendships?

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