Evidence Based, NREPP Listed

Relationship Smarts Plus 3.0

Relationships & Romance for Teens

Instructor’s Tips

Each lesson of Relationship Smarts PLUS is packed with activities and plenty of information to help the instructor deliver the lessons. It is designed and organized to be user-friendly and does not require training, although training is very helpful and available upon request. Background information, stepby-step directions, and suggested scripts and talking points in italics are provided. A list of materialsand preparation steps is also provided at the start of each lesson.

Relationship Smarts PLUS Cards

All masters for handouts will be found at the end of each lesson. Activity Cards (on colored cardstock) used in various lessons are located and labeled with lesson number at the back of the manual. We recommend that you cut, laminate the ones that are handled the most by participants, and place cards in a ZipLoc pouch or container.

With purchase of the manual, colorful, image-laden PowerPoint slides are provided as a digital download. Easy-to-follow instructions for downloading the files are found at Viewing each lesson’s PowerPoint presentation is a great way to integrate information and prepare for program delivery. You will find video clips embedded within the PowerPoint slides. In some instances (where we do not have permission), we will simply link you to the Internet site where you can find the video clips. However, while the PowerPoint slides are very useful, they are not required to effectively teach the lesson, and if you wish, you can delete, add, or modify slides for your group.

The varied activities in Relationship Smarts PLUS include role-plays, drawing, sculpting, and games that are designed to teach and reinforce the concepts with real-life scenarios young people can relate to. The scenarios, poetry, and testimony have all been written by diverse youth. Preview the scenarios in the Activity Cards. We acknowledge that teachers and youth leaders operate within different community standards and institutional requirements. Select which to use according to what you believe is best for your audience, your community standards, institutional requirements and/or cultural context. Feel free to tweak, add, or delete any scenarios or resources as needed. Please note that language in the lessons and scenarios is inclusive in terms of sexual orientation. Where the word marriage is used it will be paired with committed union. Images are also inclusive. We believe that all youth, whatever their sexual orientation, need healthy relationships and the ability to make wise sexual choices.

First Things First

An important feature of Relationship Smarts PLUS is the use of popular music, film and video. Consider having music playing upon entry and exit and during some activities. Music engages emotions and creates a welcoming atmosphere for teens. It is an important medium for youth and it is a powerful way to connect with them. Some lessons purposely weave in songs and music videos. Some of the music videos contain explicit language, but all have been chosen because of their positive message and ability to inspire and speak to aspirations. Review them prior to teaching the lesson. You can easily purchase and download recommended songs (about $1) and music videos (about $3) from Internet sites such as iTunes. However, almost all are accessible through YouTube and hyperlinks are provided in the lesson and on the PowerPoint slides. If you don’t have an LCD multimedia projector to play music videos or video clips, simply gather participants around a desktop or laptop computer to view them. Also, on a regular basis, ask participants to bring in music that relates to the curriculum’s themes.

In this latest version of Relationship Smarts PLUS (2013) we have added new video clips and a short film. Most of the clips are embedded in the PowerPoint slides for that lesson, and others have links to YouTube where they can be accessed. An engaging short film, Toothpaste, used in Lesson Ten, (Sexual Decision-Making) is available either as a part of the Relationship Smarts PLUS package or as a supplemental purchase through The Dibble Institute or Scenarios USA. This short film was created by Scenarios USA, which solicits scripts written by youth and then has them produced by award-winning Hollywood filmmakers. Toothpaste deals with sexual decision-making and healthy relationships. One last media tip: find a way for your teens to view the film Antwone Fisher. It’s a powerful tool in hooking youth into the program and then being able refer to it throughout the lessons. Every topic in Relationship Smarts PLUS is seen in this film. It’s based on a true story and is extremely inspiring to youth.

Open  Workbook

The workbook, an essential component of this curriculum, gives teens an opportunity to review, reflect, and apply what they have learned in session to their own lives. The more they work these concepts into their own experiences, the more they may benefit from this curriculum. Each workbook application has been carefully designed to build and spiral up and back around key concepts and skills. The final application, My Success Plans, is the capstone application. It helps teens review and
synthesize what they’ve learned and then integrate everything into their own personal “success plan.” To economize on time, many of the workbook applications can be started in session and then completed on the outside. Some do take more private reflection time. Let participants know that this workbook is for them and that you will not be reading their entries. You can assure accountability and privacy by holding periodic workbook checks. To check for completion, quickly page through their workbooks to ensure that they have completed the exercises. A classroom teacher can offer credit and points for completion. A leader in a community-based program can offer prizes or incentives for completion. The check-off can be done quickly—at one time or periodically.

First Things First

We strongly encourage you to make full use of the Parent-Teen Connection activities in each lesson. We believe the effectiveness of this program will be amplified if participants are able to discuss the information and skills they are being exposed to with a parent or trusted adult. The connection activities are meant not only to convey core content to the participant’s trusted adult, but also to serve as conversation starters and extenders. They invite parents or trusted adults to add their words of wisdom.

We hope you’ll find these lessons easy to use. We welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions for improvement. Please feel free to contact a Dibble Institute representative who can connect you with the author, either by phone at 800-695-7975 or email at


  1. Child Trends Research Brief (October 2009) Telling It Like It Is: Teen Perspectives on Romantic Relationships.
  2. For research and more information on PREP© see
  3. ADD Health Study (The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health). For information go to:
  4. For more information on the Relationship Smarts PLUS study (principal investigator Dr. Jennifer Kerpelman, Auburn
    University) see