Lesson Plan Counterfeit love


Grade Level or Age Group: Senior High School.

Lesson Objectives:
The students will reflect on the difference between love and infatuation.

Materials Needed:


This is not a stand alone activity, but can be integrated in a broader unit on love, sexuality, and marriage


1. Bring a $20 dollar bill (or larger) to class. Ask the students the following questions (or similar questions):

* How many of you work, have worked, or might work as a cashier?
* How would you go about determining whether or not the bill was counterfeit?
* What would you do if you suspected a bill was counterfeit?
* How would you feel if someone knowingly passed on a counterfeit bill to you. Why?
* Would you accept to listen to the advice of an expert to help you detect counterfeit bills?

The purpose of this first step is to set up the following one. It is important to help the students realize that they should be as "wise" in discerning "real" love from "counterfeits" as they are in dealing with money. In fact, the consequences of not doing so are far worse.

2. Ask the students the following questions:

love is...* Is "love" sometimes like a counterfeit bill? How?
* How would you go about determining whether or not a love was real or counterfeit?
* How could a counterfeit love hurt the people involved?
* What "experts" might be able to help someone in discerning whether love is real or counterfeit? would it make sense to listen to the advice of such experts.

If the students do not mention them, you might suggest that Scriptures and Church teaching are among the experts that can be consulted here.

3. Give a list of attitudes and behaviors one might find between people who "claim" to be in love. Ask the students to list the ones they would consider as belonging to real love and the ones they feel describes a counterfeit love. You can also add two other options as well: "It depends" and "We're not sure". Ask the students to explain their reasons briefly on the sheet. Alternatively, you could use the following quiz: Dating and Relationships - How do I know if I am really in Love? The following article could also be useful: Love Versus Infatuation by Annagail Lynes.

4. Group the students (3-4) and ask them to share their answers and to discuss the reasons for their classification.

5. Go over each item on the list and ask the students to raise their hands to indicate how they classified them on the worksheet. You might want to use an acetate or the board to tally the answers. If time allows, when the results are divided or when you feel it is worthwhile to draw attention to a given point, ask the students the reasons for their choices. Provide your feedback.

6. Hand out or use an overhead projector to show the "Love vs Infatuation" sheet. The items listed should be the same as the ones used in the activity above. Point out that these lists are drawn by experts (as teacher, you can obviously include yourself in that list of experts!).

7. As an extension of the above, you could select a few Scripture passes (1 Co 13, 3-4) and or some excerpts from Church documents (see for example ). You can also use the lesson plan that appeared in the February 2001 issue of the Catholic Religious Education Webzine: Love Mirrors

8. Bacground Resources: Good information and suggestions of activities in a lesson plan by Nonette C. Marte.

Related: Lesson Plans

©Gilles Côté, 2001, 2008 If you use this lesson plan, please acknowledge your source.