Saturday, March 10, 2012

Peer Pressure Bag of Tricks

A 4th grade teacher came to me and asked if I could talk to her class about positive and negative peer influence in our next guidance lesson.  I was so excited to hear this because I had been wanting to do a lesson on peer pressure anyway.  I did some research online and found a lesson on  aimed at middle school students.  As I read the lesson, I realized that I could easily change this around to work with my 4th graders.  The lesson talks about the "tricks" kids use to influence you to make decisions, either good or bad.  It breaks the "tricks" down into spoken and unspoken.  In the lesson, you introduce the peer pressure "bag of tricks" and each table has a bag with pieces of paper explaining each of the tricks.  I decided instead of doing that, I would make a diagram to show the different tricks (and whether they are spoken or unspoken....I call them verbal and nonverbal).

Next you break the students up into groups and give each group a role-play scenario.  After giving students adequate time to practice their role-play, you ask them to perform them for the class.  After each performance, students have to guess which type of "trick" is being demonstrated.  (I made a sheet with the description of each type of "trick" for each table so they can refer to them easier).

After all of the role plays, you talk to students about the different ways to resist peer pressure.  We will first talk about how you are ultimately responsible for making your own choices.  After giving students the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, we talk about the following ideas:

  • saying "No, I don't want to" in a firm voice, looking them in the eye, and standing up tall.
  • Suggesting something else to do
  • Walking away from the situation
  • Finding something else to do with other friends
I am excited to present this lesson to the class and hear the discussions that it facilitates.  My 4th graders always come up with the best group discussions!  I'm sure I will add some more ideas to the lesson before presenting it!

What are some creative lessons you have presented on Peer Pressure?


  1. I came across your site last night. I tried this lesson today with my 4th graders and I thought it went ok. I had a hard time with them acting out their scenarios (with hearing them), but it went well overall their guesses were good and on point. I used a lesson from pecentral in previous peer pressure lessons and I think that went better. Instead of acting them out they just read the card and make a decision. Thanks for your blog, this is really nice!

  2. Great idea! I'm mentioning this in an upcoming lesson. Then, I'm going to have the students make their own "bag of tricks" to deal with negative peer pressure. I'm excited to see how it will turn out! =)

    Third Grade in the First State

  3. This is a great idea! I have been asked to talk to a group of at risk youth about self-esteem and I would love to incorporate this activity into my lesson plan! Thank you for sharing!

  4. This is awesome! This is such a great idea to help kids to know exactly what to do when under peer pressure, or when they are being bullied. I also think that it will help them not be so nervous to tell adults about what is happening as well. I think that every school should have a mandatory class/lesson about this.

  5. I love this idea because it really puts everything into perspective for a child. They are able to understand situations that they have been peer pressured into and will no how to redirect a certain situation when it happens again.

  6. I love this idea. It teaches students how to use the "tricks" when they are not right in the situation so that when the situation comes up in real life they have practice using them first. Thanks for sharing