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Peer Pressure Refusal Skills

Teacher Guide by Patrick Healey

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Peer Pressure Lesson Plans

Student Activities for Peer Pressure Refusal Skills Include:

Throughout a student's education they more than likely will experience some form of peer pressure. Arming students with the knowledge and skills to refuse negative peer pressure and support positive peer pressure will create a better environment for all. These activities, suggestions, and content will help you get these important messages across.

Peer Pressure Refusal Skills Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Peer Pressure Vocabulary


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When covering important topics it is essential for all students to understand common terminology so that everyone is on the same page with content. When students define words in their own terms using visuals it helps students get their perspectives across and retain information better. Create visual vocabulary boards to build a stronger foundation.


Peer pressure - Peer pressure is when there is a push from one person of similar age asking or telling someone to do something positive or negative.


Aggressor - An aggressor is where one person is enforcing negative peer pressure on one person.


Assertive refusal - Assertive refusal is when someone says no to pressure in a confident manner.



Peer Pressure Vocabulary

  • peer pressure
  • peer
  • positive pressure
  • negative pressure
  • aggressor
  • victim
  • assertive refusal
  • body language
  • cold shoulder
  • excuse
  • broken record
  • passive

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the peer pressure terminology by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three - five vocabulary words and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Come up with your own definition and type it in the description box.
  3. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Refusal Strategies


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Throughout a student's time in the school system, they will be in situations where their values may be challenged. Developing appropriate and effective refusal skills will equip them to vocalize their personal beliefs. Realistic strategies that can be used in everyday experiences include assertiveness, excuses, cold shoulder or the broken record.


Assertiveness has a few key skills, including being clear and firm, but at the same time, not aggressive. Some ways to get your message across clearly is by matching body language with your responses. Responding rapidly without hesitating or without using phrases like ‘uhh’ or ‘um’ will also help with clarity.

The excuses strategy involves being prepared to respond with an already loaded reason prior to the situation if pressured by a peer. If someone is expected to be pressured and is nervous about it, they can pre-plan a excuse that will help them say no while keeping the aggressor satisfied.

Cold shoulder is a technique where someone needs to get out of a situation entirely or the accuser will not stop pressuring the victim with them present. The target of the peer pressure just walks away.

The broken record strategy involves responding with the same assertive response repeatedly to further back up your values. This is when the aggressor is trying to get the victim to cave simply by asking the question again.


Light Modifications

Lower level activity: Copy the example storyboard, delete the conversations, and ask the student to add text to the speech bubbles.

Middle level difficulty: Copy the example storyboard and delete the conversations and descriptions. Have the students fill in both the speech bubbles and the descriptions.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that gives three examples of refusal strategies.


  1. Click "Use This Template" from the assignment.
  2. Develop a scenario in one cell where one student/person is pressuring another to do something unwanted.
  3. Copy cell into others to continue refusal.
  4. Modify the three cells to show the character using three different refusal skills to the same situation.
  5. Describe and label the refusal skill in each cell
  6. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Consequences of Peer Pressure


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Students may not be thinking about the consequences of their actions at all times. This is an opportunity for you to have them think, "consequence first". The students will create a chart storyboard depicting both a refusal and a "give in" to the same pressure. The give in will show the negative consequences of their actions. The refusal will show the positive outcome of refusing to give into peer pressure. The refusal could be any kind discussed earlier in the previous activities.


Give In

The give in is when the victim falls for the peer pressure.


Light Modifications:

Lower Level: Use the first cell from the example storyboard, but leave the other cells blank and ask the students to continue the story.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a chart storyboard that shows the consequences of an unsuccessful and successful refusal.


  1. Click "Use This Template" from the assignment.
  2. In the first cell, create the pressure situation. Copy the contents of the cell into the cell below it.
  3. Label each row with your chosen refusal skill and give in.
  4. Create the decision scene for both refusal and give in.
  5. In the last cells, show the positive and negative outcomes of the decision.
  6. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Positive Peer Pressure


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Not all peer pressure has to be a negative influence. Peer pressure can be positively used to help sculpt a positive school setting. Prior to having the students do the storyboard activity, ask them what they think positive peer pressure is. Discuss with them examples of positive peer pressure. Ask them to practice positive peer pressure with a partner in class.

For the activity, students will be creating a narrative story showing positive peer pressure in example. That peer pressure could be accepting differences, refusal to do a bad behaviors, or influence a positive behavior (refer to example).

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a narrative storyboard depicting positive pressure from a peer in six cells or more. Create a story where a character is in need of some positive support. The positive support should come from a peer.


  1. Click "Use This Template" from the assignment.
  2. Depict a story with a positive peer pressure and a positive outcome.
  3. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Refusal Narrative


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To better gauge student understanding, it is important to have them expand on refusal skills. This activity is going to have them create a story showing a successful use of a refusal skill discussed previously. Have the students chose one of the following refusal skills and depict its use in a narrative.


  • Assertive
  • Broken Record
  • Cold Shoulder
  • Excuse

Light Modifications

Lower Level: Use the example storyboard and edit out the conversation. Have the student show a conversation with a successful broken record refusal.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard narrative in six cells where a person is successfully using a refusal skill to pressure from a peer.


  1. Click "Use This Template" from the assignment.
  2. Develop a scenario where one person is pressuring another to do something unwanted one to three cells.
  3. In the following cells, show a character successfully using a discussed refusal skill.
  4. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.


(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Many students just want to belong. Acceptance into a group can be a powerful motivator for some students to challenge their behaviors, values, or morals. Crossing the line could be a slippery slope, changing students' bad decisions into bad behaviors. Empowering students to stand up for themselves and resist negative peer pressure will help build stronger decision-making skills.

Peer Pressure Definition

Peer

A peer is a friend or acquaintance around the same age

Pressure

Pressure is a push to do something; can be negative or positive

Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure is a push from a friend or acquaintance to do something either negative or positive


Students may struggle to stand up to negative peer pressure for several reasons. Asking them to formulate reasoning behind "giving in" is a good way to get the topic started. Some answers you may hear could be:



Not all peer pressure should be negative. There is plenty of positive peer pressure happening all the time without people noticing. Facilitating activities that stimulate positive interactions and pressures will normalize this behavior. Some positive behaviors that could come with a little push from others could be:




Essential Questions for Peer Pressure and Refusal Skills

  1. What is peer pressure?
  2. How is being assertive reinforcing your values?
  3. How can we use peer pressure to make positive decisions?

Additional Refusal Skills for Peer Pressure Lesson Plan Ideas

  1. Act out a skit after storyboarding a script in a group.
  2. Create positive support/positive peer pressure single cell storyboards for others. Print them out and post them where people can see them, or share via social media.
  3. Have students learn and show their comprehension of the S.T.O.P. method through a storyboard creation. S.T.O.P. stands for
    Say things in a firm voice
    Tell them why
    Offer other ideas
    Promptly leave
  4. Create a PSA.

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•   (English) Peer Pressure Refusal Skills   •   (Español) Habilidades de Rechazo de la Presión de los Compañeros   •   (Français) Compétences de Refus de Pression par les Pairs   •   (Deutsch) Peer-Druck-Ablehnung Fähigkeiten   •   (Italiana) Competenze di Rifiuto Della Pressione dei Pari   •   (Nederlands) Weegschaalvaardigheden van Weerkaatsdruk   •   (Português) Habilidades de Recusa de Pressão de Pares   •   (עברית) סירוב לחץ על מיומנויות לחץ   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) مهارات رفض ضغط الأقران   •   (हिन्दी) सहकर्मी दबाव अभ्यस्त कौशल   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Навыки Отказа от Сверстников   •   (Dansk) Peer Pressure Refusal Færdigheder   •   (Svenska) Peer Pressure Refusal Färdigheter   •   (Suomi) Ryhmäpaine Kieltäytyminen Taidot   •   (Norsk) Peer Pressure Refusal Ferdigheter   •   (Türkçe) Akran Basıncı Redaksiyon Becerileri   •   (Polski) Umiejętności Odmowy Nacisku Rówieśniczego   •   (Româna) Competențele de Refuz al Aptitudinilor de la Egal la Egal   •   (Ceština) Odlehčovací Dovednosti Vrstevníků   •   (Slovenský) Skúsenosti Odmietnutia zo Strany Kolegov   •   (Magyar) Peer Pressure Megtagadása Készségek   •   (Hrvatski) Vještine Odbijanja Vršnjaka   •   (български) Умения за Отказ от Връстници   •   (Lietuvos) Išorinis Spaudimas Atsisakymas Įgūdžiai   •   (Slovenščina) Medsebojni Pritisk Zavrnitev Spretnosti   •   (Latvijas) Vienaudžu Spiediens Atteikums Prasmes   •   (eesti) Peer Pressure Keeldumine Oskused