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. In this activity, students will create or complete a scenario that demonstrates various ways to refuse peer pressure
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.
Lower level activity: Use the example storyboard as the assignment template but delete the conversations and ask the student to add text to the speech bubbles.
Middle level difficulty: Use the example storyboard as the assignment template but delete the conversations and descriptions. Have the students fill in both the speech bubbles and the descriptions.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create a storyboard that gives three examples of refusal strategies.
Grade Level 6-12
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
Identify Peer Pressure Situation
Student was able to set a scene where someone clearly pressured a friend to do something they did not want to.
Student was able to set a scene that involved peer pressure, but it was unclear.
It was unclear who was the accuser and who was the victim, or the scene did not show a situation with peer pressure.
Three different refusal strategies were depicted accurately.
Two different refusal strategies were depicted accurately.
One refusal strategy was depicted accurately.
Three different strategies were explained correctly based on classroom instruction.
Two different strategies were explained correctly based on classroom instruction.
One strategy was explained correctly based on classroom instruction.