Grade 7

How Friends Fit In

In this section, students explore their relationships with others. The activities focus on peer relationships and how peer pressure, influence, and acceptance affect their lives. There are also activities on refusal skills to help equip students with strategies for saying "no."

Activity 6: Thinking Your Way to Good Decisions

  • Skills: Refusal skills
  • Suggested Time Consideration: 25 minutes
  • Rationale

    This activity is designed to help students use their knowledge of peer pressure and influence (or the desire for acceptance) to reassess their thoughts and preconceptions about what happens in peer groups. You may wish to have students complete the activity in small groups; alternately, consider presenting the activity on an interactive whiteboard and completing it as a class.

  • Getting Started

    If students will be completing the activity in small groups, organize them into groups and share the digital activity link below with each group. Alternately, present the activity to the class as a whole.

    Launch Activity

    Ask students to read the first scenario and talk among themselves about what they think might happen. They should use the questions listed in the activity as a framework for discussion.

  • Talking About It

    Discuss each scenario separately. In the first one, get the students to talk about why they might get tired of their friend asking to copy homework. Ask if there is a part of them that does want to give him the homework, and if so, why? Ask students:

    • Is it possible that the decision not to share the homework might change the relationship?
    • Is it possible that it won’t change the relationship?
    • Would you be ready to live with the consequences of your action?

    Wrap up the discussion by talking about how relationships are bound to have conflicts and disappointments, and that these might generate some anger or hurt feelings, but in most cases these feelings subside. Talk about how we can value our relationships enough to accept the good with the bad.

    In the second scenario, have the students examine whether or not they would feel as though they would be treated differently by their friends.

    • Will you still be welcomed in the home after school?
    • Do you want to be there?
    • Do you have any feelings about your friend’s smoking?
  • Wrapping Up

    To conclude, ask students to complete the “You Decide!” portion of the activity. Then, zero in on the decision not to smoke. Explain that in some cases, people continue to smoke even if they initially don’t like it. Reinforce the wisdom of the decision not to smoke, and how it reflects priorities. (For example, “It’s more important not to do something I don’t like than it is to be accepted in my peer group.”)