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Name of Activity:
Peer Pressure Activity
Purpose of Activity:The purpose of the activity is to show students how easily they fall into peer pressure without even knowing it. This activity shows them a different type of peer pressure that they don't always see, non-verbal peer pressure.
Suggested Grade Level:6-8
Description of Idea
Have all of the students sitting in their desks like normal. Ask one student to go and get you something "for an activity". I usually ask them to grab me 2 squares of paper toweling from a bathroom. (I don't just send them outside to wait until I’m ready because they will know something is up, or different) Once the student has left the room, I tell the rest of my students to sit on top of their desk. Once they are all on top of their desk, I inform them that we are participating in a peer pressure activity and the individual that just left is our subject. If the individual returns and sits on top of their desk they fell into non-verbal peer pressure and if they sit in their chair they resisted peer pressure.
- go about class like it is normal (I would be taking attendance or giving a short explanation of something)
- Don't stare or giggle at the individual when they walk into the room
- If the individual asks any questions just shrug your shoulders
Once the individual is back, monitor what they do. Once the individual has chosen the chair or their desk to sit on, it is discussion time.
Questions to ask the individual if they sat on their desk
- Why did you sit on your desk?(usual answer is because everyone else is)
- Do you always do what everyone else does?
Questions to ask the individual if they sat in their chair
- Why did you sit in your chair when everyone else is sitting on their desk?
- Why wouldn’t you do what everyone else is doing?
- I congratulate the individual if they choose their chair, and let them know that they didn’t fall into peer pressure
At this time I let them know that they were the subject to our activity.
Questions to ask the whole class
- Raise your hand if you would have sat on the desk? Why?
- Raise your hand if you would have sat in your chair? Why?
- Inform the whole class that the usual peer pressure that they think about is someone pressuring them to do something wrong or against their values
Students could journal the questions instead of just discussing it in class.
Choose your one individual wisely, someone who won't be easily embarrassed or wander the halls. You will need to give your directions timely, because you only have a short time while the individual is away. You will need the student gone for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute to give directions, pick a distance that isn't too far or too short for the one individual to go to.