Family Resources on
Stand by Me
Project and Purpose
Students analyze the criteria for being “cool.”
How do others help us and how do we help others stand up to peers who try to pressure us to make bad choices like using drugs or alcohol?
If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about helping each other stand up to others who pressure students to make poor choices, such as using drugs or alcohol. Students discussed the importance of supporting each other to make safe and healthy choices, completed a written activity “My Circle of Support”, and in small groups developed skits showing how peer groups can support each other.
Getting Ready for the Conversation
One of the best ways to help children make safe and healthy choices is to have peers who also make safe and healthy choices. Helping students identify those peers and supporting these peer groups can help prevent unhealthy choices such as future use of drugs and/or alcohol.
Conversation Starters and Practice at Home Activities
The first item is for follow-up after participating in class activities.
Who were the other kids you put in your “Circle of Support?” Why did you choose the people you did?
Tell us about one of the skits from your class. Why was this one interesting?
Why is it so important for you to have friends (or peers) who stand up for making safe and healthy choices?
If you have a friend who asks you to do something that you know you should not, what should you do?
Are there places in the community or neighborhood that you should avoid? Why? How can we help?
School to Home Resources on Stand by Me
- Copies of the My Circle of Support worksheet
- In a remote environment, meeting software will need to have “breakout room” or similar function enabled to allow pairs of students to have discussions. Also, handouts may need to be emailed to students ahead of time or shared in meeting software chat function
1. Begin a discussion of the concept of peer pressure by asking if any students have heard of the phrase “peer pressure.” Use the following questions to continue the discussion:
- What does peer pressure mean to you?
- Have you ever felt peer pressure?
- What did you do?
- How did it make you feel?
- Have you ever been the one to peer pressure someone?
- Why did you do it?
- Is all peer pressure bad? Explain your answer.
2. Discuss the different ways people pressure you to do things. Ask students for examples of each of the following ways:
- Sometimes our peers pressure us by saying things. (e.g., “You should try it.” “Everybody’s doing it.” “If you don’t do this, nobody will be your friend.”)
- Sometimes our peers pressure us by giving us a look or doing some kind of movement. (e.g., rolling eyes, turning away, pushing toward something, leaving the space when someone shows up.)
- Sometimes peers pressure us by making us feel important. (e.g., you are accepted into a group of people, you win a prize.)
Direct Instruction (I do):
1. Explain to students that if they have people looking out for them, it is easier to stand up to negative peer pressure. It is good to have a support system. Our support system can include teachers, parents, your classmates and friends. If we look out for each other, it is easier to stand up for what you believe in because you know you will be supported.
2. Give examples of how someone has supported you in the past and how it helped you make a good decision and stand up to peer pressure.
Guided Exploration (We do):
1. Discuss the students’ support systems. Have students raise their hands to identify and share the people who support them in their everyday lives. You can create a visual list.
2. Next, have students share how they support others every day.
3. Ask students for examples of times they might experience negative peer pressure and write the list on the board. Next to each example, have students create a list of the people who would support them to stand up to the negative peer pressure.
Independent Practice (You do):
1. Break the class into small groups and help each group select one of the examples from the list. They will create a short skit that shows one of the situations where peer pressure is used AND how a support person or support group helps one or more people stand up to the negative peer pressure.
2. Give students time to prepare, practice, and present.
3. After each skit is presented, discuss using the following questions:
- What was a student being pressured to do or being pressured by?
- How was peer pressure avoided?
- What are some other choices that the characters could have made?
To complete the lesson, distribute the My Circle of Support worksheet. In the center circle, ask students to draw and color a simple self-portrait. In the surrounding circles, ask them to draw and label the people who are there to support and encourage them – and help them stand up to peer pressure