As young people grow older, they are faced with some challenging decisions, some are simple but some involve serious moral questions. Its human nature for them to listen to other people in their age group, and peers influence their life, even if they don’t realize it, and is all peer pressure bad?
Positive peer pressure can happen – for example, if one student is excited about their new favorite book, and gets everyone into reading it. However, quite often peers influence each other in negative ways, young people want to do what they know is right but they don’t want to be the one who stands out. Or they simply want to try something that “everybody else” is doing.
So how you work with your class on the topic of peer pressure using drama?
Role playing can be a really useful classroom activity, allowing students to understand the effects of peer pressure and can lead into to a great group discussion on the topic.
- Divide the classroom into smaller groups of up to 5.
- Either ask them to think of an incident of peer pressure or give them cards with prompt words on.
- Ask for volunteers in each group to act out their scenarios. Then give them a short amount of time to rehearse. (5 minutes is plenty)
- Ask them to show their scenarios to the rest of the group.
- Have a group discussion on each scenario about what was going on, who was pressuring who, was it positive or negative pressure. Ask them what were their reactions and feelings about the scenario, how would they react if it was happening to them?
- If you have a good group who you think are able to work well, try hot seating, allow the characters to be questioned by their classmates about why they behaved the way they did, and what their feelings were.
- After the role-playing, return to the normal classroom format and open it up to a general discussion on the effects of peer pressure.
P.S. Don’t forget its anti-bullying week on the 14th – 18thNovember, so get in touch if you would like us to help you with an anti-bullying drama workshop!