- Learn a three-step decision-making process
- Understand the term peer and how their peers can influence their decisions
- Learn the terms option and consequence
- Suggest several possible options and explore the positive and negative consequences of these options
- Make decisions based on their analysis of the choices during a role play activity
- Reflect on what they know and feel about an issue
- Poster board or butcher paper
- Positive and Negative Consequences T-Chart printable
- Red, yellow, green, and black markers or paint
- The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd or another book about children dealing with peer pressure and making difficult decisions
- Chart paper or whiteboard
- Optional: Puppets for role playing
- Using a piece of poster board or butcher paper, prepare a T-Chart graphic organizer entitled "Consequences," similar to the Positive and Negative Consequences T-Chart printable. Write "Positive" on the left and "Negative" on the right. Leave room to label multiple options and their respective consequences during the group discussion on Day 3.
- Using a piece of poster board or butcher paper, create a large traffic signal sign with three colored circles. In the top red circle, write "Stop!" In the middle yellow circle, write "Explore." In the bottom green circle, write "Go!"
- Make a class set of the Positive and Negative Consequences T-Chart printable.
- If you are using a book other than The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd, read through the lesson plan directions and adapt the discussion points to the story you are using.
- Optional: Although you do not need puppets for the role playing activity on Day 4, children may be more eager to participate if they can "act" with puppets or other props.
Step 1: Begin by introducing the word peer and asking students if they know what it means. Record several student responses on chart paper or the whiteboard. Define the term: Peer — one that is of equal standing with another.
Step 2: Ask students to name their peers. Help them understand that classmates, friends, other children, and first/second graders all over the world are their peers. They may share similar characteristics, but differ in many ways as well. Explain that a peer could be your best friend or someone you do not know very well, and sometimes you might encounter a peer who wants to do something that may not be very nice. Whether this person may encourage you to do the wrong thing or pressure you into doing something you may not want to do, we call this behavior peer pressure.
Step 3: Generate a discussion about the reasons children do things that other peers may pressure them to do even though they may not want to or they know it is wrong. Ask students why peer pressure is difficult to deal with.
Step 4: Introduce the book The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd or the alternative title you have selected. Instruct students to pay close attention to how Sister handles a tough situation with her peers. Stop periodically during the story and allow students to comment on what Sister is experiencing and feeling.
Step 5: After reading, ask questions to help students recall how Sister acted in the face of peer pressure, such as:
- Was it difficult for Sister to make her decision to go against the group?
- Was Sister able to avoid peer pressure?
- Who did Sister talk with to get help?
Step 6: Ask students if they have ever been in a similar situation where they felt pressured and uncomfortable. How did they handle it? What happened in the end?
Step 1: Begin by telling students that this week, they will learn and practice an important decision-making skill called "Stop, Explore, Go!" that will help them when they have to make difficult choices like Sister did in the story The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd. Introduce the traffic signal displaying "Stop! Explore, Go!" Teach the following:
- Stop! You need to stop and think about it.
- Explore Look at all the possible choices and choose the best one.
- Go! Go ahead and do what you chose to do. This may not be so easy. You may need help from someone.
Step 2: Help students explore the ways Sister used Stop! in the story The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd. Ask students to share when they have stopped to think about a situation in the past.
Step 3: Help students consider ways Sister explored possible choices of actions. Who helps Sister come up with a solution to her problem?
Step 4: Help students understand how Sister put her plan into action — Go! What strategy did Sister decide would be the best? Does her strategy work? Was the result positive or negative? Ask students to share about a time when they had a few options to choose from and how they made their decision.
Step 1: Begin by reminding the students that Sister had a few choices to make in the story The Berenstain Bears and the In-Crowd. Today they will learn how to explore the positive and negative consequences that come with making a decision.
Step 2: Ask students to recall Sister's choices. Share the large Consequences T-Chart you prepared ahead of time. Discuss with students the various choices Sister makes in the story. Explain that a choice is also called an option. What good things might happen as a result of choosing this option? What bad things might happen as a result of this choice? Record students' responses under the appropriate column. Explain that the result of a choice is called a consequence. Talk about the difference between a positive and a negative consequence.
Step 3: Explore other possible options with students and repeat the procedure. Guide a discussion about consequences.
Step 4: Ask students to compare the positive and negative consequences for each option. Explain that a good option is safe, healthy, considerate of others, and obeys rules or laws. Talk about how the choice Sister made was the best decision she could make in her situation.
Step 1: Inform students that they will complete their own consequences chart with a partner. Brainstorm with students three realistic — real or imagined — circumstances, similar to Sister's, that might involve peer pressure. Encourage students to come up with appropriate scenarios that have positive and negative consequences, such as a new student joins the class, but your friends discourage you from inviting him to sit with your group during lunch. Record at least three class-generated scenarios and their options on the board or chart paper.
Step 2: Distribute the Positive and Negative Consequences T-Chart printables. Instruct students to choose an option from the list and copy it on the line provided onto their Positive and Negative Consequences T-Chart.
Step 3: Instruct students to find a partner and help each other brainstorm all the positive and negative consequences for that option onto their T-Chart. Ask them to make a decision as a team on how the scenario will be solved. Explain that they will be role-playing this scene with each other and possibly the class.
Step 4: Once students have completed their T-Charts and made their decisions, instruct them to make up a skit on this particular situation, demonstrating the "Stop! Explore, Go!" process, the options, the consequences, who they went to for help, and how a good decision was made. Allow time for them to create the skit. If you have access to puppets, provide them as props.
Step 5: Have students play out their skits with each other.
Step 6: Give students the opportunity to perform their skits with partners for the class.
Supporting All Learners
Encourage the more talkative, animated students to take lead roles in the skits to be performed in class.
Have students create Say No to Peer Pressure posters that depict "Stop! Explore, Go!" to be displayed around the school.
Have students write about a time when they went through the "Stop! Explore, Go!" process to make a decision for homework.
- Complete a Positive and Negative Consequences T-Chart printable
- Participate in a role play activity
- Were students able to role play in the decision making activity?
- Do I need to follow up with additional practice opportunities?
Observe students' ability to create multiple options for a scenario and differentiate between positive and negative consequences.
Evaluate the completed Positive and Negative Consequences T-Chart printables.