Do your friends often insist on joining them for late-night parties? It is common to come across such instances where students are influenced by the behavior, attitudes, thoughts, and actions of their fellow mates. While certain actions could help students advance academically, others might put undue pressure on them. Some high school students could feel uncomfortable if they choose not to participate in these activities that interest their friends.
We can understand this force or rigorous insisting behavior to follow certain attitudes, beliefs, or ideas as peer pressure. Peer pressure is inevitable and not all such instances are harmful. However, it is important for high schoolers to understand this concept and decode effective ways to deal with it.
In this case, peer pressure games and activities become a helpful tool to increase students’ awareness of such real-world instances in a fun and light-hearted manner. With such games and activities, students get an opportunity to refine their decision-making skills, enabling them to approach such situations with increased confidence. In this article, you will find thoughtful games and activities drafted to empower students and cultivate a resilient mindset when it comes to handling peer pressure.
Helpful peer pressure games and activities for high schoolers
Just as empathy activities allow students to understand feelings, peer pressure activities create a sense of awareness in high schoolers. The below-mentioned activities are perfect to instill confidence and social skills that help them face realistic situations with wisdom.
1. Positive or Negative?
Peer pressure seems to be a daunting concept however, it is not just about harmful instances or forceful situations by peers. Hence, it is important for students to understand the types of peer pressure. This game allows them to be quick at guessing and even sharpens their critical thinking skills.
For this game, ask students to make two different paper cutouts titled Positive and Negative. Divide the students into teams of 2 members each. Two teams compete with each other. Now, present the peer pressure scenario and teams need to raise the paper cutout whichever they think fits the situation. For example, if the situation is – your friend is forcing you to read a new book he has purchased then this is categorized as Positive peer pressure.
2. Peer Pressure Quiz
A quiz is one of the helpful ways to indulge students in critical thinking. It empowers them to think out of the box and filter their thoughts in the right manner. For this activity, divide the students into teams of 2 members each. Two teams shall compete against each other.
Prepare a quiz and distribute this paper to both teams. The teams are supposed to brainstorm and find solutions for all questions. These questions can include scenarios, multiple choice, or even short answers. The team that completes the quiz first with the maximum number of correct answers wins the game.
3. What’s your Excuse?
At times, peer pressure could be simple things like sneaking out or bunking a class. While this is not categorized as something very harmful, it still is peer pressure for students who do not want to indulge in it. For this game, students need to be super creative and think of the best excuses.
To begin with the game, read aloud any peer pressure scenario. Now, divide students into teams of 3 members each. Two teams compete with each other. Present the scenario and each team thinks of different yet creative excuses. Let the other students decide which team gives the best excuses. The one with the best excuses wins the game.
4. Role Play
When students understand peer pressure by stepping into such situations, they are more likely to decode the essential steps to be taken in such cases. This activity focuses on teaching students how to handle peer pressure without feeling guilty about not participating in it. For this activity, divide students into teams.
Now, write such situations that constitute peer pressure like forcing someone to smoke or bullying someone online. Assign a topic to each team and they need to showcase the scene by playing roles. Other students in the class can share their feedback, personal experiences, or solutions after the act.
5. Observe your actions
In today’s era of pervasive technology and social media, getting influenced by others is very common in teenagers. However, getting influenced by peers is much more evident. Students sometimes find themselves compelled to engage in certain activities just to show off and look superior, regardless of whether these activities align with their best interests.
Another facet of this scenario entails that students might also be aware of the activities that are wrong but feel pressured to partake in them or willingly choose to do so. Now this calls for making them aware of the right actions to take and letting them know that they can talk to their parents, teachers, or guardians in any such situation.
To carry out the activity, ask students to observe their day carefully in terms of what they’re doing in school or anywhere they are. Then they need to carefully think if any such activity they’re enrolling under any kind of pressure. Students have to make a note of it. Instruct them to think of answers to certain questions which can be;
What is the activity?
What do you think, is it right or wrong from any context/perspective?
Are you doing it under any kind of pressure or is it your own choice?
If you feel you’ve been pressured for the same, are you still interested in doing so?
If you’re interested, then what it is that is stopping you from going ahead?
Students just have to note such instances in slips without mentioning their names. Teachers can then collect them and choose a day to read these anonymous slips in front of students for which other students and teachers can share their insights. This might help that particular child to know more about the same. If he/she still feels confused then they can approach the teacher or counselor for the same.
Often, students may find it difficult to open up and share their thoughts or concerns with others. This activity aims to provide students with a safe space to freely discuss any matter that’s on their minds, without any fear of judgment or hesitation. In doing so, teachers will have the opportunity to gain deeper insights into their students’ lives, enabling them to explore ways to offer comprehensive support and assistance.
6. Poster Making
Providing creative freedom is one of the ways to empower students to voice their opinions. Sometimes, all it needs is a unique way of expression to let students understand themselves and others better. For this activity, give a large sheet of paper to high schoolers and direct them to make a poster.
In this activity, students can sketch, draw, or paint their ideas related to peer pressure. They may also use different quotes or sayings to highlight their perspectives. Once the posters are made, allow students to explain their concepts to everyone in the class. For example, they may talk about cyberbullying, cultural diversity, or discrimination among students.
7. The 3 Choices
Acts of peer pressure are not a thoughtful process. Such situations generally occur all of a sudden and students certainly do not get time to process everything. Hence, this activity helps high schoolers make wise decisions whenever they face different acts of peer pressure from their fellow mates.
For this activity, make three different flashcards – IGNORE, SPEAK UP, and SAY NO. Place these cards on a table and present a situation that involves peer pressure. After this, invite each student to choose any of the choices. They need to explain their choice and let other students learn different ways to tackle peer pressure. Problem-solving activities like this one help high schoolers become better decision-makers.
8. Impromptu Speech
Peer pressure is a broad concept and high schoolers sure need to discover the various aspects of it. Some acts of peer pressure can be negative while some can also be positive. In this case, this activity helps students express their views in a quick manner thereby enhancing their critical thinking skills.
For this activity, write different topics that involve peer pressure and put them in the jar. Now, each student selects a topic from the jar and gets 2 minutes of preparation. They may share their experiences, any incidents they might have read about, or even ways to prevent it. Since it is impromptu, there’s no wrong or right. Make sure to involve students in a healthy discussion later. Social skills activities like this enable students to express their views with confidence and clarity.
Why are peer pressure games and activities important?
High schoolers are likely to come across various situations when they feel pressured to be involved in some activity or do specific tasks. That’s when games and activities help them figure out the right thing. It is evidently important to provide knowledge and let them discover this subject.
- Peer pressure games and activities prepare students to identify and resolve their concerns. When individuals are aware of situations, only then they can analyze, think, and take the necessary steps.
- Games and activities also create a sense of awareness among students which helps them decide the right course of action. It not only inspires them to stand for the right but also motivates them to spread the word among others.
- Indulging in such games and activities enhances their decision-making skills. It enables them to think, assess the potential solutions, and finally arrive at the most feasible decision.
- They also develop good communication skills and learn to deal with different types of people. It eventually helps develop a problem-solving mindset.
- Peer pressure games and activities promote acceptance and perspective-seeking behavior. It develops empathy and prepares students for real-world situations.
Peer pressure is indeed an important aspect of growing up. As high schoolers, students need to develop the right skills and confidence to handle different types of circumstances. With the help of the above-mentioned games and activities, teachers can create an effective learning environment where students not only learn but also freely express themselves. Games and activities act as the catalyst for boosting the morale of students as well as creating a safe space for exploring the vital aspect of handling peer pressure.
I am Shweta Sharma. I am a final year Masters student of Clinical Psychology and have been working closely in the field of psycho-education and child development. I have served in various organisations and NGOs with the purpose of helping children with disabilities learn and adapt better to both, academic and social challenges. I am keen on writing about learning difficulties, the science behind them and potential strategies to deal with them. My areas of expertise include putting forward the cognitive and behavioural aspects of disabilities for better awareness, as well as efficient intervention. Follow me on LinkedIn