Learning Activity for Grades 6 – 8

Expected Outcome:

Youth will learn new and creative ways to say “No” to drugs, alcohol and tobacco and resist negative peer pressure.

Focus Scripture: Matthew 10:32 (NRSV)

“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

Materials Needed:

Flip chart paper and markers

Sticky dots (circles) to be used in voting (3 dots per person)

Tips for Youth Leaders

Learning to say “no” and resisting peer pressure are skills that allow young people to make their own decisions about moral behavior. To be a part of a group and to be accepted is very important for all of us, and especially for adolescents. At some time, in order to be a part of a group, most of us have allowed someone to pressure us into doing something we had not intended to do.

Young people who are aware of peer pressure situations and who learn and practice skills to resist it are better able to resist all types of pressure. This activity will encourage the group to be creative with their strategies to say “no” and enjoy the challenge of coming up with effective options.

Activity Directions

Step 1. – In small groups of four or five, have the youth brainstorm outrageous ways to say “No” to peers related to the use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Then, direct the groups to write their lists on large sheets of paper in order from 1 to 10. When all the groups have completed their lists, ask a representative for each group to stand and read the list beginning with number ten and working up to number 1. Encourage applause and laughter!

Step 2. – When each group has read its Top Ten list of outrageous ways to say “No”, ask each group to write a second list. This time, the list needs to be their Top Ten Most Likely to Succeed Ways to Say “No.” When they complete this second list, invite each group to come forward and present its list of effective ways to say “no.” Invite applause and discussion.

Step 3. – Post all the top ten lists. Give each person three sticky dots and ask them to move around the room reading the lists of tways to say “No”. They are to place their dots one at a time next to the strategies they believe they would use with their peers to say “No” to the use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco. When everyone has had a chance to do this, announce the top three or four ways people have chosen. If there is time, have the group act out the Top Ten Ways to Say “No” to Peers.

Step 4. – Conclusion. Congratulate the group on all their creative thinking during this activity. Remind the group that learning ways to say “No” helps them to stand up for themselves. As a result, they will be more comfortable telling their friends they do not want to do something that may be unsafe, illegal, immoral or unwise.