Peer Pressure Games & Activities

Instructor: Elisha Madison

Elisha is a writer, editor, and aspiring novelist. She has a Master's degree in Ancient Celtic History & Mythology and another Masters in Museum Studies.

The realities of peer pressure can make for intense classroom discussions. Games and activities are fun ways to teach students how to recognize and respond to peer pressure. This lesson offers a variety of activities and games you can try.

Peer Pressure

No matter what age, most students are affected by peer pressure. Although there are positive types of peer pressure, like friends pressuring one another to do better in school, most peer pressure has a negative connotation. Peer pressure can come in many different forms, from rejection of those unlike you, to making fun of people for their differences, or even convincing someone to commit a crime.

Regardless of the form, peer pressure can be very damaging. Creating different ways for students to understand the consequences of succumbing to peer pressure is the key to stopping it. The following activities and games can be varied depending on age range.

Peer Pressure Games

Games can be a light-hearted way to bring attention to a serious subject.

Pick the Peer Pressure

Have your classroom split up into groups of four-six. You should have three groups act out scenes, and one that sits and watches. Each group should be prepped outside of class on what roles they are playing and what they should do. Then, all three groups stand up in front of the class and perform their short skit. Once all three performances are over, the group that is sitting has to choose which scenario was peer pressure. It can be more than one. Provide many different scenarios of influence, rejection, name calling, and bullying. You can also use the peer pressure of example, which involves students trying to look cool, playing on their mobile devices or pretending to smoke, for instance. Their example provides a type of peer pressure for other students who want to emulate them. This range of situations shows students that peer pressure is not always blatant.

The Silliest Response

This is a play on a card game, like Apples to Apples.

  • First, make up 15-25 cards featuring peer pressure scenarios and phrases like 'Cheating on the math test is ok, because they make it too challenging,' or 'Have a drink! My parents say it's ok, and it's fun!'.
  • Second, (this is the fun part) make up silly responses students can use to resist or deflect peer pressure. For example, 'Drinking makes me cuddle with the dog, and he slobbers, so no.' or 'Nah, smoking gives me bad breath, which means no kitty kisses later!' The more ridiculous the better.
  • Then, have the kids sit down in groups of five or more. Each student should have 5 response cards, while the scenario cards go in the center. One person draws the first scenario card and reads it out loud to the group. Then, each student chooses the best answer from their own cards and places it face down in front of the reader. The reader then reads all the responses and chooses the best one. The teaching point of this is to provide silly but effective ways for students to say no to peer pressure.

Guess the Ending

Present different short examples of peer pressure to the group, specifically realistic ones demonstrating positive and negative consequences. For instance, a young boy is being bullied by a gang, and then his own friends pressure him to bring a weapon to school. Or perhaps a child is struggling in class and wants to give up, but his friends pressure him to try harder. Then, ask the students to guess the ending and explain what they think happened to both students. This will help students better understand the impact of peer pressure and the mindset it takes to deal with it.

Peer Pressure Activities

Activities don't necessarily have to be fun; they just need to demonstrate the challenges of peer pressure.

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