Popularity and Peer Pressure

Getting other people to like you is a big deal for tweens. But sometimes, kids don’t evaluate the cost of popularity. Real Life Drama challenges students to stop and consider the feelings of others whenever they relate to their classmates.

Objective

By the end of this session, students who may feel “unpopular” will be empowered to use a simple technique to join a new group. Students who may feel “popular” will be equipped to consider the feelings of others when someone tries to join their group.

Teaching

We begin with “Friend Auction,” where students can “buy” friendships based on how popular they perceive an imaginary person to be. Then we discuss a simple technique for making new friends.

1. WATCH what your potential new friends are doing.
2. ASK questions about their activity.
3. If they say it’s okay, JOIN the activity once you understand it.

Modeling

We show a short film called “The Popularity Show” about a group of girls who think they’re more popular (and therefore better) than everyone else at their school. Discussion questions help students relate the lessons of the story to their own lives.

Practicing

Students practice open-ended scenes that involve someone trying to make a new friend. Their goal is to experience the Watch-Ask-Join technique from both sides: the side of the person who wants to make new friends, and the side of the people who already have friends.

Wrap-Up

We remind students that fitting in is hard to do. We challenge those who already have good friends to always “save a place” for a new person to join their group.

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