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Making Up Your Mind

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TOPIC: Making Healthy Decisions

CONCEPT: Students are often preoccupied with trying to figure out who they are. Although they are focused on themselves, they are also concerned about their friends and are open to pressures from their friends. It is very difficult for students to feel different. Fitting in and being accepted is extremely important. It is essential that students begin to develop skills that will help them make healthy choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Recognizing that they are capable of making healthy decisions and that they have the capacity and right to think for themselves is central to ensuring that they believe that they can say "NO."

GRADE LEVEL: 3rd - 5th

Method: Classroom activity
Time Frame: 30 minutes
Material: Worksheet, markers, butcher paper

ACTIVITY: Before the class run off a work sheet (see below) for each student in the class, divide the class into five or six groups of four. Have each group select a leader and a recorder. Assign each group one of the situations and have them discuss the situation in their small group. Have the students write several solutions on the butcher paper. Have the group role play one of the solutions. Lead the applause after each role play.

DISCUSSION: After the role plays, lead a discussion with the class utilizing the following questions. Be sure to stress how important it is for them to think for themselves and to believe that they are capable of making good choices.

Discussion ideas:

  • What choices does Kirby have?

  • Is there a way she could make friends with the girls and not smoke?

  • What might Kirby say to Patsy?

  • What might she say to the other girls?

  • What choices does Brady have?

  • Is there a way he can do other things?

  • What might he say to Stephen?

  • What choices does Donna have?

  • What could Donna say to Stefanie at the house?

  • What should Donna do if Stefanie decides to try the beer?


Kirby has been invited by some girls in her class to go to a party. Her friend Patsy asks Kirby to go roller skating the same night as the party. Kirby is excited about the party because some middle school boys will be there, but she overheard the girls talking and knows the girls are going to try smoking. She wants to make new friends, but she doesn't want to smoke. What can Kirby do? Tell how she might handle the situation.

Brady is behind in his homework because he was sick and missed three days of school. As he leaves hockey practice, Stephen calls out to him. Stephen and two friends are going to the mall to hangout after school. Brady would like to be friends with Stephen and the other boys. What can Brady do? Tell how he might handle the situation.

Donna's best friend Stefanie has asked her over to her house after school to watch a movie. Her parents will be at work. Stefanie finds a beer in the refrigerator at her house and wants Donna to try some with her. Donna really wants to be friends with Stefanie. What can Stefanie do? Tell how she might handle the situation.

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