Quick Activities

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Being Assertive: Class Activity

  • Alcohol and Cannabis Module
  • Climate Schools logo
Year: Year 7–8, Year 9–10
Targeted Drugs:

Developers

NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use, National Drug & Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW. See Climate Schools.

Format

Pair work, followed by class discussion.

Preparation

Print the “Being Assertive”  worksheet (attached). 

Activity

Pair work:  The aim of this activity is for students to learn about being assertive and how to say no. Split the class into pairs. Give each pair a copy of the group worksheet. Once complete, get each pair to report their ideas to the class.

You may find it useful to provide students with the “Making Choices” factsheet for ideas about how to be assertive. 

Background Information

Refusal skills: In some situations or with some people it can be hard to resist the pressure to drink alcohol. Many adolescents find it particularly difficult to say “no”.

Skill 1: Being assertive

Learning to be assertive probably takes the most practice. However, there are three easy steps to follow to help say “no to alcohol”, which are:

  1. State your answer
  2. Give your reason
  3. Be understanding. Show you understood the other person’s position.
 Skill 2: Make an excuse

As the title implies this involves the person making an excuse.

• “No thanks, my parents are picking me up soon”.

Skill 3: Delay tactics, put someone off until later

This involves putting the person off until later and trying to avoid the situation.

• “I’ll just have a soft drink first.”

Benefits

  • Students explore different approaches to being assertive and saying no.

Evidence Base

Secondary teachers reviewed this and other Climate School activities, with 92.3% rating these activities as good or very good. This particular activity was among the most popular activities selected for implementation by teachers.

The benefits of implementing individual activities from the Climate schools has not been examined. The benefits of implementing the entire 6 session Climate schools program has been supported by multiple research studies, see Climate Schools: Alcohol and Cannabis Module.