Quick activity

Being Assertive: Class Activity

OurFutures alcohol & cannabis
Targeted Drugs:

This resource has undergone expert review.

Year 7–8, Year 9–10
Time Allocated

1 lesson






Previously known as Climate Schools, OurFutures was developed by researchers based at the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney, Australia. See the OurFutures website for more information.


Individual work, followed by class discussion.


Print or electronically share the “Being Assertive”  worksheet (attached). 


Individual work: The aim of this activity is for students to reflect on being assertive and saying no. Give each student a copy of the worksheet. Once complete, students can 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.”


  • Students explore different benefits and scenarios in which to be assertive and say no.

Evidence Base

Secondary teachers reviewed this and other OurFutures 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 OurFutures has not been examined. The benefits of implementing the entire 6 session OurFutures program has been supported by multiple research studies, see OurFutures: Alcohol & Cannabis Module.

Page last reviewed: 26/02/2024

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