I Did It To Fit In


Family Resources on I Did It To Fit In

Lesson Topic

Understanding Peer Pressure and the Choices We Make

Essential Question

What should I think about when friends encourage me to something that will have negative consequences?

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I Did It To Fit In – Lavale

If this lesson was used in the classroom: Students learned about how smoking (and peer pressure to smoke) can lead to negative consequences. In class students watched a video where Lavale discusses how he started smoking and how it damaged his health.

Getting Ready for the Conversation

Lavale started smoking cigarettes when he was in middle school and thought he could maintain a healthy lifestyle and smoke. He eventually learned that tobacco use interfered with his martial arts practice.

Note: When discussing smoking topics about other drugs may come up as well. Be prepared to discuss that even though nicotine is legal for adults it is always dangerous, along with vaping and other tobacco use (there is no safe or helpful dose of nicotine). The conversation may be nuanced in that alcohol and some other drugs in small quantities may not be dangerous when consumed responsibly by adults, but there is no safe amount of nicotine for someone to consume.

Conversation Starters and Practice at Home

Describe how peers/friends can be a good influence and how they can be a negative influence.

Name all the different types of products that contain nicotine. Why is each dangerous?

What is the best response when someone offers you a cigarette (or vape pen, or other tobacco product)? Why will this response work? Why do some youths think that tobacco use makes them popular?

Why is it a good idea to have friends who also avoid tobacco?

School to Home Resources on I Did It To Fit In

Lesson Plan

He knew it wasn’t true

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Lavale tells about his thinking about smoking, “As long as I worked out, smoking wouldn’t affect me that much”. He was telling himself something that he knew was not true. Have you ever done something that you knew was unsafe and convinced yourself that you would be okay anyway? Why do you think people sometimes do this?

I did it to fit in

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Lavale says, “I did it to fit in, to express myself in a more mature way”. Why is looking older and more mature a reason to do something that you know is unsafe? If Lavale had just said “no thanks” when offered a cigarette, would anyone around him thought less of him? Why or why not?

The effect of advertising

Take a look at this pair of 2015 print advertisements for cigarettes. Notice that neither couple in either ad is smoking. What are some words that describe the scenes in the ads? Why do you think the tobacco company wants you to associate the descriptions you wrote with smoking?

Encouraging positive choices

Watch this student-produced video about a group of students who are creating an app to encourage people to lower their ecological footprint. Are these students using a more constructive form of “peer pressure” to encourage people to do something positive rather than negative? Why or why not?

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