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Peer Pressure: grades 3 and 4

Julie Shaffer and Heather Ward

Help kids stand up to their friends' negative influences and resist peer pressure.

1. Single-Minded-Say: "Today we're going to discover how we have the choice to stand up for what's right, but sometimes friends try to get us to do what's wrong. When friends try to get us to do something we don't want to do, that's called peer pressure."

Form pairs. If you have an uneven number, form one group of three. Using string, tie partners together side by side. Tell children they can't talk during this game.

Then call out the following commands and give children time to follow the commands: run to the side; hop up and down; lie on your side; go around in a circle.

Afterward, read aloud James 1:5-8. Then ask: "How difficult was it to work together? What does it mean to be "double-minded"? How was this game like being double-minded? Is a double-minded person more or less likely to give in to peer pressure? Explain. According to James, how can we be "single-minded"?

Say: "Having two brains working together is like being double-minded. There are two minds thinking two different things. Let's play the game again where you can talk and see what it's like to be single-minded."

Play the game again and allow children to talk.

Then ask: "Was the game easier or more difficult when you could talk? Explain. Was this more like being double-minded or single-minded?" Explain. "How can talking to God help us be single-minded? How can we stand up for what's right if we're single-minded?"

2. Stand-Up Poster-Lead children in brainstorming times they didn't stand up when they should have and times they've seen others pressured to do something they shouldn't have. List these on a sheet of newsprint.

Form groups of no more than four. Give each group a sheet of posterboard, construction paper, scissors, markers and transparent tape. Have groups each choose and create a stand-up scene that depicts one of the situations on the newsprint list. Children can make their scenes 3-D by bending and taping the bottoms of cut-out figures to the posterboard.

When groups are finished with their stand-up posters, have them each explain their poster and tell what would've been a good choice in that situation.

3. Taking a Stand-Reinforce this stand-up theme by leading kids in singing "The B-I-B-L-E" from First Sunday Sing-A-Long or "Stand Up" from Kids Praise 3 (both by Maranatha).

Then serve children Oreo cookies. Encourage them to twist the cookies apart and eat each side separately so they'll remember to be single-minded instead of double-minded in making future choices.

Have children each name one area to be single-minded in. Then close in prayer.


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