Friday, March 20, 2015

A Walk to Remember: Peer Pressure

This is a romantic movie teenagers love and consider a classic. In fact, it is a good movie. This scene generated much more discussion than I had originally expected, which was perfect. I hope you like it.

I. Read the text below. Then pair up with another student and discuss the questions that follow.

Peers are people who are part of the same social group, so the term "peer pressure" refers to the influence that peers can have on each other. Although peer pressure does not necessarily have to be negative, the term "pressure" implies that the process influences people to do things that may be resistant to, or might not otherwise choose to do. So usually the term peer pressure refers to socially undesirable behaviors, such as experimentation with alcohol and drug use, or even vandalism and crime, rather than socially desirable behaviors, such as academic success, although it could be applied to either, and either could be a positive or a negative experience for the individual.Peer pressure is usually applied to younger people, especially teenagers. Adolescents are particularly vulnerable, because they are at a stage of development when they are separating more from their parents' influence, but have not yet established their own values or understanding about human relationships or the consequences of their behavior. They are also typically striving for social acceptance at this stage, and may be willing to engage in behaviors that will allow them to be accepted that are against their better judgment.

Tips to help kids deal with peer pressure:
  • Stay away from peers who pressure you to do things that seem wrong or dangerous.
  • Learn how to say "no," and practice how to avoid or get out of situations which feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
  • Spend time with other kids who resist peer pressure. It helps to have at least one friend who is also willing to say "no."
  • If you have problems with peer pressure, talk to a grown up you trust, like a parent, teacher or school counselor.

1. What is peer pressure?

2. Have you ever felt peer pressure in your life? What about when you were a teenager?

3. Give some examples of peer pressure you are familiar with?

II. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:


1. Describe the scene.^

2. Why is it an example of peer pressure?

3. Why did the boy decide to jump?

4. Who should be held responsible for the accident? Choose the best alternative.

a. The guy who jumped, after all he decided to jump himself.

b. The boy who pretended he would jump, but did not. After all, he persuaded his new friend to take the risk and tried to help him afterwards.

c. The other fiends who fled and left their peers near the pool.

d. The owner of the swimming pool who did not provide safety measures to prevent trespassers.

e. Nobody. It was an accident.

5. Read  the situations below and think about your answers to the questions.

  • You have a close friend that your other friends don't like. You're having a party at your house this weekend. If you invite your good friend, your other friends will be angry with you. If you don't and your close friend finds out, he/she will be hurt. What would you do if you were in this situation? And if your good friend could never find out about the party?

  • You're assigned to work on a group project with three other people in your English class. You have to agree on one topic. One person suggests an idea and everyone else seems to like it. What would you do if you had a better idea? What if you were new in the school and the most popular person in your class suggested the original idea?

  • Your cousin is a compulsive shopper: the minute he gets the money, he spends it.Recently, he lost his job and asked you for a loan. You have the money but you do not want to loan it to him. What would you do if your other relatives started pressuring you to loan the money? And if you found out that your cousin just bought himself a new cell phone and laptop?


  1. Great!! You are right, teenagers love this movir and the subject can help them a lot! Thanks for the help!

  2. Thanks, Anna. My students loved the scene and it was a great conversation generator. See you.