Lesson Plan

The Costs and Benefits of Belonging

Peer pressure and the desire for acceptance are powerful things. A thought-provoking lesson looks at the positive and negative effects of wanting to belong to a group. Class members examine the roles of the perpetrator, the victim, the bystander, and the upstander in response to an act of injustice.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Begin by having class members journal about a time they, or someone they know, went along with a group although they know that to do so was wrong
  • After journaling, have the class brainstorm possible motives for why individuals go along with a group and leave the list posted throughout the lesson
  • Preview the Shalen video to determine if class members will read the transcript of the "In" Group or watch the video
Classroom Considerations
  • The lessons are cumulative and designed to be taught in order
  • Requires a free account to access materials
  • Fifth in a 15-lesson unit
  • requires multiple copies of Shalen's story and the vocabulary handout

  • Offers tips on how upstanders can respond safely to acts of injustice
  • Recognizes both positive as well as negative aspects of belonging
  • None