1. Introduce the notion of positive and negative feelings
about ‘the self’. Ask students for examples
of positive and negative feelings.
NOTE: Student answers might include:
Positive- useful, wanted, liked, needed, good, reliable, capable.
Negative- dumb, useless, ugly, worthless, not liked, bad.
2. Ask students to brainstorm what might make a person have
negative thoughts about themselves.
3. Distribute copies of student handout- Michelle’s
Story. Choose students to take on the various roles.
4. Begin performing the script. Ask students to mark on their
script when they think Michelle might experience a positive
or negative feeling about herself.
5. When the first performance of the skit is over discuss
the places where students identified that Michelle might have
experienced negative or positive feelings. Come to a group
consensus about the places. Ask students if they have ever
had feelings like Michelle.
6. Students, (same cast as before or new actors), perform
the skit a second time.
7. After the second performance ask students to consider each
time that other people made negative comments about or to
Michelle. Ask the question, Did Michelle deserve that comment
or action? Ask students to provide evidence from the skit
for their suggestions.
8. Choose one or more of the characters in the skit and discuss
the impact of intentional and unintentional actions and words
Questions to ask might include:
• What actions or words influenced Michelle?
•Did the person upset Michelle on purpose?
If yes, why did the person want to upset Michelle?
If no, why didn’t the person realise they were upsetting
• How do you think the incident will change Michelle’s
feelings to the other person?
•What might our reactions be to someone who intentionally
upsets us without a good reason?
NOTE: Reasons for individuals intentionally saying or
doing things to upset others may include ignorance or limited
awareness, unfulfilled expectations, disappointment, anger
at the other person, deflecting attention from themselves
or their own errors, annoyance at making a mistake themselves,
prejudice. These same influences can be the motivation of
words and actions that unintentionally upset others.
9. Ask students to suggest ideas about what a person can do
if they realise that their words or actions have hurt someone
10. Conclude the lesson by drawing student discussions and
suggestions to summarise that their actions and words can
have negative influences (e.g. bullies in the skit) and positive
influences (Michelle’s friend) on others.
Worksheets to download
Friends and Peers
ESL Activities 3: Cultural
Activities 4: Different
Activities 5: Iceberg
Activities 6: Pride
Activities 7: What
Activities 8: Who
Activities 9: Journeys
ESL Activities 10: Our
Paths to Australia
ESL Activities 11: A
Mixed Bag of Apples
Activities 12: Victims
Activities developed by teachers at Beverly Hills Intensive
English Centre, NSW