The youth-written stories in YCteen give inspiration and information to teens in foster care while offering staff insight into those teens’ struggles.

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Teacher Lesson Return to "Can’t Afford to Follow"
Can’t Afford to Follow
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Lesson for "Can’t Afford to Follow"

Goal: Students write about resisting peer pressure.

Students read about peer pressure and write a short essay about a time they succumbed to peer pressure and how they later stopped.

Read the story in class (silently, or aloud with you and the students taking turns).

1. Ask some simple factual questions:
Why didn’t Charlene get pulled in by the police?
Why did she refuse to steal money from her mother and what did she do instead?
Why did she tell her mother about her cutting?
How was the second group of friends different from the first?

2. Give your students the following assignment (they can do it at home if that seems more practical.) They are to write a three-paragraph personal essay. In the first paragraph, they should describe something negative that they (or a friend) did because other people were doing it. The second paragraph should describe why they stopped. The third paragraph should relate how they felt after they stopped.

3. Ask for volunteers to read the stories out loud in the group. Focus on why the writer stopped the negative activity. Why did she stop? Was it hard? What did she gain from stopping? What did she lose?
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