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Utilizing the following role-play scenario is an effective strategy for getting students to actively participate in a meaningful dialogue about substance abuse and addiction.

A teacher or student can serve as facilitator for these activities. The facilitator should set up the scenarios for the role-play and select students to take the parts outlined in the script. Different students should take parts in each scene. This gives the students in the classroom an opportunity to "experience" the issues first hand. Once the scene has been played out, the facilitator should discuss the outcome with the class and see if others might have played out the scene in a different way. When participating in role-play, each player's goal should be clear to him/her. The desired goal may arise from discussion prior to the activity, or be assigned by the facilitator.

Scene One

Characters:
    Joe/Josie, Friend.
Scenario:
    Joe/Josie is the cutest guy/girl in the junior class. He/she is class president, a basketball star, and runs track in the spring. Joe/Josie is also a good student. Everybody in the school would die to hang out with him/her.
Joe/Josie: "Hi. I've noticed you around. You know there's a party tonight at Jimmy Dean's house. Would you like to go with me? I'll pick you up at 8:00."

Friend: "I don't know..."

Joe/Josie: (Try to convince Friend to go with you.)

Friend: (If Joe/Josie can't convince you, sit down and let someone who wants to go to the party take your place. If Joe/Josie does convince you, continue the scene.)

Joe/Josie: (To the person who agrees to go to the party) "Great! Oh, and by the way, keep it under wraps. We don't want any trouble with the cops or parents or anything. You're still going, right?"

Friend: "Well... Do you really think it'll be okay?"

Joe/Josie: "Are you going to blow your one chance to go out with the most popular kid in the school just because it's an unsupervised party? Why? Nice knowing you, Nerd."

Friend: (Decide what you would do. If you still want to go with Joe/Josie, continue the scene. If Joe/Josie can't convince you to go, sit down and let someone who wants to go to the party take your place.)

Joe/Josie: (To the person who agrees to go to the party) "Cool. I'll see you at 8:00."

Continue to role-play the scene.

Facilitator:
When the scene has played out, lead the class in a discussion about how the Friend(s) handled the situaion.
  • Do you think the friend who agreed to go to the party is getting in over his/her head?
  • How would others in the group deal with this problem?

Scene Two

Characters:
    Friend, Friend's parent.
Scenario:
    It's one thing to decide whether to go to the party or not -- but getting your mom or dad's permission is something else entirely. Your parents are smart, and if they find out that you're about to go out with someone they don't know, they're going to want to some pretty detailed infomation. What are you going to tell them?
Parent: "Hey, kiddo. So, what are you doing this evening?"

Friend: (What are you going to do? Tell them the truth? Lie?)

Continue to role-play the scene.

Facilitator:
When the scene has played out, lead the class in a discussion about how Friend and his/her parent handled the situaion.
  • Is this really how it would happen?
  • How would others in the group handle the situation as the son/daughter?
  • How would others in the group handle the situation as the parent?



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