Playlist teacher guide - Groups

Playlist information

Playlist summary

This playlist provides students with an opportunity to explore the different groups that exist in their community and what makes these groups similar and different.

Playlist purpose

As a result of engaging with the media items in this playlist students will:

  • Understand the different types of groups that exist in their community
  • Explore how conflict may arise in groups and how to deal with it respectfully
  • Celebrate the diverse nature of groups and their members.

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Learning objectives

  • Develop the skills and understandings required to establish and negotiate new relationships / friendships.
  • Understand how to behave respectfully and ethically as a member of a peer group.

Key messages

  • We all need to feel a sense of belonging and during adolescence peer groups provide these connections.

Year level(s) appropriate for

Year 7, Year 8, Year 9

Australian curriculum links

Investigate the benefits of relationships and examine their impact on their own and others’ health and wellbeing.

Evaluate strategies to manage personal, physical and social changes that occur as they grow older.

Investigate the impact of transition and change on identities.

Evaluate factors that shape identities and critically analyse how individuals impact the identities of others.

Examine the impact of changes and transitions on relationships.

Investigate how empathy and ethical decision making contribute to respectful relationships.

Media items

Groups introduction

Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: These slides introduce the Groups playlist.

Teacher notes:

Slide 1: Groups we belong to

Brainstorm with students all of the different groups they belong to or would like to belong to. Record them and then categorise as family group, friendship group, interest groups, community group, spiritual /cultural groups.

Now brainstorm the characteristics of each of the groups and the members who belong to the groups.

Finally discuss the reasons why people are members of these groups.

Record student responses.

Slide 2: Benefits of belonging

We have an inherent need to belong, to feel like we are a part of a group, and to be accepted by that group for who we really are.

Belonging to a group helps us feel valued, needed and accepted by others. Being a part of a group can help us feel that our beliefs and views are valid and our efforts and involvement are worthwhile. We also feel connected to others when we have shared interests and values.

Slide 3: Roles in groups

We often play very different roles in the different groups we belong to. Knowing what role/s we play in the group and what our responsibilities are helps us feel a deeper sense of belonging and can strengthen our connection to the group as a whole, and to individual members. For example:

  • Leader: someone who influences other people in the group.
  • Follower: someone who is influenced by the group leader.
  • Negotiator: someone who tries to reduce conflict and maintain harmony within the group.
  • Organiser: someone who initiates social activities and get-togethers for the group.
  • Nurturer: someone who is always concerned for the welfare of the individual members of the group.
  • Entertainer: someone who is responsible for keeping the group entertained and enjoying their time together, e.g. the joke teller, the performer.

Slide 4: Skills in groups

To become a valued member of a group we need to invest time and effort into building connections and establishing respectful relationships with group members. This can take a range of social skills including:

  • being able to initiate or join in conversations (offline and online)
  • cooperation and collaboration skills
  • being able to see other people’s points of view
  • negotiation and conflict resolution.

Groups we belong to

Type: Page.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Your class at school is just one of many groups that you belong to. Different groups have different membership and functions.

Suggested activities:

As a follow up to engaging with this content students could create a map of all of the groups they belong to and the strategy each group uses to stay connected.

After mapping the different groups they belong to, students can identify the benefits that belonging to each of the different groups provides to individual members and the group as a whole.

Additional activities:

Project-focused activities

Ask project teams to brainstorm a list of the characteristics that are needed within groups in order to form a “Good Society”.

Social Groups: Crash Course Sociology

Type: Video.

Duration: 10 minutes.

Source: Crash Course Sociology. ()

Summary: How do the groups that you are part of affect you? How do you, in turn, affect those groups? This video looks at what social groups are, the different kinds of groups that exist, group dynamics, leadership, conformity, networks and more!

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do groups that exist within our society influence the lives of individuals? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Depends on the group
    4. d.Only if you let them
    Discussion points:

    Groups exert influence in multiple ways:

    • Peer pressure: direct, overt and express efforts to prescribe certain attitudes and activities and to prohibit other behaviours or attitudes.
    • Peer-modelled behaviour: peers within a group will model behaviour of others in the group. The original behaviour in these instances was not intended to effect any change in others.
    • Normative regulation: is a more intentional strategy which is usually accomplished through gossip or teasing and involves conversations that reinforce the norms and expectations of a group.
    • Structuring of opportunities: this involves situations where peers provide contexts or opportunities for the participation in certain behaviours e.g. throwing a party to welcome someone who just moved to the area and was new to the school.

Types of peer groups

Type: Page.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: During high school you will belong to a number of different groups of your peers, including peer pairs, peer groups and peer crowds.

Suggested activities:

Ask the class to brainstorm examples in their community of peer cliques and peer crowds.

Ask students to share what common characteristics are shared by the members of the identified cliques.

Discuss the reasons why peer crowds may form and how they can work together to bring about social change. Ask students to brainstorm other social change movements that have been initiated by peer crowds.

Additional activities:

Project-focused activities

Ask project teams to list any peer groups within their community who they could work with on their action to create a Good Society. Get each team to identify the strategies they could use to engage with these different groups to convince them to come on-board and support the action they are taking to create a Good Society.

What makes a good friend?

Type: Web.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: ()

Summary: Having good friends who value and support you for who you are is really important to your happiness. Figure out what makes a good friend, and learn how you can be there for your friends when they need you most.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think it's important for everyone to have at least one good friend? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.It depends
    Discussion points:

    Having good friends who value and support you for who you are is really important to your happiness. Research has shown that the better the quality of your friendships, the more likely you are to be happy. So, being a great friend to someone and having friends support your back is good for your wellbeing. Figuring out what makes a good friend, and learning how you can be there for your friends when they need you most is one of the key skills you need to develop during your teenage years.

Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships

Type: Video.

Duration: 2 minutes.

Source: AMAZE Org. ()

Summary: We all have relationships with friends. Some may even become romantic. Sure, relationships can be complicated. Do you know the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy relationship with a friend or romantic partner?

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Is it easy to tell the difference between a healthy and unhealthy friendship? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.It depends on the type of friend
    Discussion points:

    Respect is one of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship. If there is any sign of disrespectful or abusive behaviour it is important to recognise it and challenge it within your friendship. The sooner you identify unhealthy aspects of a friendship the better chance you have of dealing with it effectively so that it doesn’t destroy the friendship.

    To explore further discuss the following questions with the class:

    • What types of behaviour would you consider disrespectful within a friendship?
    • Are any of these behaviours deal breakers and would lead you to end the friendship?
    • Why do you think some people may feel like it’s a deal-breaker and others will ignore or let it go?
    • How could you deal with these disrespectful behaviours if it was happening to you?

Dealing with conflict within groups

Type: Page.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: At some point, we all experience conflict. Depending on the situation it might not bother you, or it may make you anxious. There are things you can do to make managing conflict easier.

Teacher notes:

If you wanted to provide further information to students around managing conflict and developing their communication skills you might like to take a look at the following.

Helpful Communication:

Conflict with family:

Celebrating diversity in groups

Type: Page.

Duration: 4 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: Diverse backgrounds, interests and experiences enrich our friendship groups. Developing bonds with others from different genders, races, cultures, belief systems and life experiences vastly improves our ability to empathise and be respectful of the views and needs of others.

Suggested activities:

Ask students to think about the groups they belong to and identify the different roles that each member of their groups plays. Ask students to identify other roles within the group that weren’t listed on the page.

Discuss what happens to a group if there are too many people wanting to undertake the same role.

Discuss the following question as a class:

  • Can there be more than one leader in a group?

Ask students to brainstorm the diverse characteristics of members of their friendship group and to describe how this diversity makes their group stronger and more connected.

Additional activities:

Project-focused activities

Ask project teams to brainstorm different ways they can celebrate the diversity in their local community and be more inclusive of people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

Cultural Diversity: How can I celebrate my…

Type: Video.

Duration: 3 minutes.

Source: Project Rockit. ()

Summary: Groups with members from culturally diverse backgrounds tend to be more welcoming of new members and provide individual members with increased opportunity to develop friendships with people from a more diverse and varied social network.

Survey questions:

  1. Question number 1. Do you think we all make assumptions about other students based on their race or culture? Answers
    1. a.Yes
    2. b.No
    3. c.Maybe
    Discussion points:

    Discuss the following questions with the class:

    • What are some of the assumptions we might make about other students and community members based on their race, culture, religion, gender?
    • How could our school be more inclusive of culturally diverse students and people with families of diverse backgrounds?
    • Besides asking questions, what are some other ways you can be supportive of a friend who is culturally different to you?
    • Do you think stereotypes play a role in how people view cultural diversity? If so, how?

Groups conclusion

Type: Slides.

Duration: 5 minutes.

Source: The Good Society.

Summary: These slides conclude the Groups playlist.

Teacher notes:

To conclude this playlist, ask students to undertake a reflection activity about what they learnt about groups. To provide structure to their reflection work through the following slides:

Slide 1: Ask students to write down three things they learnt about the groups they belong to.

Slide 2: Ask students to write down three things they learnt about managing conflict within groups.

Slide 3: Ask students to write down three things they learnt about how to celebrate the diversity that exists within their groups.

Slide 4: Ask students to turn to a partner and go through the Connect – Extend – Challenge thinking routine by discussing the following questions:

  • CONNECT: How are the ideas and information presented CONNECTED to what you already knew?
  • EXTEND: What new ideas did you get that EXTENDED or pushed your thinking in new directions?
  • CHALLENGE: What is still CHALLENGING or confusing you? What questions do you now have?

Activities and extras

The learning generated through engaging with this playlist could be reinforced using these suggested activities:

Recipe for a great group: Get students to write a recipe out including ingredients and procedures for forming a great group.

Friendship mapping: Draw a sociogram of a group of friends / peers depicted in a novel they are reading or movie they are viewing. Include an indication on their sociogram of the type of group and the nature of the relationship between all of the characters.