Once the students have completed this list, there are four key points to share:

  1. Remind the students that the focus of the previous classes has been developing an understanding of the way personal, social, and cultural factors affect the decisions they make about alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs. Using the Circles of Influence slide (7.A), explain that these factors can be described as
    • How I influence myself
    • How others influence me
    • How I am influenced by the world around me

  2. Write the three factors on separate pieces of flip chart paper. Alternatively, make three columns on the board in front of the classroom using the same headings. Ask the students for examples of the things that might fit under each heading. Some typical responses might look like this

    Picture 93

  3. We have control over some of these influences and no control over others.
    • Sometimes, the various influencing factors may be in conflict with each other (for example, what friends want us to do and what parents may want us to do).
    • Depending on our individual values and goals, some of these factors have a strong influence on the decisions we make, while others have only a minor or weak effect.
    • The factors that influence us change over time.

  4. Ask the students to work in pairs or groups of three and hand out a copy of Student Handout 7.G-Circles of Influence diagram to each student. This provides them with an opportunity to talk about “who” and “what” influences them with a peer or peers.

  5. Ask the students to think about “who” and “what” influences them, based on what they have learned in previous classes and their own experience. Instruct them to talk this over in their groups and fill in the Circles of Influence diagram by placing the things that influence them in the appropriate category: how I influence myself, how others influence me, or how I am influenced by the world around me.

  6. When the students have had about 5 to 10 minutes to complete this, ask a few general questions of the whole group about the things they identified as influencing them. For example:
    • How many of you identified a friend as an influence?
    • How many identified a family member as an influence?
    • Who tended to be more of an influence, your parents or your friends?
    • How many of you identified your knowledge about alcohol and drugs as an influence?
    • How many of you identified movies or television as influences?

  7. Wrap up the activity and conclude the class by asking students to hand in their Circles of Influence diagram for assessment.