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Attitudes, values, and friendships

Possible learning activities

Part 1:  Friendship values continuum

  • Briefly discuss what the terms “values” and “attitudes” mean to students. For example, values are what we consider to be important and worthwhile and reflect our principles and standards, and attitudes are our tendency to think or act in a certain way. 
  • Place two signs labelled “Disagree” and “Agree” at opposite ends of the room. Explain to students that this continuum reflects the range of values and attitudes of all the people in the class. 
  • Students can choose a place on the continuum according to their response to the following statements. Encourage them to comment on their position in the continuum. (Note that, in order to form the groups for Part 2 of this activity, there needs to be a wide spread of opinions for at least one of the statements.)


  1. It’s more important to have one or two really close friends than to have lots of general friends.
  2. If a person has no friends, it’s their own fault. 
  3. Put-downs are all right if they’re from a friend.
  • As a result of one line-up on the continuum, form groups of five by taking two people from each end and one from the middle of the continuum. Appoint one person in each group as a recorder.

Part 2:  Tackling a problem

  • Write the following scenario onto enough cards so that each group has one. 


Kim has two tickets to go to a big rock concert (name a current one) that all the cool crowd from school are going to. Kim has to decide which person from her or his class to take. Who should Kim choose?

  • The person Kim sits next to in science, who can’t afford to buy shoes, let alone go to a concert?
  • The smartest person in the class, who helps Kim with her or his mathematics (Kim got 90 percent in the last test)? 
  • Kim’s cousin, Chris, who is currently suffering from acne, has his or her teeth in braces, and is feeling self-conscious about his or her weight? 
  • The most popular kid in the class, who will only include people in his or her group of friends if they are cool? 
  • The new immigrant student, who hasn’t made friends yet and doesn’t know much about New Zealand people and the way they live?

Give a card to the recorder in each group, who reads out the situation to the others. The group must decide by consensus which person in the scenario gets chosen. The recorder needs to write down the reasons why this person was chosen and the others were not.

  • An alternative activity is to divide the class into five groups and allocate one of the characters to each group. They must identify the possible reasons why Kim should choose their character. Each group then explores what attitudes and values might lie behind Kim’s choice of their character and what could be the impact on the well-being of both Kim and their character. Each group presents their analysis to the whole class. Encourage students to reflect on what their own decision would have been if they were Kim.

Suggested learning outcomes

Students will:

  • demonstrate an understanding of how their attitudes and values affect the way they respond to different situations (5C2)
  • demonstrate an understanding of how their attitudes and values affect the way they interact with people (5C2).


(particularly taha wairua)

Developing self-awareness and undertaking self-reflection and self-appraisal.

Attitudes and values

Exploring and reflecting on the attitudes, beliefs, and values of self and others.

Socio-ecological perspective

Critically analysing decisions and their impact on the emotional state.

Teachers' notes

  • If the scenario of Kim’s visit to a rock concert is inappropriate for your students, it can be rewritten as, for example, being on a team or going on a trip. In presenting alternative choices, select a range of differences, such as ethnicities, body sizes, abilities, or gender.
  • In reporting back, the recorder should comment not only on the consensus reached but also on the attitudes and values expressed that led to that decision. It may be necessary, before undertaking Part 2, to discuss with students what a consensus is and how to reach one.
  • Other roles may be assigned to group members, such as timekeeper, facilitator, or reporter.