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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 51

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbooks Activity 51
Attack and Avoid

Purpose of Activity

  • To develop understanding about assertive behaviour.
  • To remind ourselves of verbal and body language which warn us of an attitude or type of behaviour in others.
  • To notice these signs in ourselves and use them as an opportunity to recognise what kind of response we are likely to use and check that it is appropriate.

Life Skills: Coping with Stress & Emotion, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Self-awareness


Important Points
Being polite is different from being passive because you can be polite and still make your point. I statements are a good example of politeness without passivity, see Activity 19: You and I.


  • Large sheet of paper
  • A marker pen of crayon


  1. Ask children to listen to the list of actions you are going to read out
    • If they think they do something often, they should put both hands in the air
    • If they think they do something sometimes, they should put one hand in the air
    • If they think they never do something, they should keep both hands down. You can join in with these actions too.
  2. First read out all the actions in the Attack column and then those in the Avoid column. (These may need adapting to fit the group.)

  1. Explain that the actions in the first column are attacking behaviours while the second column of actions are avoiding behaviours.
  2. Ask everyone to think which they do more often.
  3. Brainstorm what the 2 words attack and avoid mean. Write down all the ideas on a chart.
  4. Ask group to think of one reason why they behave in an attacking or avoiding way.
  5. Ask them to describe their examples.
    • What did they say?
    • How did they say it?
    • What did they do with their bodies?
  6. In pairs, ask the children to create an attack response and an avoid response to a conflict situation. Ask them to work on it again using the ‘I’ statements.

Final Discussion:

  • What signs can help us to see how someone is behaving. How can this help us respond in the right way?
  • What signs do we show which warn us that we are not going to be assertive? How can we change this?
  • How does it feel to change our body position when saying the same words?
  • What is the difference between being polite and being weak?

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