Being assertive and decision making

The goal of this module is

  • to get to know the difference between assertiveness and aggression.

Ideal Group size:

Up to 30


25 minutes



  • Chalk board and chalk or flip chart papaer and marker pens
  • ‚Assertive v Aggressive‘ cards
  • Background notes (page 6, Background notes document),
  • Copies of the handout for all children

Materials for download:

External resources:

How it’s done

  1. Make a circle.
  2. Ask six children to volunteer to come into the middle of the circle. They should be in twos and should face their partner in their boxing stance. Give each one an aggressive/assertive card.
  3. Write on the flip chart or chalkboard the definitions of assertive and aggressive:
    • Assertiveness: expressing thoughts, feelings and beliefs in a direct, honest and appropriate way. Assertiveness is part of effective communication. When you are assertive you can ask for help when it is needed, avoid arguing, disagree without becoming angry, and feel better about yourself.
    • Aggression: a feeling of hostility that may lead to attacks or an unprovoked violent action. Being aggressive involves putting other people down, blaming, or criticizing them.
  4. Ask each of the children to read out their cards. Get the group to discuss: Are they being assertive or aggressive?

Aggressive v Assertive cards

  • I am feeling uncomfortable with you standing this close to me. Will you please move back (ASSERTIVE)
  • Get out of my space, I hate having you so close to me, go away NOW! (AGGRESSIVE)
  • You are being too violent, I don’t want you as my partner, you’re useless (AGGRESSIVE)
  • I think you are a stronger boxer than me. Can I ask you to make the practice a bit less intense because I am not enjoying this (ASSERTIVE)
  • If you keep doing that I am going to punch you very hard in the face. You have made me very angry and there is only one thing I can do now and that is to hurt you (AGGRESSIVE)
  • Can you please stop doing that. It is making me feel upset and angry and I want us to do this practice as the coach has said. Let’s help each other get it right. (ASSERTIVE)

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