What's Wrong with This Response?

By Activity Bank on Sep 23, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Charlotte Cushman and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

As part of working on socially appropriate behaviors, this activity will help students to identify emotions and apply problem-solving techniques. Lessons include English Language Arts, Concept Development, and Independent Living Skills.


Make situation cards with exaggerated responses which are inappropriate to a given situation. These can be recorded, read aloud by the teacher, or written on situation cards.


Ask students what is wrong with the response on a given situation card. Have them describe a more appropriate way to respond to the same situation. Situations might include some of the following:

  • Someone teases you and you punch him.
  • You don’t know the answer to something, so you yell at the person who asked you the question.
  • You don’t want to participate in a group, so you cry and whine throughout and ruin the activity for everyone else.
  • You lose something that is important to you, so you accuse your friends of stealing it.
  • The person sitting next to you is trying to get you into trouble by encouraging you to do something you know is wrong. You do it anyway, even though you know it’s wrong.
  • One of your friends is upset about something, so you tease him until he starts crying.
  • You’re in a store and you find something you like, but you don’t have enough money to buy it so you steal it.
  • You’re playing house with your friends. Your friend wants to name the baby “Tom” but you don’t like that name so you quit playing.
  • You get lost on your way to the classroom, so you sit down in the hallway.
  • You go to a restaurant and you try to kiss the waitress as you leave.


  • Have students role-play appropriate responses to the situations above.
  • Omit the exaggerated wrong response for students who are confused by this twist.
  • Incorporate some of these situations into a story using names, places and events from the students’ own lives.

Hint: Praise students for demonstrating socially acceptable behavior in natural settings.