The Middleburg Upstanders

Middleburg Community Charter School (MCCS), from Middleburg, VA promotes Upstander behavior by engaging students in immersive classes...Read More

A Christmas Story

A scene from the film: A Christmas Story
Themes that are covered in this film clip: Standing up to a Dare

Before you view this clip

Are you familiar with the plot from the movie: A Christmas Story?  Here’s a little background to help you out.
This tale may be set in the 1940s, but the situations these kids face are very familiar today. For example, when a friend dares you to do something that you know is not a good idea, what will you choose to do?
This 1983 film from MGM and Warner Brothers is directed by Bob Clark, written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark, and stars Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, and Ian Petrella.

  • If you are viewing this film clip with your Upstander Alliance group, try to make a connection of how everyone in the group is there to support each other as a “team”, just like in this film clip.
  • Do people in your discussion group feel comfortable sharing ideas and opinions?
  • Make sure that you establish ground rules that ensure that everyone can speak without the fear of judgment or ridicule.
  • Why is it sometimes easier to speak about scary or difficult topics by using humor (like this movie does)?
  • What’s the difference between laughing with someone and laughing at someone?

Some Questions for Discussion After Viewing the Film Clip

  • Do your friends influence what you say and do? How? Why?
  • Do you think this is true for other people as well?
  • What makes a dare so powerful?
  • What would happen if we said “no” to a dare?
  • What is “peer pressure”?
  • Do you think it is present at your school?

Moving to Take Action

Let’s try to identify examples of people who are well respected had to say “no” to following the crowd?
Try to help someone who is doing something potentially harmful only because they think they have to follow the crowd.