How banter can be hurtful

Sometimes, what’s intended to be banter could actually be hurtful to the other person. It isn’t always obvious, since many people might choose to ignore it or to laugh it off. This lesson asks students to consider what is appropriate and inappropriate banter.

Year Level




60 minutes


  • In class activity
  • Online learning
  • Take-away activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making

Learning Intention

Students will understand what banter is and how it can affect those around them.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain what banter is
  • identify statements that could make others feel uncomfortable
  • understand the impact banter can have.

Small-group brainstorm: What is banter? 15 mins

  1. Divide the class into small groups.
  2. Provide each group with an A3 piece of paper or other space on which to collaborate (e.g. Google Docs, whiteboard, sticky notes).
  3. Give students 5 minutes to write down anything they associate with ‘banter’.
  4. If the students need prompts, they could consider:
    • definition
    • examples
    • where and when they might use banter
    • the impact of banter.
  5. Discuss the brainstorm with students. Key ideas to include in this discussion:
    • Banter can be a fun part of being with friends. It is often described as ‘joking around’.
    • What you’d say to one person, you might not say to another. Therefore, it’s important to think about what’s appropriate.
    • It's common not to know what to do when you’re uncomfortable with something that’s been said, especially if it was said among friends.