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



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.

Materials needed

  • Access to the video When does banter go too far?

  • Large space

  • Collaboration tools (A3 paper, sticky notes, digital brainstorm application)

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Evaluate emotional responses in different situations to refine strategies for managing emotions (AC9HP10P06)

  • Plan, rehearse and evaluate strategies for managing situations where their own or others’ health, safety or wellbeing may be at risk (AC9HP10P08)

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Personal and Social Capability:

    • Self-awareness

    • Self-management

    • Social awareness

    • Social management

NSW PDHPE Syllabus

  • Analyses factors and strategies that enhance inclusivity, equality and respectful relationships (PD5-3)

  • Critiques their ability to enact interpersonal skills to build and maintain respectful and inclusive relationships in a variety of groups or contexts (PD5-10)

Victorian Curriculum: Health and Physical Education

  • Evaluate factors that shape identities, and analyse how individuals impact the identities of others (VCHPEP142)

  • Examine the impact of changes and transitions on relationships (VCHPEP143)

Show details

Activity 1

Small-group brainstorm: What is banter?

15 minutes

  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.

Activity 2

Crossing the line: Banter statements

30 minutes

  1. Ask students to form a straight line, facing the front.

  2. Read out loud to the students each of the banter statements provided below.

  3. After each statement, students step forward if they think the statement ‘crosses the line’. This means that they think the statement could offend someone or make them feel uncomfortable. Provide students with an opportunity to share their reasons for choosing either to step forward or to remain still.

Banter statements

  • Should’ve gone to Specsavers.

  • Don’t be a pussy.

  • Who invited you?

  • Remind me why I’m friends with you.

  • What is wrong with you?

Activity 3

Video: When does banter go too far?

15 minutes

  1. Provide students with access to the video When does banter go too far?

  2. After they have watched the video, ask them:

    • Why can banter be difficult to interpret?

    • The next time you’re joking around with friends, will you think about how you could be making others feel?

    • What can you do if you feel uncomfortable?

    • How can we make sure we don’t cross the line with banter?


Free teaching resources emailed to you

Subscribe to our newsletter for the latest teaching resources on mental health and wellbeing.

To see how we use this information check out our Privacy policy.