To be a conformist or a rebel? Discussion of „10 things I hate about you”

Klaudia Maniakowska

Cele lekcji

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

– summarize the plot of the film

– define what is peer pressure

– identify the areas of peer pressure put on teenagers in the movie

– identify and describe examples of peer influence in the film

– provide reasons for peer influence on the example of the movie

– recognize and explain positive and negative outcomes of peer influence.

Czas pracy

180 minutes (projection, discussion)

Środki dydaktyczne

– film „10 Things I Hate about You”, dir. Gil Junger, 1999

– handout

– worksheet.

Metody pracy

– discussion,

– brainstorming

– 6 thinking hats.

Przebieg lekcji

1. Teacher briefly introduces the director and the cast of the movie:

a) director: Gil Junger

b) Julia Stiles as Kat Stratford

c) Larisa Oleynik as Bianca Stratford

d) Heath Ledger as Patrick Verona

e) Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Cameron James

f) David Krumholtz as Michael Eckman

g) Andrew Keegan as Joey Donner

h) Larry Miller as Mr. Stratford

2. Watching „10 Things I Hate about You”.

3. Teacher asks students to brainstorm some possible themes of the film. Teacher writes them on the board. Possible answers: first love, coming of age, conflict with parents, teenage rebellion.

4. Teacher provides students with an inspiration that has pushed the director to make the movie. Teacher distributes the handout with Gil Junger’s comments on the theme of the movie:

„I wanted it to be based on emotions that teenagers can relate to. Most teenagers get caught up in peer pressure and feel they should act a certain way to be accepted. I think that’s a valley that a lot of teenage kids fall into and it makes them unhappy. I wanted to send a message that it’s okay to have your own ideas, it’s okay to be unique, and that it’s okay to be who you are”.

5. Teacher presents the topic of the lesson.

6. Teacher asks students to define what is peer influence. Students fill in the handout.

„social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted” (

7. Teacher asks students to brainstorm in pairs the areas of peer influence that are presented in the movie. Students fill in the handout. Answer: dating, partying and drinking, sexual intercourse.

8. Teacher explains that since the idea of peer influence is a very complex one, the class is going to discuss the problem using the method of 6 Thinking Hats. Teacher explains the method if students are not familiar with it.

a) There are six hats (white, red, green, yellow, black and blue) and each represents a different mode of thinking.

b) White hat represents some objective information and facts about a problem.

c) Red hat stands for emotions and feelings that are generated because of the problem.

d) Green hat represents new ideas and possible creative solutions to the problem.

e) Yellow hat stands for positive aspects of the problem.

f) Black hat represents negative outcomes of the problem.

g) Blue hat is used to take control of the whole process, to maintain discipline and avoid wandering off the point.

h) While each hat focuses only on one aspect of the problem, the method enables creative, but also organized and detailed discussion of the problem.

9. Teacher divides the class into five groups and distributes worksheets with four questions (worksheet). Teacher takes the role of the leader and takes the blue hat.

10. Students answer the questions and teacher supervises students’ work. If there is a need, because students get lost, teacher talks to a particular group and guides the group using the questions from his own hat (worksheet).

11. Students are asked to present their answers to the class.

a) White hat: Mr. Stratford does not allow his daughter to date because he fears that Kat and Bianca may become pregnant. He forces Bianca to wear „the belly” to frighten her about the horrors of being a teenage mother. Joey has broken up with Kat because she did not want to have sex with him anymore. The party is advertised as an event with free beer, which implies that teenagers are going to drink alcohol.

b) Red hat: Bianca is frustrated and feels inferior as she is not allowed to date because, while girls at her school are allowed to go out. Kat’s attitude toward teen culture is completely different than her sister’s because she is a rebel and does not want to follow the crowd. Kat gets drunk at the part because she assumes that it is the typical behaviour at the party (but she may also not be able to watch Joey chasing Bianca). When Patrick says that Bianca is „without”, he claims that she lacks something special, something which Kat possesses (the ability to resist peer pressure). It means that Patrick appreciates making one’s own choices and supports Kat in her philosophy.

c) Green hat: Mr. Stratford could have just explained to his daughters that teen pregnancy is something that he often observes at work and that he insist on using condoms. His profession influences his decision, because he is paranoid that his daughters may become pregnant as he works with teenage moms. If he was not a gynaecologist, he would be less informed about the statistics, and less concerned about the issue. The absence of Kat and Bianca’s mother influences Mr. Stratford’s decision. If she was at home, she would act as a voice of reason. If Bianca was not allowed to date, she would probably be mocked.

d) Yellow hat: Kat would like to prevent her sister from repeating her own past mistakes. Kat’s sexual intercourse with Joey is the reason for her maturation because she realizes that she shouldn’t have followed the crowd. After the party Kat gets to know that Patrick really cares about her and that he is her real caring friend. The brief relationship with Joey enables Bianca to notice his shallowness and appreciate Cameron’s character in comparison to Joey’s.

e) Black hat: Kat’s refusal to follow the crowd is the reason for her alienation because other people do not understand her decision. After the events at the party Kat has got a „moral hangover” as she feel that she shouldn’t have danced at the table and drunk so much. The peer pressure is the reason for conflicts in the Stratford family because Bianca, Kat and Mr. Stratford constantly bicker about going out. Cameron and Michael are seen as nerds because they do not fit in the popular teenage culture. In consequence, they are mocked and not taken seriously.

12. Teacher and students try to summarize the work and formulate some conclusions (possible conclusions):

a) Peer influence is a part of teenage culture.

b) Peer influence is dictated by popularity standards.

c) During adolescence peer approval is more important than parents’ acceptance.

d) Standing up to peer pressure enables teenagers to feel a member of a group and to achieve high self-esteem but may result in some negative consequences.

e) Not standing up to peer pressure may equal alienation and rejection by the group.

f) Being a rebel is good as one enjoys his/her own choices and does not care about other people, but it also may cause rejection.

g) Being a conformist leads to being just another sheep in the crowd, accepting things that, in fact, one may not appreciate at all.

h) It is ok to march to your own drummer, because teenagers should be allowed to make their own choices.

i) Even if parents would like to protect teenagers by some restrictions, there is nothing more valuable that learning from one’s own mistakes.



1. Why does Mr. Stratford not allow his daughters to date?

2. Why does Mr. Stratford force Bianca to wear „the belly”?

3. What is the reason for Kat and Joey’s breakup?

4. How is the party advertised?


1. How does Bianca feel about not being allowed to go out?

2. What is Kat’s attitude towards teen culture?

3. Why does Kat get drunk at the party?

4. Why does Patrick comment on Bianca that „she’s without” and what does it say about him?


1. What would be another way to persuade Bianca and Kat to be careful instead of being forbidden to date?

2. In what way does Mr. Stratford’s profession influence his decision? Would his decision be different if he did not work as a gynecologist?

3. Does the absence of Kat and Bianca’s mother influence Kat’s and Mr. Stratford’s protective behavior? How would the story develop if she had stayed with her family?

4. If Bianca was not allowed to date, would she be able to maintain her position at school?


1. What are the advantages of Kat’s indirect help to assist her father at keeping Bianca at home?

2. In what way does Kat’s sexual initiation influence her maturation?

3. What does Kat learn about Patrick after the party?

4. What are the advantages of the brief relationship between Bianca and Joey?


1. Is Kat’s refusal to follow the crowd the reason for her alienation?

2. What are the consequences of Kat’s dancing at the table and drinking too much tequila?

3. In what way does the pressure to fit in teenage culture influence family relationship?

4. What are the reasons for and consequences of being „the nerd”?


1. What sort of problem are we going to define?

2. What would we like to achieve?

3. What are the results?


„I wanted it to be based on emotions that teenagers can relate to. Most teenagers get caught up in peer pressure and feel they should act a certain way to be accepted. I think that’s a valley that a lot of teenage kids fall into and it makes them unhappy. I wanted to send a message that it’s okay to have your own ideas, it’s okay to be unique, and that it’s okay to be who you are”.Gil Junger

10 things

tytuł: „10 Things I Hate About You”
gatunek: komedia
reżyseria: Gil Junger
scenariusz: Kirsten Smith, Karen McCullah Lutz
zdjęcia: Mark Irwin
obsada: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, Andrew Keegan, Susan May Pratt, Gabrielle Union
muzyka: Richard Gibbs
produkcja: USA
rok prod.: 1999
film od lat: 13 years
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