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Interpersonal Skills Activities

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Working on interpersonal skills can be so important to your students' overall well-being. In this lesson, you will find engaging activities that will help your students develop and practice interpersonal skills.

Activities for Interpersonal Skills

As a teacher, you spend a lot of time thinking about your students' academic development and needs. You also know that their interpersonal skills are important; these are the skills that enable them to collaborate with others, deal with challenging social situations, and form and keep satisfying friendships. While interpersonal skills sometimes take time to develop, you can help students along the way by offering them particular activities that help them grow this aspect of their intelligence. This lesson provides activities oriented toward helping students with interpersonal skills.

Elementary School Activities

The activities in this section are well suited for students in grades K-5.

Role Plays

One of the best ways for students to develop their interpersonal skills is to practice role playing different complicated social situations. To do social role plays with your students, come up with a list of five to ten interpersonal scenarios you have seen them struggling in. These might have to do with sharing materials, helping someone when they are feeling sad, or arguing with a friend about a big idea. Write the scenarios on notecards, and call a few students to the front of the room. Help them read and make sense of the card, then ask them to act out the scenario. Others in the class should raise their hand to offer possible resolutions for the challenges. The actors should enact these solutions, and the whole class should discuss how the situation might turn out.

Message of Love

Sometimes, giving students an opportunity to show loving kindness helps them understand the importance of interpersonal awareness. Write each student's name on a piece of paper. Then, pass papers out so that no student gets a paper with his or her own name. Their job is to draw a picture and write a nice message for the person whose name they got. Then, have an informal ceremony where they exchange their cards. Ask them to talk about how it felt to do something kind for another person and also how it felt to be the recipient of loving kindness.

Active Listening

Learning to listen is a really important aspect of interpersonal success. Break your students into groups of three. Explain that student A in each group should tell a story while the other two students listen. It can be something that happened that morning or a story from a longer time ago. Then, student B should retell the story, and student C should assess student B's listening and retelling. Make sure each student gets a turn to play each role, and at the end, bring students together to debrief what did and did not work.

Middle and High School Activities

These interpersonal skills activities are designed for adolescent students.

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