Role Play Scenarios for Social Skills

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Social skills come more easily to some students than to others. An effective way to teach proper social skills is through role playing. These ideas for role playing are designed to support effective social skills in students.

Appropriate Eye Contact

Using appropriate eye contact is an important part of strong social skills. This activity gives students a chance to practice the use of eye contact.


  • Begin by asking students to consider how it feels to be stared at. List key words expressed by students on the board.
  • Now have students pair up.
  • Ask the students to face each other and stare into one another's eyes for a count of ten. This should generate a lot of giggles, but will reinforce the point that staring is not appropriate.
  • Now ask the class how it feels when no eye contact is made. For example, ask them to consider how it might feel if no one look their way as they entered the classroom.
  • Now have them practice this by taking turns walking in the front of the classroom. The other students should not make any eye contact with the students who is moving in front of the room.
  • Next explain the importance of appropriate eye contact in social skills. Demonstrate both inappropriate and appropriate eye contact as you speak to the class.
  • Finally, have the class return to their pairs to role play appropriate eye contact.

Rules for Classroom Behavior

Most of us act a bit different at school than we do at home. This activity reviews the rules for social skills in the classroom.


  • Slips of paper with different behaviors listed, some that are appropriate for the classroom (e.g. raising one's hand to ask a question) and others that would not be appropriate for the classroom (e.g. shouting out an answer);
  • A bowl or container.


  • Place all the slips in the bowl or container.
  • Pass the bowl to a student and have him/her select one slip.
  • Now ask the student to demonstrate the behavior displayed on his/her card for the class.
  • When the student is finished acting out the behavior, ask the class if this is something that would be appropriate behavior for the classroom.
  • When everyone in the class agrees on an answer, discuss the behavior in terms of why it is or is not appropriate for the classroom.
  • Repeat this process until each student has drawn and acted out one behavior and class discussion has taken place for each one.

Body Language

Body language is an important part of effective communication. This activity gives students a chance to see the effect of body language for themselves.

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