Social Skills Group Activities for High School Students

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

Group work can be stressful for some students, but is also great for practicing social skills. This article will give you some options for bringing group activities into your high-school classroom.

Social Skills in High School

High school is a time for preparing students for life as adults, and part of this is appropriate socialization skills. Whether this means listening to other people, or being assertive enough to present their own ideas, students can learn a lot from group activities. The following activities are designed to be adaptable to various ages and confidence levels among high-school students in order to meet the needs of your specific students.

Social Skills Groups Activities for High School Students

Group Drawing

Divide the class into small groups, and give each group one piece of paper. Have each group designate someone to go first. Instruct this person to draw something on the paper, like a setting or a person, but keep it very vague. The student will draw their interpretation of this, show and explain it to the group, and pass it to the next person. Tell that student to draw another element (for example, if the first student drew a person, have the second draw a background). With every turn, a different student will add to the drawing. The other students cannot tell them what to draw; this must be their own decision. Keep this going until the group has completed a drawing together. You can make this as simple or as wild as you want.

  • Paper, drawing utensils

Scavenger Hunt

Divide the class into small groups (2-3 is ideal) and provide each with a list of things they must find or do around the school. Try to tailor this list to the needs of your students, and fill it with things that reinforce proper social skills (introduce yourself to someone, wait your turn in a line, etc.). Students will go around the school and try to complete their list, taking pictures on their cellphones of each item or task. Every picture they take must include all group members within it, which means they may have to become comfortable asking other people to take their picture.

  • Materials: Scavenger hunt list, cellphones

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