Social Skills Group Activities for Middle School Students

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Social skills development helps middle school students become happier and more successful in school and in their community. The following group activities support students who are learning social skills.

Social Skills Group Activities

From making friends to understanding norms, social skills are essential when preparing students for college, career, and citizenship. This asset provides ideas for how to work on these skills with middle school students in a group setting. Students will work with their peers to analyze social skills of characters, have meaningful and respectful discussions, and examine ways in which body language impacts how messages are perceived.

Character Analysis

Students will work in small groups to analyze the social skill development of a coming-of-age character in a book or movie. Students will use this analysis to examine how social skill development helps the character.


  • novel or movie
  • character map


  • Divide students into small groups.
  • Have students either read the same book or watch the same movie that contains coming-of-age characters.
  • Have students select a character to analyze together.
  • Have students create a character map that includes the following:
    • character traits
    • quotes
    • social skills struggles
    • changes over the course of the story
  • Have students prepare a short presentation that discusses what social skills the character learned, how the character demonstrated poor and good social skills, and how learning these social skills helped improve the character's experience.

Socratic Circles

Students will learn how to have respectful discussions about controversial topics.


  • computer/internet
  • counters

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