Social Skills Lesson Plan for Adults

Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

This lesson plan emphasizes social skills and is appropriate for adults communicating with loved ones, friends, coworkers, or anyone else with whom one may need to have a difficult conversation.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Demonstrate social skills for effective communication and active listening
  • Practice expressing one's opinions and feelings in a safe environment
  • Deliver support and helpful feedback to others learning these skills


1 hour

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • 'I' statements
  • Mirroring
  • Body language

Materials Needed

  • notepad
  • pen or pencil

Lesson Instructions

Prepare the class

Set up the Roleplay Activity

  • As a class, brainstorm a list of plausible scenarios that people would benefit from having effective communication with others.
  • To make them more comfortable sharing, prompt them with options for anonymity such as inviting suggestions from:
    • student's actual personal experience
    • a situation people might be curious about
    • something that may happen in the future
    • a scene from a tv show
  • Students will choose a scene from the brainstormed list for their role play and work in pairs.
  • Each partner takes on their role and they take turns rehearsing each other's difficult conversations.
  • Coach students to:
    • Speak in first person, using 'I' rather than 'you' to avoid assigning blame
    • Maintain eye contact and repeat statements back to check for understanding
    • Be mindful of your body language and nonverbal communication
    • Actively listen, rather than thinking of how to respond

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