Friendship-Making—Activity

Learn What to Say and How to Break the Ice When Meeting New People

free activity, social emotional learning, second step

Grades 3–8

In this activity meant for kids from elementary through middle school, students practice what to say and how to break the ice as a way of getting to know others when beginning a new friendship. Asking friendly questions of others can be an effective way to start a conversation because many people find it easy to talk about themselves. It’s also a way to show interest in and care for others.

Download and Print

 

Activity Preparation

  1. Pair up students for this activity.
  2. Copy the Conversation Steps list below, one copy for each pair of students.
  3. Copy the Making a Conversation skill-practice strips so that you have one strip for each pair. Cut up the strips and distribute one to each pair of students.
  4. Allow 4 minutes for students to work through the practice conversation. Have students switch parts after 2 minutes. Monitor the practice and coach as necessary.
  5. Read the student instructions to the class before starting the activity.

Student Instructions

As partners, you’re going to practice making conversation. Each of you will have a turn beginning and ending a conversation. I’ll give each pair a strip of paper that describes a situation. For ex­ample, one strip says, “Begin and end a conversation with a student you don’t know very well from another class.”

First you’ll read the situation together and decide who will begin and end the conversation. The other partner will pretend to be the student described in the situation.

When you are beginning the conversation:

  • Decide on a question to ask your partner
  • Follow Steps 2–6 on the Conversation Steps handout
  • Listen to your partner’s suggestions

If you are pretending to be the student in the situation:

  • Answer in a friendly way
  • Offer suggestions to help your partner follow the steps

After two minutes, you will switch parts.

Wrap-Up

Ask for volunteer pairs to demonstrate their conversations to the class. Debrief students after each demonstration using these questions:

  • How well were the conversation steps followed?
  • What respectful behaviors were used?

Conversation Steps

  1. Decide what you want to talk about.
  2. Ask the other person friendly, respectful questions about the topic you’ve chosen.
  3. Show that you’re a good listener:
  • Look at the person who’s speaking.
  • Nod your head or say something to show that you understand.
  1. Say something to show that you’re thinking about what’s being said.
  2. Ask another question if you’re finished talking about the first one.
  3. End the conversation politely.

Making a Conversation—Conversation Strips

Cut up the strips and distribute one to each pair of students.
Begin and end a conversation with a student you don’t know very well from another class.
Begin and end a conversation with a student who waits with you at the bus stop every day.
Begin and end a conversation with a person who’s on the soccer team that you’ve joined recently.
Begin and end a conversation with a student who’s playing a new game at recess.
Begin and end a conversation with a cousin who’s visiting you for the first time in several years.
Begin and end a conversation with a new neighbor who’s playing alone.
Begin and end a conversation with a new student sitting across from you at lunch.

 

Like this activity?

We’re adding more K-8 classroom activities to our Free Activities page all the time. They’re easy to find—just visit cfchildren.org/resources/free-activities/ for grade-specific, K-8 classroom activities that align with our Second Step Suite.


Learn more about social-emotional learning, research on the topic, and how it benefits students in the classroom, at home, and in their daily lives.