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Problems in Friendships Lesson and Activities


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Even elementary students encounter sticky friendship problems! The extra sticky piece? Most haven’t learned (yet) how to get unstuck from them! This friendship lesson focuses on the three types of friendship problems our students face and different strategies to use for each. Created with whole group SEL lessons in mind (these are life skills everyone needs!), you can also use this for small groups as a targeted social skills intervention.

The three friendship problems discussed: rules (when someone is often telling a friend what to do/what not to do), competition (bragging and one-upmanship), and changes (when a friend drifts away or wants a friendship to end)

Strategies (briefly) taught and modeled include: I-messages, walking away/finding someone else to play with, using helpful self-talk, and more.

Resource Includes

  • Opener activity (four corners) for hooking students into the lesson
  • Direct teaching slides about the three problem types and strategies for getting unstick
  • Whole group practice slides for discussion or role play
  • Partner/small group activity (pretend letters from students seeking advice on different problems)
  • Extension worksheet
  • Closing questions (in slide and printable exit tickets)

Using everything included, this could fill a 60 minute lesson block. That said, this lesson is flexible. Need to focus on just one or two of the problem areas? Go for it! Want to skip the whole group or small group practice? Sure! Use this resource in whatever way(s) best meets the needs of your students.

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