It can be difficult to start playing or talking with other kids. By practicing what to do and say when meeting new people, students can become more comfortable in these situations.
Students Will: formulate strategies to politely initiate conversation with classmates, apply these strategies in a Bingo game.
Begin by asking the group to think of a time when they were in a new situation with people they did not know, like starting at a new school or attending summer camp for the first time. If you’re doing this activity at the beginning of the school year, your students are most likely in that situation right now! Ask the following questions:
- How does it feel to approach someone you don’t know to ask them a question?
- What are some ways you can do that politely? Is this different if there is more than one person there?
- Is there anything you should avoid doing when approaching someone new?
As you discuss this as a group, explain that it’s understandable to be anxious about talking to knew people, and that this game will help us practice so we can be more confident. Brainstorm some phrases that students can use when approaching their classmates and write them on the board. For example:
“Excuse me, I’m wondering if you’re someone who…?” or “Hi, I’m . I love to swim, do you?”
Mini Game Directions:
- Explain that you will be playing a game in which students will have to find a classmate who fits the description in each box on the page, and have that classmate sign his or her name in the box.
- Students should use the strategies you discussed in the pre-discussion to confidently and politely approach classmates for their signatures. Role play with a student to demonstrate before you have the whole class start.
- Play until students have gotten a signature in each box. Be sure to walk among students and comment on how they are initiating with each other.
After the activity has been completed, guide discussion with these questions:
- How did it feel to approach new people?
- Was anything about it difficult? Easy?
- What was it like to have to approach a group of people, rather than someone who was by herself?
Explain that approaching others in a polite, confident way is practicing good social initiation, and is part of knowing when and how to work or play with others. This skill is an important part of making and keeping friends.
Hang the social initiation poster in your classroom after this lesson for students’ future reference.