One of my Friendship Group lessons focuses on "Speaking Up and Making Small Talk." This lesson is taken from Small Group Counseling for Children by Diane S. Senn.
I used a Smart Board for the group discussion. We started by talking about times we may not know anyone. What do you do? I had students identify "junk food" thoughts vs "healthy" thoughts. Students had to "✔" the healthy statements and "X" the junk statements, then explain why those are good or bad for you to think.
We then talked about making "small talk." What is small talk? What can you say? How do you start? Try looking for something in common. Maybe they are wearing a shirt with a character you like. Or maybe they are talking about a video game that you play.
We then practiced by making Virtual Character Comic Strips. Students paired up and were given a prompt to work on cooperatively. They were to use their situation to come up with "small talk". Once they had their "small talk" written on their speech bubbles worksheet, we typed it into the speech bubbles on the Smart Board. To present their situation and how they conquered that awkward moment, students would stand on either side of the Smart Board creating silhouettes with speech bubbles.
Here is a prompt I gave a pair of students: Imagine you have been invited to a birthday party and when you get there, you do not know anyone. Your job is to make some "small talk."
Here is a different prompt: You have a new neighbor. How can you meet them?
Students had a great time making their virtual comics!